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Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town

by Children's Helpers Worldwide
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Science &Literacy Aid for Kids &Teachers,Cape Town
Learning about using LEGO Six Bricks activies
Learning about using LEGO Six Bricks activies

Thank you very much for your support for ORT SA CAPE's science and educational programmes, for both children and teachers from disadvantaged communities in Cape Town. Your help is enabling children to receive a better standard of education.

In this report, we are excited to share with you an update from Karen at ORT SA CAPE and also some information about a special campaign for Mandela Day, which falls on 18 July.

A contribution given through CHW funded a two-day workshop, run by ORT SA CAPE, at the end of May. The workshop was on Developing Children's Perceptual Skills and LEGO Play Box and Six Bricks Activities. LEGO Play Boxes contain a variety of elements that are valuable as teaching and learning tools and which can be used to promote skills development and learning through play. LEGO Six Bricks activities also help children to develop and practice a range of skills. The workshop was held in the township of Khayelitsha.

The following update on the workshop is based on a report from Karen at ORT SA CAPE:

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"The two-day workshop was held at Molo Mhlaba, Harare, Khayelitsha. On the 29th May 2019, thirteen practitioners attended, from seven Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres, namely, Molo Mhlaba, Tiny Tots, Little Stars, Masizame, Mihlali, Monwabisi and Thozama. The practitioners were very enthusiastic and full of energy. They were constantly reminded of the skills that the children can develop when using the different Six Bricks activities in their daily routine. They were particularly amazed that from just one activity many developmental areas can be focused upon. A simple example is that they were very astonished to notice that from simply throwing and catching a LEGO element:

  • The children are taught discipline because they are told when to throw and how many times to throw and catch;
  •  Children are taught to have confidence because no one is labelled as right or wrong even when they have not mastered the skill;
  • Children’s bodies are developing physically (with regards to their gross and fine motor skills);
  • Concentration and development of hand and eye coordination are developed;
  • Counting is encouraged and reinforced.

The practitioners were delighted to notice that there will be automatic integration of all learning areas when the children use Six Bricks to learn through play.

On the second day, a Play Box workshop took place. The practitioners arrived at training with even more enthusiasm, given their experience from the previous day. They were again very pleased to find out that just like Six Bricks, different skills were learnt with the many different elements of the Play Box. They were excited with the different activities and, when working in different groups, the groups were actually competing with each other.

It was an absolute pleasure working with this group of practitioners and we look forward to visiting the schools to support their implementation.

What did the practitioners think of the training?

Nolubabalo, from Molo Mhlaba, is a 4-5 age group practitioner. She said that she found the Six Bricks workshop helpful because in the past, she would just give the LEGO elements to her learners to have free play. After the workshop, she will now plan activities to be done in this time. She said that they will easily learn the Six Bricks colours, and shapes that can be found within a brick. She said that now that she has been trained the free play will no longer be just free play but will be planned, where learning will be guaranteed. She also said that because there is a lot of talking going on during the time spent playing with LEGO, that children’s speech and listening skills are developed as well. She said that it will now be easier for her to identify the skills that are lacking in children.

Nandipha, from Molo Mhlaba, teaches Grade R [Reception]. She said that she finds that Six Brick has a dual purpose. She as a teacher benefits while learners benefit too, because she teaches through play and learners learn through play and therefore everyone is happy. She said that Six Bricks will beneficial even for children who are introverts because they will certainly be attracted to the colours of the Six Bricks and their speech will be developed while they are developing cognitively at the same time.

Nokuthemba, from Tiny Tots, teaches 2 to 3 year olds. She said that she did not imagine that so many activities can be done with just Six Bricks. Her imagination only took her to just building with them. She felt that she can even go and train her colleagues, who were not at the workshop, so that their learners can also benefit.

Primrose, from Mihlali Autism Centre said that she was particularly excited about the training. In her class, there are 12 learners who are autistic. She said she always felt like she was not included in trainings, since she deals with children with special needs. Trainers would always say that training would not be beneficial to her field of work. She said that she was aware that some of her learners were going to struggle with some activities, but she feels confident that she will be able to adjust the activities, according to the abilities of the individual children with special needs. She said that she was confident that she will be able to teach her colleagues and will do so. She says in the past she had no idea of where to start teaching with LEGO in her environment but has now learned that with just six bricks, she can do a lot."

