Saturday, 24 February 2007

I'm back!

 

I’m back!  Did you miss me?  I would have posted an entry sooner, only I have been very busy since I have returned from Pembroke.  I stayed in a cottage in a place called Stackpole with three other Viva members and two staff members.

 

                            

 

The cottage was very cosy with four bedrooms, a living room, a dining area and two bathrooms with a bath and shower.  We had no T.V, that didn’t matter.  We made our own entertainment by playing cards and board games, listening to music and reading books and magazines.  The time passed very quickly.

 

 

In this residential we learnt the Rights of a Child, the Importance of Working Together and Confidence Building.  I found these workshops interesting.  Some media students filmed what went on over the three days to make a DVD, and I am on it briefly.

 

 

On Tuesday evening, we watched the Viva Pantomime 2006 “Cinderella”.  It was hilarious watching it back on a laptop.  We raised £240 by putting on the pantomime.  I have ordered a DVD of the show to watch.  My family are excited to watch it, as some of them were not able to attend on the night.  A few of the staff members are going on a trek to Peru to raise £250,000 for the charity.

 

 

 

I had a fabulous time in Pembroke.  It was nice to have a short break away from home, but it’s always nice to be back.

 

 

I shall spend the rest of the day going through my sidebar catching up on Journal entries I have missed.  Then I will be watching the rugby match Wales vs. France.  A few of my relations have gone to Paris to watch the match.  We haven’t won a single game yet this season, so fingers crossed the Welsh team will win.    

 

Have a great weekend.

 

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Ciao For Now!

I am going away for 3 days from tomorrow.  I am going to a place called Pembrokeshire in West Wales with a four other members of the Viva Project.  We are members of the Young Disabled People of Wales Network.

 

We meet up every year to discuss problems that a disabled person might face, and attempt to find ways to improve the problems.  There are also workshops to take part in.  Some are fun, some are boring.  But the great thing is you make new friends and meet old ones.

 

I only joined the Network last year, so I am fairly new to all this.  But I am really looking forward to a few days away from home.  One thing I shall miss though is my mobile phone.  There is limited reception in Pembroke so I won’t be able to text or call as much.  I will be busy, so I won’t need to anyway. 

 

As many of you may remember, last summer I went on holiday to Lanzarot√© (click, just added holiday photos from 2006).  I didn’t take my phone because I was afraid it may be stolen.  At the end, I had forgotten how to text.  It was like I had been given a new toy to play with; I had to learn all over again, LOL!

 

I have noticed in the last few months, people have very suddenly gone private or have deleted their journal.  I find this very strange, but people have their reasons.  I hope you are all well, and you all have a wonderful week.

 

Thanks to my ADC Group for graphics.

Friday, 16 February 2007

Work Experience - Day 5

 

Today was my last official day at my work placement.  It’s a pity the placement was only a week long.  But I will be going back there after half term to help as a volunteer.  It will be good to see everyone again.

 

 

This morning, the children had “Show & Tell” where they all had to sit in a circle and share news and show things to the class.  That was an easy job for me.  All I had to do was ask “What’s your news you’d like to share?” and then respond appropriately.

 

 

Then after break I gave the students a spelling test.  That went really well.  It took about twenty minutes.  We watched a recording of last year’s Christmas play, which was fabulous!  It was based on Lionel Bart's musical "Oliver!".  Then, all afternoon I had a song stuck in my head... "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" from "My Fair Lady", LOL!

 

 

The afternoon passed by very quickly.  We had a birthday party as it was three pupils’ birthdays in the half term holidays.  They will be eight years old.  We all had a slice of cake, and they had a lucky bag which contained some sweets.

 

 

At the end of the day, Mr. Rees told the class my news that I would be returning after Half Term.  Some screamed, some shouted, some even jumped around the classroom.  Clearly by that reaction, my visit had a positive impact on the children.

