The termly exams always prove an exciting time at ACJ. As Teaching Coordinator, I am never quite sure what is going to happen. In my first term, we made a contingency plan around the first day of the week when I realised that, no matter what the schedule says, normal classes are not going to happen. So this time around, I was prepared. I had spoken to the volunteers, spoken to the teachers and even spoken to the children – everyone was prepared for exams and the unavoidable shift that they create.
So from the 14th to the 18th, we scrapped all of our normal classes and worked solely with Grade 3. This is a grade we don’t usually work with, although the sports project has just started to include them in the massive number of students it reaches with great success. In the past though, when our normal Grades 4 and 6 are unable to come to lessons, we do knock on a Grade 3 door and ask if they need our help. From experience, the Grade 3s are a delight to work with. They are old enough to answer questions and pick up extra details and to sit still and listen, but young enough to absolutely get lost in a story and fall in love with the person reading it.
So this week, that is what we did. We read stories to group after group of seven and eight year olds, getting opportunity after opportunity to perfect that rise of the voice, that enthralling whisper and that absolute must for any excellent story reader – the over exaggerated facial expressions that every child then mimics for the rest of the day.