Ringwood School: Millie and Sam’s blog

Our young ambassadors, Millie and Sam,  held a special ‘Education for All Day’ on June 21st 2013  at their school. They invited the whole of year nine as well as children from two local primaries to get involved with Send My Friend to School.

Millie and Sam wrote us this report:

“We are very keen to keep up the pressure on world leaders to find enough teachers and get every child worldwide into school so we took advantage of the Steve Sinnott Foundation’s Education For All Day to launch ‘Send My Friend’ and more, with Year 9. We want to put pressure on United Nations estimates that show that there is a global shortage of 1.7 million teachers, with 1 million professional teachers needed in Africa alone. In the year 2000, world leaders made a promise that every child would receive a quality primary education by 2015. However, there are still over 60 million children missing out on even a basic primary education, with millions more struggling to learn in oversized classes and with unqualified teachers. Teachers are the issue for the 2013 – 2014 campaign

The day plan

We were allowed to take all Year 9 students off timetable for various activities. These included making puppets with key messages on what makes a good teacher and a good school. Students had the advantage of our experiences in the Delhi slums this spring. The school also benefitted from a visit from John McLaverty of Oxfam Education who accompanied us to Delhi.

The day began with a presentation in all tutor groups that ended with ‘Turn on the Light’, a short film. Year 9 then went to the hall and lessons began for other years.

The school languages department lent great support to the campaign by creating their own puppets. They asked the question, “What makes a good teacher?” to students in other year groups, but here students had to answer in German, French or Spanish. The puppets now adorn the entire length of the languages corridor!

The ladies in the canteen lent great support by serving Indian food. The Chicken Korma was delicious!

What makes a good teacher?

Year 9 students’ views about what makes a good teacher were very different from those of the Delhi students. Top of the Delhi students’ lists is that the teachers turn up for lessons. Year 9 students also added their voices by writing letters and a wall of messages. These will be sent to MP Desmond Swayne to pass on to the Prime Minister to remind the UK government of their promise to make sure all children have access to primary education by 2015.

The Global Campaigners

We feel a need to push the Send My Friend campaign to its limits at Ringwood and beyond, and to this end we have been working over the past few weeks with a great group of Year 9 and 10 students who we call the Global Campaigners, and we have shared everything we learnt in Delhi. We have held weekly meetings and now the Campaigners are really useful in our campaign to get 1.7 million teachers into school! SO on June 21st, it was the team of Global Campaigners, who together with us, taught the lessons to Year 9. Each person worked in a tutor group who looked at case studies supplied by EFA Day; designed ‘ideal teacher’ puppets and ideal schools, Tweeted and wrote to MPs, and in fact every politician possible! Knowing that water was a key issue in Delhi and will become increasingly so, we let students carry out a water audit of their own use. They then had to calculate how many buckets they would need to carry this much water. Many tested the weight of a water bucket on their head!

Sharing with the junior schools

We also held a special assembly and workshop sessions for Year 6 students from Ringwood Juniors and Broadstone Middle School who enjoyed a lunchtime Bollywood session on Ringwood School Radio! We wanted to make sure that as many people as possible get to hear children’s stories and the challenges they face in getting a quality education. We visit Burley School tomorrow for a similar exercise, and Poulner School in Ringwood will enjoy a workshop near the end of term. Again we will be assisted by the Global Campaigners.”

Two of our campaigning friends, Jade Wardle and Amy Whitwham, said “It was great day. It inspired others and students learnt a great deal. It showed just how lucky we are to live in a country where education is free.”