Week ending 20th
So many wanted their
picture taken with the camel you can hardly see the camel!
Of course their teachers
wanted their picture taken too.
Every trip always ends up
with a picnic on the beach
The blog will restart when
school is allowed to reopen.
We wish all our readers
well during these difficult days.
Week ending 13th
9th March was
Commonwealth Day and was celebrated at Sunrise in many different
ways. All dressed as a member of the Commonwealth, they gathered by the school gate ready to march
through the streets around Sunrise.
N3 pupils dressed as President Adama
Barrow and his First Lady led the procession, with the Minister
of Education (in turquoise) and
After arriving back at Sunrise the students gathered in the hall
facing the High Table where presidents and officials of various
Commonwealth countries were sitting ready to watch the
Proceedings began with a group
representing Britain singing the national anthem, waving the
flag and giving a brief history of the Commonwealth.
The Queen of England and her
This was followed by the nursery children
singing the national anthem of The Gambia, waving the Gambian
flag and reading a brief history of The Gambia
Fatou Deammeh, N1, in her
Lower Basic 1 then sang the national
anthem of Sierra Leone, waved the flag and spoke about Sierra
Lower Basic 2 represented Nigeria, and
Lower Basic 3 represented South Africa.
This was followed by a song from the
choir, trained by Mr Williams.
Lower 4 then represented Ghana, Lower
Basic 5 Jamaica, and Lower Basic 6 Uganda.
There was then a short presentation
about the different cultures and their food, and the day ended
with more singing.
Week ending 6th
Every term we have
a Mufti Day when the students come in their traditional attire.
As you can see it's a very colourful day!
Here is Adama Saine from
Lower Basic grade 6 in her traditional Serere attire, with the
addition of a Sunrise Centre T-shirt!
This group are happy as
they were all prize winners in the Mufti Day competitions.
Chris and Steve have been with us since the
beginning of this term so I thought it time for an update on
their many and varied activities. Chris spends a lot of time in
the nursery and the library, here she is helping a girl catch up
with her reading.
Steve spends all his time working on the
many and varied maintenance jobs that arise at Sunrise. This
blog has mentioned problems with the NAWEC water supply in the
Bakoteh district. Here Steve is painting the underside of the
cover to a pump which was put in to pump water each night to a
storage tank at the top of the Lower Basic building. During the
night more water is available due to less local demand and
pumping then means we have water available during school hours.
Nursery 1 had this
colourful way of showing numbers - the girl in the middle was
essential as the numbers fitted together like a jigsaw and
without her the line collapsed!
The Lower Basic girls
continue to amaze us with their agility in this popular skipping
Week ending 28th February 2020
Several visitors this week - first friends
of Chris, here with
Fay, Stephanie and Maddie.
Angela Gourlay came to see the boy she
sponsors, Abubacarr, but sadly I missed taking her photo. Ingrid
van Zon came with her husband, Mark,
their daughters, Anna and
Frederique and a large suitcase full of gifts for Sunrise, thank
you very much! Ingrid and Mark had been to Sunrise before, about
three years ago and were pleased to see how things had developed
Our skills classes do many
other things besides the cooking and batik often shown in the
blog. They have valuable discussions about Life Skills under the
supervision of Mr Darboe, make clothes under the supervision of
Fatou Nyassi, have classes in English and numeracy, and here
they are having a quiet moment engrossed in knitting or crochet.
|The tree planted
near the skills classrooms and the bantaba a couple of
years ago is growing well now, so no longer needs to be
protected from the energetic games taking place during
during PE and break as it was in this earlier photo,
Hopefully this tree will provide the extra shade needed
during very hot weather - we are
experiencing this at the moment although now is normally
the coolest time of the Gambian year.
Ruth went back home this
week after giving much appreciated help in the office with
general administration and helping in the library during the
past three weeks. Here she is sorting out and repairing a jigsaw
she came across whilst checking the stock of textbooks in a
Another quiet moment in the
library, Ruth and Sainabou hearing reading and Dawn discussing
phonics with Mr Williams.
Week ending 21st
A sign that cookery practical sessions are
under way in the bantaba! The stools are needed for students
copying recipes and other theoretical sessions but are in the
way during practical work.
Today they are cooking fish
The fish was dipped in a
spicy sauce, then placed on a piece of foil.
Then they added some diced vegetables and
wrapped it all up in a parcel ready to cook.
Some of the fish was
grilled outside the bantaba on local stoves using charcoal. The
chips were cooked on the local stoves here too.