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GlobalGiving will be holding a special campaign on 18 July, which is Mandela Day. The campaign starts at 2 pm UK time (or 3pm in South Africa). This campaign is different from most of the other ones we have taken part in. Whilst matching funds last, donations will be partially matched, but it will be donations of over $100 (around £80) that will attract matching funds. If you would like to take part, so that you have the chance to get your donation partially matched, it is best to contribute as soon as the campaign begins, as matching funds can run out very quickly. More information is on the link and PDF below. If you want to give a smaller contribution, this would be very welcome too, as each and every donation will help to support ORT SA CAPE's educational programmes. Mandela Day is about changing the world for the better and your support for this project is making such a difference for the children and teachers who benefit.

Thank you for your kindness and generosity. Education is so important and your help is bringing about such a positive change for children from very disadvantaged backgrounds.

Links:


Attachments:
Shamila (far left) with other teachers
Shamila (far left) with other teachers

Thank you very much for supporting ORT SA CAPE's programmes in South Africa, through CHW's page on GlobalGiving! You are helping to improve the education of children from disadvantaged communities around Cape Town.

CHW's supporters have contributed towards science and robotics workshops for children and also to teacher training sessions run by ORT SA CAPE. The teacher training sessions will benefit a lot of children, as the teachers can implement the new techniques they learn with their current class, and can continue to do this throughout their career, with each new class of children they work with. ORT SA CAPE also arranges follow-up sessions, visiting the teachers in their classrooms and observing lessons.

In 2017 and 2018, ORT SA CAPE ran the first phase of a teacher training programme in Saldanha Bay, near Cape Town. The course was for Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners and offered training in the use of LEGO Six Bricks and Play Box as teaching aids in classes of 3 to 6-year-old children. The training was a success and the second phase of the programme is being run from April to July this year. Support visits to the teachers are planned to take place in the second half of the year. The current workshops are focussing on perceptual skills, using LEGO. In total, over 350 teachers will attend these sessions.

Bev from ORT SA CAPE gave more information about the Perceptual Skills training sessions:

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"The importance of perceptual skills can never be emphasised enough, as all learning is based on the ability to perceive the world around you. A child’s cognitive progress depends on the ability to use their senses to understand and navigate the world around them. Perceptual skills are the basis upon which all other skills are acquired.

The Perceptual Skills teacher training course focuses on this important aspect of development as a critical part of building a solid educational foundation in the ECD learner.

Through our extensive work, ORT SA CAPE has found that teachers do not have the much-needed knowledge to ensure the development of perceptual skills through focused, purposeful and tailor- made activities. Therefore, the aim of this workshop was to ensure that perceptual skills are understood and are planned into daily activities by the teachers.

At previous workshops presented by ORT SA CAPE, teachers of the ECD centres throughout the West Coast have been trained in using the LEGO Six Bricks and Play Box as educational tools. This recent workshop however was more advanced and made an in-depth study of developing perceptual skills in the Grade R [Reception] age group.

This workshop was enhanced by the unpacking of scenarios by the teachers. These scenarios each describe a learner struggling with a certain learning area, for example, to identify differences/similarities. Teachers had to recognise the specific perceptual skill that was lacking and then design activities that might help develop this specific skill."

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Karen from ORT SA CAPE told us the reactions of some of the teachers who attended a session:

"Shamila is a novice teacher. At 20 years old, this is her first year in the classroom. She works in a school in Saldanha Bay and has thirty 4- 5 year old children in her class. She loved the training and said 'I’ve learnt a lot today about things I didn’t know, it really helped me to understand the importance of teaching perceptual skills.' She thanked the facilitators for sharing their knowledge and cannot wait for the next training.

Another teacher, who has had 17 years experience, said “even after teaching for many many years, I learnt so much.' "


A massive thank you to CHW's supporters who contribute to this project during GlobalGiving's challenges, and throughout the year. You are helping to improve the education received by many children around the Western Cape. Your kindness and generosity is greatly appreciated.

Fagan enjoying his visit to the Science Centre
Fagan enjoying his visit to the Science Centre

Thank you very much for supporting ORT SA CAPE's educational programmes through our page on GlobalGiving. Your kindness is greatly appreciated. Your help is giving educational opportunities to children from various communities around Cape Town.

Last month, children from Rooikappie Pre-School Centre participated in a Lego and Science Workshop, run by ORT SA CAPE. CHW was introduced to Rooikappie through another of our partner organisations in South Africa, The Future Factory. We were delighted to be able to make this link between Rooikappie and ORT SA CAPE too. This is the fourth time children from Rooikappie have taken part in a workshop at ORT SA CAPE.