 

 

I have had an awesome week at theprimary school.  I would like to thank Mrs. Evans, Mr. Taylor and all the other staff for this wonderful opportunity I had.  I had a marvellous time, and I can’t wait to go back to visit soon.

 

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Work Experience - Day 4

 

Today has been very chaotic!  The pupils had their photographs taken to celebrate Saint David’s Day.  Unfortunately, one of the pupils did not appear in it.  The children had lined up to go to the Hall.

 

 

One of the boys Kevin stayed behind to ‘wait for his sister’ as he was going home for dinner.  He didn’t have a rugby top, so the teacher asked him to put on his red school jumper.  That way he would not stand out from the other pupils.

 

 

I asked him why he was not at the hall with everyone else he said “I do not have a rugby top”.  So I repeated his teacher’s instructions.  He disappeared for a while afterwards, so I assumed he had gone to get his photo taken.

 

 

Five minutes later, the class returned asking where Kevin was, and why he wasn’t with them.  Turns out he didn’t want his photograph taken for the local newspaper.  As you can imagine, the staff were very disappointed.

 

 

Then, that afternoon a child’s lunch money was stolen from his locker.  So the afternoon was spent trying to find out who had taken it.  I helped a group make the last batch of sandwiches.  Another group wrote out their evaluations, and another watch a DVD called “High School Musical”.

 

 

At the end of the day, I was given some gifts from the children.  Daniel made me a leek badge out of tissue paper to wear on St. David’s Day.  I also helped Daniel make a Valentine’s card ‘for a girl he really liked’ yesterday.  He said “It’s a thank you card for you, Sir”.  On the inside, he had written:

To Mr. Edwords,

Thank you for everythin.

From Dan J

(Awww bless him!)

 

One girl called Nia, drew me a picture of a flower with the words “Thank you for the sunny days!”  I think I shall keep a scrapbook of the mementoes the children have made for me.

 

 

I hope the children won’t be too upset as it is my last day tomorrow.  I shall be returning back to the school after half term to do some voluntary work, so the kids haven’t got rid of me that easily!

 

Ciao for now xxx

 

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Work Experience - Day 3

 

Tonight’s entry is going to be short and sweet..  The school are hosting an Eisteddfod on March 1st, to celebrate the life of our patron Saint David.  I was amazed at how quickly the children had remembered their dialogue.  It usually takes me a few weeks for me to learn lines, but the pupils picked it up really easily.

 

 

Then in the afternoon, I was given an opportunity to observe how a Learning Support Assistant helps a child during a maths lesson.  I know I used to get very frustrated if I couldn’t solve a maths problem.  It used to get me down a lot. 

 

 

The LSA will take will take the child a calm environment to complete work, and sometimes they play games to help them understand.  Part of the role of an LSA is to build up a child’s confidence and self-esteem.  When I was in the room watching the child, I noticed the glow of happiness when they got a question right.  Their face would light up like a light.

 

 

The head teacher said to me she did not think teaching would be a suitable career choice for me.  She thought I would be better as a Learning Support Assistant because I have a ‘calming, reassuring nature which will be a child’s self-esteem’.  I would also be able to work with the one child and not worry about others in the class. 

 

 

At the moment, career-wise I am standing at a crossroads and have no idea what the future may hold for me.  After Half Term, I will have to complete thirty hours voluntary work as part of my Welsh Baccalaureate A-Level.  I have been asked to do the work at this primary school.  I have accepted.

 

 

I can’t wait to see the pupils’ faces when I tell them that I shall be spending more time with them I thought.  Can you imagine?  I really don’t want this week to end!  I’m enjoying the experience so much. 

 

 

Hope you’re all well.  Until tomorrow,

 

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Work Experience - Day 2

 

I was dropped off by the school gates this morning by my grandmother.  I walked in through the entrance.  Standing there to greet me was Daniel.  He said he would wait for me to arrive, as he did not want me to get lost on my way to class (Awww, isn’t that sweet!)

