The Blog

The world at our finger tips!

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Arrival: Our New Home

Project 3 arrived into Kisumu airport on Saturday 31st August. We arrived safely, on schedule and majority of luggage also arriving with us. We were greeted by the Chalkboard Kenya team, Chelsea and Dunn, who were ready to escort us new recruits back to our home and teaching base, Mama Orphans Children’s Home in Busia. […]

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Maths Is Not Just For Mathematicians

It is an unfortunate misconception that maths is simply a messenger with practical answers for real life problems. It is also rather distressing that some people believe that the secrets behind the interesting side of maths can only be unlocked by “mathematicians” (by which I mean, people who have an official piece of paper saying […]

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The Kenya Olympics 2013

The Kenya Olympics 2013 was a fun and enjoyable week for all the kids and I! It was a great opportunity to bring all the children together during school time and complete a fun task, as one big team! Kenya Olympics 2013 was the biggest project I attempted with the children. A huge amount of […]

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From one Extreme to Another

In the past I have heard people say things like “oh we’re so lucky to be British”….. “Children don’t know they’re even born!” Having visited and worked in rural Kenya in an orphanage, I now realise the true meaning of these statements; I AM extremely lucky to be British and I’m proud to say I […]

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Creativity within Chalkboard

Teaching Art and Design in Kenya is great fun, although challenging. For me the biggest hurdle to overcome is that the children want to copy rather than experiment with their own ideas. It is clear that the more enjoyable lessons are the practical ones; whether this is building, painting, modelling or Paper Mache’ing’. All of […]

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How do you say goodbye? …

Many people say goodbye in a variety of ways. Some opt for the quiet, sneak away departure while others chose the long goodbye with hug after hug full of promises that neither party is sure they can fulfil but said with the most heart felt intentions. It is never easy. Your journey or visit never […]

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Nursery Blog

The nursery children are fabulous! It’s a joy to teach my class and I feel incredibly privileged – they are eager to learn and very motivated. One of the main challenges in this area for me is the language barrier; as they are still relatively quite young, the children’s’ English is still developing. Therefore I […]

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Play: Art and Design

Having been asked to do an activities lesson by conveying information through play I decided to focus on teaching basic aerodynamics by creating paper airplanes. Throughout the day, classes 2 to 5 all folded, designed and tested their planes to see how they could enhance their distance of flight. All lessons proved to be successful […]

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Ruma Weekend

Setting off in the early hours of the morning we all clambered into the Mattatu and headed in the direction of Ruma National Park to enjoy a weekend of Safari. Although it was a gruelling six hour journey on rough roads, the views along the way of homes, shops and vast expanses were both incredible […]

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Play! Physical Education!

One of the main perceived concepts of PE is play.  However, educational play should be valued just the same and must be incorporated into lessons. A short period of time of the lesson was dedicated to learning some anatomy of the body. This educational concept can be daunting to the pupils so I incorportated it […]

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Play! Maths!

For my play lesson I firstly decided to split the students into teams. Having each group cut out triangles with sums and products on seperate sides. Meaning the matching sides are equal. Forming a new shape. The main aim of this is to develop their ability to conduct mental arithmetic with addition and times tables. […]

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Nursery – Play/Active Learning Lesson!

Firstly, numeracy and phonics are extremely vital at this stage of a child’s developmental process. Therefore, on a daily basis I have been doing numeracy and language lessons every morning with the nursery class. I wanted to make these lessons fun and interactive. Numeracy – so to develop the children’s number recognition, in pairs, I […]

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Play! Music!

Making a music lesson interactive and fun is easy – hand the children a few drumsticks or some empty water bottles and within seconds the room will be alive. The challenge I have found is in reaching a balance between informative learning and also physical and musical activity. Without a doubt many of the children […]

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Play! Science Fun!

Incorporating play into an educational environment can be a fun, exciting and extremely educational. This is largely due to the blood flow circulating to the brain through laughter and exercise. With the help of class 4 my aim of the day was an assault course of the body! We started with two teams – reds […]

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New Uniform

In October we arrived at the David Moore Academy in Busia, Kenya and one of our first thoughts was, “Wow – The uniform is torn, warn-out and simply does not fit.” Thanks to the generosity of The Dragon School, Oxford this problem has been turned into a fantastic solution. They have managed to provide the […]

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Maths First Lesson

Initially, I was both nervous and excited for my first lesson, this was to be at 7:30 am with Class 5. As soon as my lesson began all my anxiety turned into excitement. We started practicing our multiplication tables as a class chanting them out loud together. After a successful warm-up we swiftly moved onto […]

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Tutoring Success!!!

At Chalkboard Kenya all pupils have homework time around 4.30 – 6pm everyday. In addition to this, some pupils get 1-1 tutition time; helping them to improve their English. As a teacher here in Kenya, I have taken part in this process and have seen massive results. All set with chalkboards, chalk and a box […]

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Reflection on a Beginning

So I am sitting outside on a concrete slab attempting to write my very first Chalkboard Kenya blog. My experience of Kenya so far has been nothing short of incredible – and it’s only been a week! 25 lessons down and its certainly been a steep learning curve. I imagine teaching science in any country […]

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Touching Down in Kenya

When we first arrived in Kisumu with the other volunteers we were warmly welcomed by Jeremy and three of the four previous teachers. All of which looking extremely tanned and incredibly happy. After a long lunch we said our goodbyes and set off for Busia. The realisation of actually being in Kenya gradually dawned on […]

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Meet the Team

After a week at the David Moore Academy our Teachers have settled in wonderfully. There is a real team spirit within the Chalkboard Office. Lesson ideas and school developments are bouncing off each other. Please meet our fantastic team of Chalkboard Teachers.   Pavandeep Singh – Maths Teacher I have had a desire for Mathematics […]

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To understand science you must to prove science. To remember science you must do science!

