Week ending 10th
had our first set of Tourists (since the season had formally
opened this week). Eleonore and Roy from Holland are pictured
presenting pens to Alkali Cham. Neither have visited Gambia
previously but Erica Wren came across them in Senegambia and
invited them along.
We also had our mums
and their babies come to see us and pose for pictures.
Mr Saidy (LB5
teacher). his wife, Amie and baby Mariamma
Fatoumatta Darboe (teacher of LB2) and baby Bintou.
babies were both asleep during the visit and seemed very
content. Our visitors also took turns with holding Bintou!
Also visiting were Jade and Franki
from UK. Jade’s partner, an ex-student of ours, Modou Fatty,
suggested the visit.
Jade and Franki with
Jade and Franki brought balloons for the
children and their teachers showed them how to make rockets!
Later Tony visited N3 to
see Binta Jammeh managing the class with a singing DVD playing
for the children called “A Day Full of Surprises”.
Binta is one our recent
appointments as a full time classroom assistant, after helping
us last year with cover when the Nursery teachers maternity
Week ending 3rd
Tony took pictures of
each of the classes in the school, making up near 400 children
and young people. The teachers all joined their classes, if they
Lower Basic 1 with Mr
Williams and Penda
Lower Basic 2 with Sulayman
Lower Basic 3 with Mr Beyai
Lower Basic 4 with Mrs Cham
Lower Basic 5 with Mr Saidy and Fatamata
Lower Basic 6 with Mr Jaiteh
Nursery 1 with Mbacho
Nursery 2 with Aunty Sally and
Nursery 3 with Fatou Sanneh and
Skills Training 1
Skills Training 2 with Mr Bah and Fatou
Skills Training 3 with Mr Darboe
Week ending 27th October
In this Grade 4 maths class Kaddyjatou
Ceesay had her hand up to be the first to finish the work set so
Fatou Cham came round to mark it - all correct - well done,
In Nursery 1 Kaddy Jawara
was introducing the idea of one to one correspondence when
counting numbers up to four. She is helping Mariama touch each
object as she says the number. The class can all rattle off the
numbers -1,2,3,4 - but linking each number to an object -
this is a great step forward in their understanding of numbers.
In Nursery 2 they are also
working on one to one correspondence, but now using numbers up
to ten, touching each bottle top counter as they say the number.
Practising waitressing skills in the bar
and restaurant class in the hall
Our cookery teacher,
Alimatou, has recently been taking a 'Cookery and Pastry' course
at The Gambia Hotel School so is always looking for new ideas
for different cakes that her students could make. This
week they tried a recipe for coconut tarts.
Taking turns at whisking
- no electrical mixers here!
Making them look
attractive - then into the oven they go.
Week ending 20th October
This week we received the results of the
National Assessment Test taken by our Grade 3 in June this year.
National Assessment Tests are taken throughout Lower Basic
schools in The Gambia every year, the grade tested alternating
yearly between Grade 3 and Grade 5. The Ministry of Education's
target is that 20% of both boys and girls achieve a
mark of 80% or above while 80% of both sexes achieve a pass rate
of 40% or above. As you may guess from the graph showing the results
that has to be displayed on school notice boards, we were
pleased with our results.
The electricity supply in The Gambia is
very unreliable, tourists are used to everything suddenly going
black when they are eating their evening meal in a restaurant
and know they just have to sit and wait until someone goes to
switch on the hotel/restaurant generator. Mains power can be off
for many hours and In a busy school like Sunrise, power and
internet is essential. We have had a small solar system for some
time now but have recently added to and improved it because of
the long days without mains power. This is the new inverter in
the office with two large batteries under the table below it.
Yassin Jasseh, one of our Lower Basic
classroom assistants, has gained a place at Gambia College on
their Primary Teaching Certificate course. Previously this
course has been held over three years during school holidays,
but is now a full time course taking place over two years. This
has meant that we had to appoint a temporary assistant to take
her place whist she is away at college. Penda Jallow, below, has
been appointed to cover Yassin's absence. Penda graduated from
our Skills Training this July and won the prize for the best
overall student of that year.
Penda in Grade 4 classroom, helping one
of the boys
with his maths.
An action shot of Lower Basic 2 girls
during a PE lesson - with Mr Darboe's motorbike parked outside
A daily visitor is the breadman,
delivering to the kitchen for Susan to prepare breakfast for
students and staff at break time. Every time we come to Gambia we
see more motorbikes!
A visitor this week was Bakary Saidy's wife with her new baby girl. Bakary is our Grade
5 teacher, just returned from paternity leave, ready to prepare
his class for their NAT exams next June.
Mr Darboe's skills class have been
finding a use for all the bits of paper from the paper shredder
in the office.
When thoroughly dry they
will paint and decorate their finished items.
Now the new school year has started school
fees are due, more parents are finding it hard to pay the fees
but want their child to stay at Sunrise so ask for sponsorship.