We were so sad to hear that just a couple of weeks after this workshop, Mrs Solomons, who had worked with the children at Rooikappie, passed away. Anyone who has visited Rooikappie will remember what a warm and caring lady she was. Mrs Solomons lived her life in a way that made a real difference for children and for the wider community. As well as the report on the workshop, we are also including a tribute to Mrs Solomons, written by Faranaaz, the Principal of Rooikappie. 

Thank you to both Rooikappie and ORT SA CAPE for the photos included with this report.

Bev from ORT SA CAPE gave the following summary of the workshop:

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On the 3rd of December 2018, a group of 21 children from Rooikappie Pre-school Centre were invited to participate in a Lego and science workshop at ORT SA CAPE. 

The workshop kicked off with some fun using Lego Six Bricks. Six Bricks activities enable the learning of many concepts including colour matching and colour associations while developing critical learning skills. The young participants visibly enjoyed the positive interaction with the ORT SA CAPE facilitators. 

The children, with some assistance from their teachers and the facilitators, designed and decorated face masks made from various materials, as well as decorating beans bags. The children were able to take their masks home to show their families and the bean bags will be filled and sewn closed before being sent to their centre. 

The children were provided with a snack before going on a tour of the Science Centre, where they attended a fun science show and learned about friction on the friction slides and the power of pneumatics. After a nutritious lunch, the children had the opportunity to relax and play in the Science Centre. 

Faranaaz, the Principal of Rooikappie, had the following to say about their outing: "Our visit to ORT SA CAPE was awesome. It was a fun learning experience and the children enjoyed every minute. One child, Fagan, was completely bowled over by the "fireman" (a facilitator dressed in a red overall) and he actually went to hug him after the science show. The girls loved "being builders". Some just loved the special attention from the ORT SA CAPE and Science Centre staff. They all enjoyed the delicious lunch. And me, I liked the inclusivity, the friendliness and the VIP treatment. Thank you!"

Thank you CHW for your continued support!

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Thank you to all who support this project! 

We would like to share Faranaaz's tribute to Mrs Solomons, a lady who made a difference to others throughout her life:

"Mrs Solomons never had an easy life. She had to leave school at a very young age to look after her siblings and ever since, she's been taking care of others, especially the abused and the neglected children, the children at risk. This was one of the reasons she applied for a job at Cape Town Child Welfare, where she worked for 10 years. She worked at the creche during the day and at night she volunteered for a project, "Eye on the Child". She removed and placed children in places of safety. She also assisted abused women and placed them in shelters. She was always willing and prepared to help the needy, her family and her friends. Even after her retirement, she still volunteered at the centre. Mrs Solomons was well known and respected in her community. We will miss her."

Links:

Participants enjoying the training
Participants enjoying the training

We are so grateful to you for supporting science and literacy programmes run by ORT SA CAPE in South Africa! During GlobalGiving's crowdfunding challenge for International Youth Week, 22 amazing people supported these programmes. Thank you to all who contributed and to all who shared this project with friends, family and colleagues!

Bev from ORT SA CAPE has given us the following updates from a recent teacher training:

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The LEGO Six Bricks training, made possible through a donation from Children’s Helpers Worldwide, took place on 10 October 2018.

Thirteen Grade R [Reception Year] to Grade 3 teachers attended from Zonnebloem Boys’ Primary School, Zonnebloem Girls’ Primary and Holy Cross Primary School. The schools are located in the former District Six. District Six was a multi working-class area just off the centre of Cape Town, before being torn apart by the apartheid regime during the sixties and seventies, which included forced removals of non- white residents. In the last 20 years, former residents have started moving back to the area.

The participants arrived at the workshop after a long day in the classroom, and it was encouraging that as soon as the workshop started they became vibrant and participatory. The workshop was practical and therefore the participants were encouraged to have fun with the LEGO bricks so that they knew what to do when they went back to school.

The teachers were excited to find out that so many skills including improving concentration, improving memory, fine motor, perceptual, gross motor, body awareness, colours, laterality, amongst others, can be taught and developed using Six Bricks. The Grade R teachers were particularly happy to find out that Six Bricks activities can make teaching fun in their classrooms.

The teachers were very happy to be receiving resources for their classrooms. They left the training feeling enthusiastic about implementing what they had learned. They are also looking forward to supports visits from ORT SA CAPE.

