Ba Futuru's Teaching Coordinator, Betty Fatima, who has been working with Ba Futuru's Early Childhood Development Initiative has returned to Timor-Leste and will be once again leading this initiative.
Betty received a scholarship to go to New Zealand for 9 months to study early childhood education, now that she is back she will be sharing these immense learnings with the staff at Ba Futuru's preschool. While in New Zealand Betty worked in various Kindergarten and primary school transition classes. In 2021 Betty will be working to apply the innovative strategies that she learnt about phonics and the new attributes/values curriculum.
Ba Futuru is currently reaching out to the Dili community for enrollment for the upcoming term. We greatly appreciate all your support that makes this initiative possible.
Even with the global pandemic, Ba Futuru Pre-School Teachers have continued providing learning through play opportunities with their students. In Timor-Leste, the government enacted a State of Emergency in March, which temporarily closed schools. Ba Futuru’s Pre-School followed suit of the rest of the world, and moved their classes to online learning. Every week, teachers sent videos to students that focused on home-based play learning. Students loved the videos, as they were personalized videos from their teachers. About a flower experiment (as seen here), one parent said, “Thank you so much! The flower in water experiment was a hit. We had to do 5 or 6 flower opening up experiments and each time it was accompanied with ohhs and aahhhsss”
Ba Futuru preschool is bustling with children busy learning and teaching smiling and engaging them with fun activities. Term one has started with enrolments at a total of 37, with many children having recently graduated. We plan to increase this number over the next term.
We started the year combining the two classes together at times for blended learning. We have been working on our Montessori maths program, with science experiments and inquiry-based learning. We also have been using a lot of the dramatic play, music, stories and physical movement providing both fun and insightful opportunities for learning and sharing together.
Both the teachers and children are excited for the excursions this term that focus on exploring places and people that create the local environment helping to establish identity, how we look after the natural environment, and the different occupations that contribute to making our society dynamic and resilient. Our upcoming exploration may involve coffee makers, carpenters, local fishermen and a beach clean-up in Beto Tasi, the fire station, and the local art gallery space.
This term we have 41 children, 7 of those are full time, 22 receive full tuition waivers thanks to your support.
Friday field trips have been a high light of the last few months with excursions to visit The Pope Statute, Tasi Tolu Beach, Hiam Health, Permatil, Arte Moris, the New Play Ground BH Habibi, and the Tais Market. These excursions provide our children with knowledgeable about the local area in which they live building a stronger identity. We have noticed that our students have made strides forward in their competence and confidence this term.
This last term of 2019 we are revisiting our Jolly Phonics Programme, Montessori maths and fun games. We are also practicing for the end of year concert and graduation ceremony.
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This term at Ba Futuru’s Early Childhood Education Facility we have been focusing on science and baking! We currently have 47 students, 8 which are full day students. We have 22 children from the nearby Timorese community that receive full tuition waivers with your support, and 25 fee paying children.
Last month we focused on science, we strengthened the children learning with exploring different experiments learning mixing color, baking soda and vinegar, gas, and the strong force of water. Children have been finding insects and then observing and collecting data “like a scientist”.
In the last 2 weeks we have been baking, the children have preparing their food for their snack with making pancakes, cookies, and cutting up fruits to make a fruit Kebab.
At our termly community potluck lunch children performed a song, poem and showed parents their favorite sciences experiments. We also introduced our new program called “Place Based Learning”. This entails going to places to learn about them and the world.
Our two classes have now blended together for the most part of the session, in the outdoor classroom. This means that the younger children are learning from the older children, with being involved with the teaching and learning program. We have observed the older children being nurturing of the younger children and have seen them being great models to their peers even teaching them skills that they have mastered. We continue to play our fun literacy and math games.
For our teacher professional development they will be doing a fun games workshop presentation to a local preschool that is just learning about Play Based Learning education.
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