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Fundraising

TRANSFORMING SCHOOLS IN MALAWI

Thanks in part to the Fundraising at Petersfield in the Summer term 2017, Karen was able to purchase equipment for her 'life changing' Malawi visit during the summer holidays. In 2018, we raised £102.84 to continue this work. This visit was unfortunately delayed but is planned for the next holiday and we look forward to hearing about the impact of this work soon.

Malawi 1

Having travelled the 12 hour flight over night to Johannesburg in South Africa we then took another flight to Lilongwe in Malawi. There we were met by our drivers ready for the 7 hour drive to Rhumpi the village in the North of Malawi that was to be our home for the next week. We arrived safe and sound if not a little exhausted 30 hours after leaving home. Malawi 2 The next morning we were awoken at around 5.30am by a very loud cockerel heralding the dawning of a new day. By 6.30am it was already hot and dusty. We unpacked the equipment that you had kindly donated towards and met the visiting teachers to show them how to assemble and use it to deliver lessons. In the afternoon we took the kit and the teachers to the individual schools.

Malawi 3

We drove through villages with what can best be described at mud huts with holes for windows and palm or banana tree leaves for roofs. Goats, pigs, cows and children some as young as 18 months old mixed freely and roamed free range along the sides of the roads. People on bikes sometimes as many as 5 people on one bike or men with 4 metre long tree trunks strapped to them riding along the road oblivious to any cycle or road safety it was definitely a free for all. Malawi 4 Locals selling their produce at the side of the road mostly tomatoes, cabbage and pawpaw, laid out on the dirt floor. Woman with babies strapped to their backs and huge containers of water on their heads miles from anywhere, happily waved as we drove along.

The schools were up in the mountains so we had to leave what I have loosely referred to as roads to edge slowly up the dirt tracks which resembled dried river beds with huge cracks, bumps, and vertical drops. I will never complain about the pot holes on our British roads again having got beached on one which was so deep and the width of the road making it unavoidable and stuck in another the length of the car.

Malawi 5

The next morning and the Cockerel alerts us that we should arise. Once again we make our way to the village schools to watch the teachers set up the equipment in their own classrooms, ensuring they would be able to confidently use it when we were gone. We had been asked to watch the delivery of a lesson and give feedback. We were not sure if this would be possible as we had learnt that it was school summer holidays in Malawi and thought no children would be around. How wrong we were. Malawi 6 Malawi 7 The Head Teachers had sent out word that we were coming and asked for children to come along and come they did, by the dozen, many having walked two –three hours to get there. We met local tribal chiefs, church ministers, education inspectors, teachers and even members of the PTA who all welcomed us with open arms. I have never met such a friendly group of people anywhere. We had been told that many of the locals, in particular the children had never seen white people before and were a little shy to begin with but soon warmed to us.. We were taught a few local phrases and learnt a lot about local customs and ways of life. We played games with the children, they taught us some of their games and we taught them some of ours, 'Simple Simon' was greeted with much hilarity and raucous laughter. One of the primary schools we supported had 1134 pupils in 7 classrooms with 1 teacher per class, meaning there were 7 teachers for the whole school and that included the head and deputy head. Some of the classes had 180 pupils.

We were taught by some local trades people how to chop fire wood and plaster the walls of the schools. The village woman made us food and gifts of bags of popcorn as their main crop is maize and ground nuts. We felt humbled that these people who have nothing would do that for us. In general the Women in these small rural locations do not work and the minimum wage is 75p a day. It is not unusual for parents to have 7/8 children. This means a labourer earns 75p a day to feed his whole family, therefore most people grow their own produce in huge fields to help feed themselves this is done by hand as there is no farm machinery.

This was my first experience of doing anything like this and we met some amazing people who told us we had changed their lives and the educational opportunities for their children. I certainly know they have changed my life, I plan to go again maybe when I go again next year we will find a group of children playing 'Simple Simon' and we'll be able to donate more equipment and change more lives.

To view my photographs you can find me on Instagram – karen.grieves. For further information please feel free to email me at karen.grieves@sky.com or for latest updates about the work that is being done check out http://www.bwenguprojects.co.uk/.

Thank you once again for your generous support.
Karen

Latest News

For more information on Covid-19, please visit the 'Covid-19' page under the 'Classes' drop down menu for regular updates, videos and resources.

3rd June - Another fantastic start to the day. Well done everyone! If you are not in school, look out for the email with another story in today. If you want to send us a story you have read, we look forward to hearing it.

2nd June - We are absolutely delighted to see more parents and pupils today as we open to all keyworkers in all year groups. Every single person came in with a smile on their face and has quickly adapted to the changes. The socialising and learning has been a pleasure to see. Well done everyone.

1st June - Welcome back to Summer Half Term 2. Whilst is is very different to normal, it is great to see a few children in school today and taken the changes in their stride. For those children back in school, we are ringing you! Please listen our for our call!

16th April - This is 'National Offer Day' for new EYFS pupils due to join us in reception in September 2020. Welcome! Despite it not being in term time, please do email the office to accept your place. We look forward to responding to you with our transition plan after the Easter closure.

3rd April - Over Easter, the keyworkers and vulnerable provision is being hosted at Foxton school. For more information or if you need to contact us in an emergency, please see the Covid-19 page under the 'classes' drop down menu.

20th Mar - School is regrettably now closed as per government guidance. Please see the 'Covid-19' page under 'Classes' for more up to date information.

19th Mar - Year 5 and 6 researched, planned and planted the donated trees in the school grounds today.

17th Mar - Despite current events, well done to the year 6 children who participated so well in the 'booster' class tonight.

13th Mar - A huge thank you to everyone who gave so generously for dress down day. We have many chocolate goodies for FOPS.

13th Mar - Well done to all the pupils who received a Headteacher Award today. Their attitude to learning was an example to all.

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Notices

SCHOOL CLOSURE: From 3:15pm on Friday 20th March, school will close until further notice in line with government guidance.


Covid-19 Coronavirus update
-We continue to follow the regularly updated government guidance available via this link.
-You can find further information on the Public Health England Blog and the NHS UK website.


Guidance includes:
-wash your hands regularly - use soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time.
-cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin. Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.


-People who feel unwell (new continuous cough and high temperature) should stay at home and all members of the household should self isolate for 14 days.


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The newspaper article about 'Max and Milky make it to Mars' - written by our Book Club volunteer Ute - is here. She has kindly donated a copy of her book to our school library.


Please see our vacancies page for an opportunity for a Playworker.


Run Orwell - back on the last Sunday in June 2020! Offering chipped timed 10K and 5K routes, and a 2K fun run, there will be something for everyone.


Save yourself time naming uniform and raise money for school. Visit www.stikins.co.uk. Quote code 15787


As we explained in a newsletter, we have updates our policies and privacy notice about how we process data in line with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations). Click here for the updated policies.


Is your child due to start school in September 2020? If so, click here to find out more about how to visits and learn about how to apply to join our fantastic school.


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Funding for Petersfield - As you may have read in the media, school funding is under threat. Please click here to see the information about how you can continue to help.


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