S  chool C  lass I   nternet E  ducation N  umber C  entury E  xciting This is what science means for Class 4. Discovering science comes in many ways, but here in this small town in Western Kenya, Africa comes in just one way: el natural. I left the IT suite of Sweden to find the […]

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CBK1 Departure

There are people and places we fall in love with we tend to admit it however sometimes we don’t. Not everybody is as free; beautiful or as forward thinking as we may wish them to be, but  what is important, is our cultural mix. To accept the different and the new! Although we knew from […]

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Asante Project One

After an emotional goodbye with every child in the orphanage, our first project team departed with happy memories and lighter suitcases. A big thank you to Emilia, Chelsea, Julie and Alex for allowing Alec and I to turn an idea into a teaching reality. A big thank you to them, from the children who have […]

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Ruma National Park

After spending the whole week trying to find a car to rent we finally got ‘‘Unga’’, that’s how we named her, on friday night. Saturday morning began with a very interesting football game between our team ‘‘Daraja’’, (bridge in Swahili) and another team made up of Busia’s street children brought together by two friendly Americans. […]

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Rusinga Island

After a short ferry ride we arrived at an island slightly larger than the five of us crazy ‘muzungus’ were expecting, if you didn’t already know ‘muzungu’ means foreign person. As the car rattled along an extremely bumpy road, we found ourselves playing a surprisingly fun game – avoiding the potholes. Soon we arrived at […]

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Jinja – Uganda

Another weekend begins with the arrival of Chalkboard Kenya’s wonderful co-founder Mr J.Brown, a great relief for Alec as he now has some male company amongst us four lovely ladies. He came bearing gifts for Alec’s birthday which ended up being a real treat for us all as we were able to have a nice […]

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Teaching at Mama Orphan’s

Well it’s not every day that you have a lizard wander into the classroom but apparently in Kenya it’s not a rarity. I can honestly say it has been quite the contrast as a trainee teacher coming from teaching in quite a modern school in Aberdeenshire to teaching in our muddy little village of Busia. […]

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Kakamega Rainforest

Our first weekend in Busia required a chilled day as we recovered from a hectic week. A nice long lie in followed by an evening in The Quill, we were able to kick back and watch the Champions League Final accompanied by a meaty meal. The most rewarding aspect of The Quill is however the […]

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Project 1 – Our Introduction to Mama’s Orphanage

On arrival to Mama Orphans Children’s Home we were greeted with a very warm welcome. The children had stayed up past their bed time to sing to us as we passed through the gates to our new home. Having had such a heart warming introduction we all knew the next six weeks would be amazing. […]

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2013 programme dates are out!

I am very pleased to announce that we have opened all four of our Kenyan 2013 placement schemes for applications. This will be a life changing experience and one we believe will help the teachers of tomorrow gain the ideas and experience they need.
Alec Creed - Managing Director, Co-Founder

All 2013 programme dates are now out and open for applications! I am very pleased to announce that we have opened all four of our Kenyan 2013 placement schemes for applications. This will be a life changing experience and one we believe will help the teachers of tomorrow gain the ideas and experience they need. […]

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A new partnership with Alive and Kicking

    Since coming back from Kenya we have been building many new relationships with other social enterprises and charities. We are very please to announce that Chalkboard Kenya is now in partnership with Alive and Kicking, an African social enterprise that manufactures sports balls to provide balls for children, create jobs for adults and promote […]

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The Painting Three

Many Apologies for the lack of a blog. However we have been spending the last 5 days up to our ears in paint pots, filler and any tools we can get our hands on. We’ve learnt a lot about Kenyan hardware stores, bargaining and more on African timings, however we still have a long way […]

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Playing With Anything

“Sending a child into the corner to think about what he has done is useless here. In Africa, he would just lick his finger and draw on the floor”

the orphanage manager said to me this morning. This is definitely true. Children here can play with anything. Take mud for an example. Jose, age 4, has learnt from the older kids that if you find wet mud, you can shape into anything you like. However this must be done in the shade. Once the […]

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The Beginning of the Chalkboard Library

Today saw the start of a new era. The Chalkboard Library began.  We passed a book seller in the market. It turns out books in Kenya can come at 40 pence a piece. We spent the remainder of what was in our pockets. There were Kenyan classics such as, The River Between by Ngugi Wa […]

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Responsibility at an early age

This week we have been conducting lesson observations. Allowing us to fully understand the Kenyan curriculum and teaching process. Whilst also observing the teaching styles and abilities of the current teachers at the David Moore Academy here is Busia. The current system is very much focused on in-classroom teaching. The Chalkboard programme promotes quite a […]

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Rain stops play

    The term, rain stops play was really quite the understatement. For a scorching hot part of the world, Busia managed to produce rainfall that would compete on an Amazonic scale! For Alec and I it was quite the relief. We had a chance to cool off, wash our clothes, wash ourselves and top […]

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Arriving

After an eight-hour coach journey we have finally arrived in Busia. This is where Mama Orphans Children’s Home is located, the starting place for Chalkboard Kenya. We were welcomed off the bus by Brighton (a friendly orphan who has a long history here) who was sent down to collect us from the bus stop. We […]

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Welcome to Kenya

After a couple of pre-flight beers, the chalkboard team swiftly left London in the shadows with the mission of starting our business weighing heavily in our minds. We landed with a bump in Nairobi eight hours later, grabbed a quick Ndazi (Kenyan breakfast) and a taxi to downtown Nairobi. With the help of a chatty […]

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The First Post

This is our first ever post. We are all every exited and can’t wait to get Chalkboard Kenya off the ground and running. If you haven’t already check out our Facebook page, Twitter page! Much love, The Chalkboard Team

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