Mariama Mae Pre-School - Picture Gallery and Update April 2010
By Ali Calvert, founder
The Mariama Mae Pre-School has a lot to celebrate. It is fully up and running; three beautiful classrooms are each home to 25 eager wide-eyed children; and all of them look very indeed smart in their uniforms. Thank you everyone for your support.
If you were to walk into any of the three classrooms you would immediately be captured by the delight and joy that the children have in their school. The classrooms are full of their work, on walls and hanging from the roof beams. They are only too happy to point out their individual achievements on display. It is so lovely to see and feel their excitement in all they are experiencing and learning.
All this is due to their inspiring principal Fatou Janneh who is an exceptional teacher, not only with her own class but in the support she gives her staff. She leads by example, showing a child-centred approach that is the philosophy she has naturally always used to help both children and staff get the very most from their time in school. She is always eager to learn herself, welcoming opportunities to attend workshops, meetings and discussions concerning all aspects of school life. She has the knack of making learning fun and exciting, to which the children eagerly respond. Her philosophy is shared by all the staff, giving the school a good team spirit.
Visiting the school can have its humorous moments, particularly since every member of staff is called Fatou; even the youngest member of school, Fatou Janneh's daughter, is called Fatou. Class 1 teacher Fatous is nearly at the end of her first year of training at Gambia College; she has found this experience stimulating and rewarding, and brings back the most up-to-date ideas which she shares with her colleagues.
The school is feeling and looking good. The buildings are well cared for by Fatou who daily does a wonderful job of cleaning and maintaining a beautiful school environment. She has laboured hard carrying water to keep the young perimeter hedge growing, and very soon bougainvillea plants of assorted colours will brighten the back school wall. There is now a strong cement and tiled circular seat around the mango tree, making story telling outside really easy and fun.
Over the last two years, everyone in England and Gunjur has worked towards a vision of a really loved, happy and well-equipped school. All of this has been achieved by everyone's hard work and enthusiasm; their donations and their fundraising. Now the teachers can use their skills and resources to excite and inspire the children. I think the photographs say this, and so much more.
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