Last week, we were delighted to welcome back two volunteers from Scotland. Michèle Newall and Morag McLullich returned to host the fourth in a series of training workshops for teachers of children with special needs. Having worked on Whole School Planning, Individual Education Plans, Behaviour Management, Task Analysis, Learning and Teaching Approaches, Thematic Teaching and Multisensory Education in the past, the goal of this year’s workshop was Implementing Core Curriculum and IEPs Through the Expressive Arts.
Two workshops were held, each lasting two days. Participants included the staff of our partners Kirunguru and Percy Davies Special Schools and teachers representing all the special units (where small groups of children with special needs are taught in a space within a primary school) in Kandara and Murang’a South sub-counties. The EARC (Education Assessment and Resource Centre) Officer from each area also attended, bringing the total number of participants to 56.
The training was a mix of theory and practical…with the practical sessions producing some very creative results! The teachers learned about a variety of activities using drama, music and art which can be built in to their lessons and teach children in a fun way. They certainly had fun learning how recycled materials such as plastic bottles, egg cartons, formula tins and cereal boxes can be made into percussion instruments. The music produced at both schools was amazing and really impressed the trainers!
Each of the workshops was visited by the Director of Education for the sub-county. Both were very enthusiastic about what they found being taught and commented that it ties in very well with the new curriculum that has been introduced this year. It also transpired that the sessions hosted in previous years aligned well with the new curriculum so the teachers have been given a great foundation they can build on as they implement it.
One of the participating teachers said in the review “The training has made me a better SNE teacher and I will be able to empower the SNE children to better their future through the use of locally available materials integrated into the curriculum”.
Olivia, the EARC/SNE CSO Officer for Kandara Sub-County said “The training was very relevant to our new competency-based curriculum. Teachers have been empowered in Task Analysis, Making learning Fun, Integration of various skills and values and it was an all-inclusive training for the teachers. In future, we should cascade it to our early years education teachers”.
Lucy, one of the special unit teachers from Murang’a South Sub County had this to say, “The training was very timely to match the current SNE Curriculum design. A lot of innovation, I learnt that anything, including everything can be used to enhance learning”.
We are grateful to Morag and Michèle, not only for the time spent in Kenya last week but for all the effort they put in to prepare over the last 9 months and for all the resources they have donated to the schools. Thanks also to their friends and family who supported them with donations of items for both the schools and our Seed of Hope programme.
Check out this post by our team member Winfred who attended the training!