 

 

I followed him into the classroom and sat down.  I was told by their teacher I would help another group, as they attempt to solve some more division problems.  The majority were okay with them, and did not need any help.  But some were really competitive and kept shouting the answers at each other, LOL!

 

 

In the afternoon, ‘Super Chef’ Leigh was at the rescue once again!  I helped a group of nine pupils in their weekly cookery lesson make sandwiches.  They are quite a big class of thirty two students, so some more people will cook tomorrow and another on Thursday.

 

 

The sandwiches contained a variety of fillings, such as ham, cheese and tomato sauce and bacon and sausage smothered in brown sauce.  The lesson left my mouth watering with all the lovely aromas of the food.  Tomorrow, the children will have to write an evaluation of how the sandwich tasted and how it could be better next time.

 

 

I think it's better to teach cookery skills to younger pupils so they can learn to look after themselves when they grow older.

 

 

After that lesson, Daniel showed me a story he had written about a fire-breathing dragon.  

Then he asked me, “Sir, when are you leaving us?”

“Friday”, I said, “Why?”

He replied: “Sir, please don’t go, I want you to stay to help me”.

“Don’t worry, I’m still here for three days yet”, I said.

“I’m glad; see you tomorrow, Mr. Edwards”.

 

 

Awww, by the end of the day, I felt really guilty I was leaving them on Friday, but inevitably all good things come to an end sooner or later.

 

Until tommorrow, good night folks!

 

 

Thanks to my ADC Group for providing graphics.

Monday, 12 February 2007

Work Experience - Day 1

 

As many of you know, I started at my work experience placement this morning.  I was allocated to work with a class of 7-8 year old pupils at a local primary school.  This morning, I was a little apprehensive as my grandmother drove me to the school gates.  I wondered how so many classrooms could fit into such a small space.

 

 

I walked in through the entrance and was greeted by the Deputy Head teacher and the secretary.  I was introduced to the teacher I would be working with and some of the students.

 

 

The bell rang.  In walked thirty more students and they sat on the carpet.  It was so daunting to have thirty pairs of gaze at me and whisper “Who’s that?”

 

 

I helped a group learn their multiplication tables and solve some division problems in a maths lessons.  Maths isn’t one of my best subjects, but I could DO their sums!

 

 

After break, the children had R.E.  They were working on a project about Judaism.  I have been taught so little about Judaism, I learnt something new.  I thought to myself “Why do they have to learn about that particular faith?”  I came to the conclusion they were learning about different faiths in a multi-cultural society.

 

 

They were also learning the importance of 'skimming' and 'scanning' by using programs like Google and Encarta to search for information and write the important details in their own words.  This is an important skill they need to learn for their later education.  I am in comprehensive, and even now I find it difficult to do this while writing essays.  

 

 

One boy, who I shall call Daniel, said I was his ‘favourite teacher’ and at break time, he offered me a custard cream biscuit… my favourite!

 

 

I can’t wait what adventures tomorrow will bring.  Will keep you all updated daily on how I am getting on.  Until tomorrow, good night xx

 

 

Thanks to my ADC Group for providing today's graphics.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Let It Snow!

Yes, it was forecast earlier in the week, and for once the weathermen were proved to be right.

Over the last two days, Great Britain has ground to a halt.  We can't cope with a few inches of snow.  As you can imagine it's led to chaos.  Many schools (including mine), airports and roads have closed throughout the country because of the heavy snowfall.

I woke up at 07:25a.m on Thursday morning.  I really panicked because I thought I was late for school.  I couldn't believe it as I looked at the view from my bedroom window.  My back garden was covered by a white blanket of snow.

I have not dared venture out and about in these conditions.  Knowing my luck, I would probably slip, as I am unsteady on my feet.  The last two days have seemed really long and drawn out, because of this.

I shall close this entry here, as I seem to have been on the computer all morning typing this. Stay safe and warm this weekend.

Thank you to Donna and my ADC Group for providing the graphics used in today's entry.