Week ending 12th October 2018
One night this week we had a strong wind
with a thunderstorm so next morning there were huge puddles
everywhere. The wind blew the rain into our hall leaving a big
puddle. By the time I got my camera out nearly all of it had
been swept out! The oyster shells have been a great help, last
year we had to walk through mud and pools of water to get into
the building after heavy rain.
Often it feels cooler after a storm, but
it is still very hot and sticky. However, everywhere is green
and the plants and flowers are flourishing. Visitors to Sunrise
are welcomed by these flowers by the entrance. It is nearing the
end of the rainy season and the paintwork has suffered as usual!
One of our caretakers is a keen gardener
and he has planted some maize in a spare corner of the school.
Two trees have also been
planted to give some shade. This one, where PE lessons
take place, has been given a cage both to help it to grow
upright and to protect it from damage by footballs and other
hazards. We hope it will grow tall and strong like the tree in
The other tree has been
planted in the middle of the playground, protected by a
wall which will provide seats in the shade when the tree gets
Even in this heat, the boys
can be seen in the background playing one of their ball games -
whilst the bigger boys are energetically chasing after a
football on the sports area the other side of the school.
As part of their
Hospitality course Skills were learning the correct way to lay a
table this week - only one cup got broken in the process! Many
of the skills students hope to eventually get a job working in a
restaurant, either waiting at table or in the kitchen.
We are pleased to welcome Ramatoulie
back in the office at Sunrise. It is always good to have a
cheerful face ready to deal with visitors. It is amazing the
amount of paper work involved even running a fairly small school
Week ending 5th October 2018
Apart from one vacancy in Grade 5, our
classes are now all full, and all are settled into their
new classes with a new teacher.
Lower Basic listening to
one of their teachers in assembly
Nursery 1 all happily
clapping with Mbacho. Next day they were jumping on the spot,
counting 1, 2 - not all stopping on 2 of course!
We now have the results of the National Assessment Tests that
Grade 5 had to take this June. All the Grade 5 pupils in Gambia
had to sit these exams on the same day with invigilators not
from their own school. The pass mark is 40% and a chart
showing the results has to be displayed in every school showing
the percentage of boys and girls achieving the pass mark.
We set Sunrise a target, we aimed for at least 80% of the pupils
achieving a pass! We nearly made it but not quite. Only 72% of
the girls gained passes in maths and only 67% of both boys and
girls gained passes in science - Grade 5 is the first year they
start to learn science.
Next year it will be the turn of Grade 3 to sit the National
Week ending 28th
on 24th September, but Sunrise was a busy place the week before
that! The parents of students already at Sunrise were coming in
to collect the material needed to make new school uniforms and
other parents were coming to see if there was a place for their
child at Sunrise. Every September there is a new intake of 3-4
year olds for Nursery 1 and these places were soon filled. We
restrict our class sizes to 30 students in both the Nursery and
the Lower Basic school so it is 'first come first served' and
many parents leave it too late and have to be disappointed.
Some GETS supporters
sponsor students at schools other than Sunrise and these
students were bringing in their school reports and a thank you
letter for their supporters. They were also bringing in their
school bills for the next year, as these have to be paid in the
first weeks of the new school year or the schools send the
children home until the fees are paid!
When they come into Sunrise
Helen takes a photo of them and that is emailed to each sponsor
together with the student's report and thank you letter. Here
are just four of the externally sponsored students who came into
Saikou Tamba is
in Grade 5
at Greatland School
Jallow is in
Grade 6 at Brufut Lower Basic
Rabiatou Jarra is
in Grade 9
at New Covenant school
Her older sister,
is in Grade 11
at SOS Senior Secondary school
Followers of our blog will
know that, this was the first year that students graduated from
Grade 6 at Sunrise Lower Basic and had to move on to an Upper
Basic school. As many of Grade 6 had been at Sunrise since
staring in our nursery, it was sad to see them leave after many
years at Sunrise. Nine of the thirty LB6 students had been
sponsored and five of these sponsors wanted to continue
sponsoring that student, here is one of them, Florian Gomez.
Florian came to show us her
new school uniform, for as she comes from a Christian family she
had chosen to go to St Therese's Upper Basic The other four
sponsored students have started at Kotu Upper Basic and we hope
to hear more about them soon.
Give as you
Live has raised over 8 million
pounds for charities since it started in 2010
GETS are registered with Give as you Live
and have been showing the logo on our webpages since September
The records show that we have
supporters using Give as you Live - can we increase this number?
4,000 online retailers will give a percentage of your purchase
to GETS if you register on this page
The percentage is only small
- but 'many a mickle makes a muckle' from the old Scots
misquoted saying! Every penny counts!
After registering with the
site you can download a donation reminder button for Chrome
which can take you to the shop you want to visit. If you
forget to shop through using this button a reminder will pop up
on every site which is part of the scheme asking you if you want
to raise money for GETS.
If you have an iphone or an
ipad you can download an app which will give you easy navigation
to your favourite stores with a fast and intelligent browser
enabling you to shop faster on-the-go.
If you don't use Chrome, ipad
or iphone just type
into your usual browser - you can still use Give as you Live
time I log into our charity account with Give as you Live there
will be many more than eight supporters!
Annual General Meeting
- September 1st 2018 - Lichfield
Our AGM this year was held at Lichfield -
many thanks to Chris and Steve Humphries for organising the
venue for us. We like to try different areas for our AGMs in the
hope of attracting new attendees, so if you know of a suitable
venue in your area do let us know.
Most people consider AGMs boring so we make
a great effort to make ours interesting, we start off with a
light lunch -
Powerpoint presentations on screen are
able to show many photos of GETS activities of the past year, so
there are no long boring reports!
Officers and trustees have
to be elected at each AGM. The officers are the same as last
year, Chairman -Tony Nelson, Treasurer - Paul Webster and
Secretary - Sue Nelson. Pat Taylor and Dawn Webster were
re-elected as Trustees, but Barry Young did not stand for
Tony is seen here with
Barry, as, after thanking him for the valuable help he gave
whilst a trustee, Tony gave him a small (but welcome!) gift.
If you think you would like
to help GETS by becoming a Trustee we would be delighted to hear