Zaineb's parents have not been able to pay the term 1 fees,
which includes two uniforms, so although she is now in Lower
Basic 1, she is still wearing her last term's yellow nursery
uniform, whilst all the rest of her class are in the red Lower
Basic uniform. There are now nine of our students on the
Students asking for Sponsors
page of our website - click here
to see them. Can you or a friend help any of them?
Week ending 13th October
This week Mr Cham asked his brother's wife
to come in to Sunrise and show our skills students some of the
things she had made from recycling different material Below you
can see the necklace, ring and bag made from recycled metal foil
and silver paper, also a board displaying various insects made
from pins, nutshells and thread.
Below she is showing them
her bracelet, made from the ring pulls of cans of drinks
Other visitors this week were Liesbeth
and Adam from Holland. They aked their tourist taxi driver to
take them to visit a local nursery school and ended up at
Sunrise, where they really enjoyed seeing the children.
This week the skills
cleared all the waist high vegetation growing in our garden
area. In the past students have successfully grown many
vegetables and salad plants which have been used in the school
kitchens. When, unfortunately, the garden was overrun by
termites, activities in the garden ceased. Last weekend, the
compound was sprayed to get rid of these pests, who had also
managed to get into the roof of Mr Bah's classroom! There is a
lot of hard work ahead, if the garden is to flourish again.
To be burnt - in case
there's any lurking termites!
Skills 3 were doing one of their
practical cookery sessions, using the bantaba and the area
around it for cooking outside on the local charcoal stoves.
Week ending 6th October
This week Skills 3 have had practical
assessments on work using beads. Below you can see one using
beads to make a decoration on a garment she has sewn whilst
another is putting bead decoration onto a flip flop sole to make
These two students are using tiny beads
to make a framed representation of the Sunrise badge, I think
this will be quite a long task!
You can see the different ways they used
beads imaginatively to create their project for this assessment,
displayed on a table in their classroom by the first to finish
Mr Darboe has just bought some wooden
stamps for his classes to use when making batik patterns - we
look forward to seeing some interesting results!
As our present Grade 6, most of whom
started with us in Nursery 1, progressed through the Lower Basic
school they started a new grade using the next spare classroom
available. As this term they have now reached Grade 6 we have
all six grades in our Lower Basic school, so no longer have a
spare classroom. A spare classroom had always been used by Paul
Badjan, for teaching the small number of Christian children in
each class, whilst the Islamic teacher taught the rest of the
class in their own classroom. Paul's new teaching area is
the old office, now with shelves for storing sewing material
etc. We cannot make this area all dusty with a chalk board, so a
whiteboard has been purchased and will be hung on the wall
opposite the shelves.
Our nursery children are looking smart in
their new uniform as they line up after their breakfast break.
All the Skills and Lower
Basic classes are now enjoying using the library every week.
They are timetabled to come in small groups and Sainabou, our
library assistant, hears them read, helping any who find reading
difficult. Skills 2 are using the library in this photo.
This week Ruth had to go back to the UK
after spending three weeks helping at Sunrise. She has been a
great help in the office with all the administration, printing
and sorting out computer problems, then also helping with
hearing children read when school started. Thank you, Ruth!
Week ending 29th
The end of the first
week of the new academic year! Parents who came to Sunrise
this week wanting to register their child, had to be told that
they had left it too late, there were no more places available
and we already had a waiting list for lower basic and nursery
New school year, new
uniform. The nursery now have yellow check material, the boys
brown trousers are the same as before.
The Lower Basic now have a small red check
The skills uniform remains the same - they
learn to make the tie and die top and the skirt or trousers
during their lessons here.
The class below are our new Skills intake this year - they look
happy to be at Sunrise!
We have a new teacher starting with us this year,
Mr Williams. He is teaching Lower Basic Grade 1 and here he is
below after school, sharpening pencils ready for the next day.
Our new nursery children
have settled down well and certainly seem to be enjoying school!
These children are only
three so are learning through play,though this week they have
also been learning to recognise red, blue and yellow and to make
the ssss sound of a snake when then see the letter 's'
Some more N1 children busy
matching the shapes to the holes in these wooden boards, here
helped by Mbacho, our N1 teaching assistant. If it doesn't fit
first time some of them try to hammer then into the hole with
AGM 2nd September 2017
This year our AGM was held in Driffield,
our thanks go to Angela Longoni-Sarr for arranging the venue,
complete with screen and projector to enable us to illustrate
the progress of the charity throughout the past year.
Our AGMs are held in different places every year to enable
supporters in different areas to meet the main officials and
supporters of the charity. If you would like the AGM to be in
your area next year please
We always provide a buffet lunch before the meeting as we know
some people travel many miles to attend and this year Sue took a
photo of some of the food waiting for hungry travellers.
At this AGM we were very happy to welcome a new trustee for GETS
- Pat Taylor, who together with her husband, have been visiting
Sunrise since 2014 and sponsor two children there. You can read
more about Pat here