Teachers' Workshops, Waterloo, Sierra Leone, February 2012

Last month, CODEP together with a group of teachers and students from Liverpool, worked together to put on a training workshop for the teachers in Waterloo.

The teachers and 6th Form students were from Liverpool, UK who were visiting Waterloo, SL as part of DFID’s Global School Partnership program.

With the organisational support from Rosetta Kargbo and her literacy team in SL the teachers and students delivered a teaching workshop at the end of the school day. Fano, Bassa Town, Benguima, Kankaylay, Bread of Life and St. Raphael’s primary schools hosted ‘Big Book’ training while St. Raphael’s and Nelson Mandela Junior Secondary schools hosted ‘Questioning’ training.

In total approximately 200 SL teachers attended the workshops. Some of the delegates were the staff from the Waterloo schools and many were the CODEP Literacy Coordinators who are based in a number of schools in Waterloo.

Although the above photo may be a little hard to see, the words the teachers are holding up make up, when un-scrambled, “we are going on a lion hunt” which provides an interesting discussion point.

The instant feedback received was very positive with the teachers willingly and enthusiastically joining in with the strategies delivered during the workshops. Equally importantly, the UK teachers and students reported that they had enjoyed delivering the workshops.

The following day Edward Phillips and Helen Pinnington, who is pictured in our first photo, met with the CODEP’s Lead Learners, Frank, Isatu and Victor together with Rosetta and John to discuss next steps.

The first challenge will be for Frank, Victor and Isatu to monitor if the teachers who attended the training are using the strategies they learnt in their classrooms, thereby improving their own teaching skills as well as the independent literacy skills of their pupils.

CODEP have every confidence in our SL based literacy team, as the Lead Learners are developing strong relationships with their Literacy Coordinators and are sure that as the SL teachers begin to use the strategies they have learnt, they will be able to pass them on to their colleagues and as importantly work together and perhaps develop their own strategies themselves.

We already know that the group of staff who attended the workshop at Kanakylay school have already arranged to meet together at the end of February with their schemes of work which inform their lesson planning to see where they can incorporate the strategies with the curriculum set by the SL Government.

These workshops mark a small but important step in the process of equipping the teachers in Waterloo and Lunsar with a set of teaching strategies to help use the books that have been so kindly donated in an interactive way to improve the literacy skills of the children they teach. At CODEP we hope that we will be able to continue working with teachers in this way.

CODEP are incredibly grateful both to the teachers and students from Liverpool for so generously giving up their time and to the teachers who so willingly participated in the workshops.

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