Below is feedback from one of the schools:

"On behalf of Holy Cross Primary. Thank you very much for the workshop yesterday. Indeed, a learning experience for all the participants. Please convey our appreciation and gratitude to our facilitator Theresa for her vibrancy and her passion for training teachers and her knowledge about the young child. God bless.’’ -- Carlene

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By supporting teacher training like this, your contributions will help to improve the quality of education received by children in many classrooms! A massive thank you for your support for ORT SA CAPE's important work and for improving education for disadvantaged children in Cape Town.

Children from the Thope Foundation at a workshop
Children from the Thope Foundation at a workshop

Thank you very much for supporting ORT SA CAPE's projects through CHW's GlobalGiving page. Your help is having a big impact on children's education in Cape Town.

Since 2015, CHW's supporters have been helping mostly with robotics workshops for children from disadvantaged communities around Cape Town. A workshop was held for a group of 20 children from the Thope Foundation in Khayelitsha. The children were divided into two groups as some of them had been to ORT's workshops before and others were doing robotics for the first time. The experienced group used Mindstorms NXT and built a 5-minute bot. The other group used LEGO WeDo and built dancing birds.

Talya at ORT SA CAPE said, "The children thoroughly enjoyed expanding their skill set. They loved learning something new and had so much fun doing so!"

As well as working directly with children, ORT SA CAPE works with teachers too, and offers various training courses, enabling them to teach more effectively. This has a large impact as many children are reached when the teachers use the new techniques they have learned in their classrooms. Recently a grant given to CHW funded LEGO Six Bricks and Play Box training for practitioners from five Early Development Centres in Khayelitsha.

Bev at ORT SA CAPE reported that, "The participants were positive, enthusiastic and participatory throughout the workshop. They were amazed and excited to learn that so many skills including concentration, fine motor, perceptual, gross motor, body awareness, colours, laterality amongst others can be taught and developed by using LEGO."

ORT SA CAPE's work in teacher development and education research in recent years, has identified inadequate language development among young learners as a major constraint to education achievement in all subjects, including mathematics, particularly in schools serving disadvantaged communities. ORT SA CAPE has found that initial training has traditionally not prepared teachers to teach basic reading skills, and so they train teachers to more effectively teach children how to read. We are grateful to CHW's supporters who have contributed towards this and hope to be able to continue to help in the future.

In April and May this year, 13 teachers from Heideveld Primary School and 13 teachers from the neighbouring Willows Primary School attended the short course "Teaching reading in the early grades", which was offered by ORT SA CAPE. One teacher, Ms Sonn*, qualified from university at the end of 2017 and now teaches a Grade 2 class. Karen from ORT SA CAPE gave an update on this training, saying that Ms Sonn stated that the ORT reading course, made her realise the importance of teaching vocabulary to support learners’ reading development. Teachers at her school share their lesson planning and preparation with colleagues working in the same grade. Having taken the course, Ms Sonn asked the other Grade 2 teachers if they could change existing practice and prepare and teach vocabulary in advance, before learners read any new text.

Ms Sonn complimented the ORT trainers on a relevant and worthwhile teacher development programme, saying “I generally don't trust trainers because they often say contradictory things, but the information and advice given by the ORT trainers have been consistent and valid. Your team really understood our challenges with large classes and the problems our learners bring to school.

To see the changes Ms Sonn has introduced since the training, and to learn more about the sessions at Heideveld, please see Karen's full report, which is attached.

GlobalGiving will be running a Youth Week campaign from 2pm UK time (3 pm South African time) on 6 August until 12 August. Bonus prizes will be available for the organisations with the most supporters, so it would be wonderful if you made a donation during that campaign, as your support will go extra far during Youth Week! Please also feel free to share our page for ORT SA CAPE, in case anyone you know would like to make a difference and help disadvantaged children in Cape Town to have a better quality education.

Thank you very much for all your support for the children and teachers assisted by ORT SA CAPE! You are making a wonderful difference for them.


* Name has been changed

Building dancing bird robots
Building dancing bird robots
Building 5-minute bots with Mindstorms NXT
Building 5-minute bots with Mindstorms NXT
LEGO 6 Bricks and Play Box training session
LEGO 6 Bricks and Play Box training session
Literacy training session
Literacy training session
Literacy training session
Literacy training session

Attachments:
 

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Children's Helpers Worldwide

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
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Twitter: @CHWchildren
Project Leader:
Catherine Franks
London, London United Kingdom
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