Day 7: Thursday began with an early morning breakfast in the sunshine before school.
One of the maths teachers invited us to attend his class and experience how maths is taught here. However the work was very difficult in the grade 12 maths class and Jill found it hard to keep up. Even Amy who takes higher maths this year, found it challenging. Despite this, it was fun to work with the learners, solving the problems together. We found that the same techniques were used here as they are at home so it was easy to communicate with one another. It is true what they say- maths is the same in every language! It was also clear just how difficult the lesson can be, with only one teacher and about 70 pupils, it can be hard for everyone to get help.
There was just enough time at the end of the lesson to squeeze in some Scottish country dancing! No maths lesson would be the same without it!
After break we joined an Arts and Culture class with the Grade nines.We had a great time teaching each other traditional songs and learning some new dance moves. First Amy taught the pupils a Scottish country dance. They stood surrounding her in a circle, copying her step-by-step. They picked it up really quickly. Many of the students at Ikusasalethu really enjoy singing and dancing and are very talented in performing because of their natural rhythm and harmony. This is one of the most uplifting things about the school. The children aren’t afraid to share their talents with their classmates and many will just get up and sing or dance in front of their class without any persuasion. This creates a real happy and positive atmosphere within the school.
Then it was our turn to learn. Their Zulu dances contain a lot of high kicks and spins which meant that Jill spent a lot of the time being the cameraman! We learned one of their dances before a dance-off broke out within the class; Girls against Boys! At first the boys were quite shy but after the girls performed a few traditional dances, it was game on! We were told that many of the children are taught these dances and songs from a young age and this is used as a form of entertainment. It is their way of expressing their culture and history and we loved sharing this with them!
The rest of the day was spent visiting different classes, answering more questions about Scottish life and being a part of lessons.
The evening was spent resting- we were all exhausted!