Hi, our names are Chloe, Claire and Emma. We are all completing our teacher training with the University of Southampton and all have the Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarship. Two of us are completing the University led PGCE route and one is completing the schools direct route. At Southampton University we were offered quite a unique opportunity which was to go to Kenya for two weeks with a charity called African Adventures. This is a two week trip involving both teaching and tourism.
What will we do on this trip?
We will arrive into Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport late on Saturday evening. We spend over night in the country’s capital before a 6 hour journey to Nakuru where we will be based for our trip. We are given the rest of Sunday to get settled into our accommodation and get ready for our first day in School. There are two schools where we could be placed Merci Njeri High School or Kiamunyi. Students at both schools are aged 14 – 18 and are studying for their KCSE’s (Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education). We will spend the next four days teaching in one of these schools. For us this is the part if the trip that attracted us the most.
After we have spent 4 days teaching we are still unsure what we will be doing on Friday, as this is Good Friday, the secondary schools are closed but there may be an opportunity for us to visit a primary school. Over the weekend there is time for us to relax. Saturday morning we will be visiting Hilton slum where some students live. In the afternoon we have the chance to go to a local craft market and visit Nakuru town. On Sunday there is an opportunity for us to attend a local church service and then again in the afternoon we have time to relax.
Monday is the first day of the Maasai Mara Safari. The journey to the reserve will take us 7 hours. When we arrive it will be late afternoon and we will be greeted by the local tribe. We will settle into our new accommodation and have an early night to get ready for an early start the next day. The next day we will be out on safari all day and come back for dinner. On Wednesday we will let us early for a game drive and then head back to Nakuru. Thursday is our final day, were we can pack our things and take one last trip to the City and mall. Friday is another early start. Although this is our last day and we need to get back to Nairobi for our flight, we will stop off at both an Elephant orphanage and giraffe sanctuary! We will head home and arrive back on the UK early on Saturday Morning.
What we hope to get out of the trip
There are many things that we hope to get out of this trip. Firstly, their culture and way of life is so different to ours, we will get the chance to be part of this for a few days. When thinking about the teaching itself, it will be a great experience to go back to basics and not have any fancy equipment. During our days teaching we will have to be prepared to think on our feet, we will not know what we are teaching till we arrive, their curriculum is very different to ours. Although the language of instruction in Kenya is English, their native language is Swahili. This means that very student we will teach will be EAL. We will all have to develop strategies to support these students.
The style of teaching in Kenya is very different, especially for maths. Students are taught through rote learning and are not asked questions during lessons. We have all made some mini whiteboards from laminated paper and taking whiteboard pens to try and incorporate AFL into our lessons.
When deciding to take part in this trip the three of us approached the Maths Scholarships team and asked if they would be able to send us some donations (e.g pens, highlighters, books). Not only did they agree but they sent so much valuable stuff to take out for students. Thank you from all three of us for supporting us with this trip!