Perhaps some of the
students preferred chicken to fish as they were also cooking
chicken in batter outside.
Lots of happy faces here as
Nursery 1 were enjoying singing, clapping and dancing with their
teacher, Sally Ceesay.
Nursery 3 were
industriously colouring in different shapes when I took this
photo, although I did get a suspicious look from one girl as I
popped my head through the open door!
Lower Basic 1 were also
studying shapes in their maths lesson, looking at some common
objects in their text books, comparing them to shapes they knew,
then saying how many faces that shape had.
Week ending 14th
Denise Green, who helped in the
office at Sunrise before moving to Spain, came to see us again,
bringing her sister-in-law and her daughter to have a look at
Nursery assembly is always a lively time as
the children sing and clap with their teachers.
Paul was seen out and about during the
Lower Basic break looking for
photos for the blog. Despite the heat the boys were
energetically playing their game!
When Paul reached Nursery 1 some children
on the red table by the door turned round to see what he was
doing. The class was having a phonics lesson recognising the
sounds and shapes of 's' and 'a'.
Having drawn their patterns
onto white bazin with beeswax, the students in this skills class
were ready to add colour using various dyes
At the end of the procss
they were laying their material out on the hall floor.
We got a lovely smile from
this skills student sitting quietly decorating a pair of flip
flops for her friend.
Week ending 7th
This week Louise, Dawn and Paul's
other daughter, made her first visit to Sunrise. Here she is
with Jojo as the girls in
the Skills 2 cookery class said that they looked like twins!
Skills 1 were making different
combinations of fruit smoothies. Here a pineapple was
being carefully prepared to keep all the goodness without
wasting any of the fruit.
The slices of peeled water
melon had all their seeds removed, the apples were peeled, cored
and sliced then kept in a covered bowl of water so they did not
go brown, lemons and oranges were peeled, sliced and seeds
removed. Bananas, peeled and sliced were ready to add to any of
the various fruit mixes or put aside to make a milkshake.
After all the preparation
came the fun of blending the prepared fruits to make a variety
of smoothies - followed by enjoying drinking the results!
The library is popular with
every visitor to Sunrise, Louise happy to help with hearing the
children read. Perhaps I should add at this point that both Gabi
and Louise are recently retired teachers.
Because the weather
is so hot the LB1 girls congregated under the biggest tree in
Sunrise to take advantage of the shade during PE. Whilst the
boys were playing football the girls were having fun with
clapping, singing and dancing games.
Watching them were two
nursery girls, waiting for older sisters to finish school and
take them home.
Skills 2 were making
cupcakes this week. Jojo is
mixing the ingredients whilst Modou Lamin
is preparing the trays ready for filling with the cake mix and putting in the
oven to bake.
You can see that none got
burnt! After the cupcakes are baked comes the fun bit,
decorating them with pink and white icing.
The final touches of blue
and they are done.
Steve sampling the finished
product - I won't put the picture that came next, after a big
Week ending 31st January 2020
This week Paul and Dawn, two of GETS'
Trustees arrived at Sunrise with their daughter, Gabi, and her
husband, David. Although Gabi and David had been to Africa
before this was their first visit to Gambia and Sunrise. They
really enjoyed seeing Sunrise and spent a lot of time in the
Students in our skills
classes have a wide range of reading ability and whilst some are
happy choosing from the wide range of books available there are
some who have never mastered reading. Our librarian, Sainabou,
makes a point of helping those who are not yet fluent readers.
so is pleased when visitors and regular volunteers hear students
read, giving them extra help and encouragement.
It is far hotter than usual
for this time of year in Gambia so we are very pleased that the
tree planted in the middle of the playground has grown enough to
give a little bit of shade when the children are having their
As our LB6 teacher is currently on
paternity leave, Sulayman Jobe, one of our recently qualified
primary teachers, was taking his class for maths.
Maths in Nursery 1 involved much lower
numbers! They were recognising numbers up to 10 and
singing songs like 'Ten little fingers'
Although the nights are cooler
(20-23degrees} the daily top temperatures for Banjul on the BBC
weather site vary between 38 and 42 degrees- so the garden
needs a lot of watering!
Week ending 24th January 2020
It's good to see the Skills Training students displaying
practical work that is finished and ready to wear. This time it
was a shirt, made by Binta Sonko from Skills year 2. She was
very proud of her work and with good reason!
Each week the sound of children singing comes loud and clear
from the hall. The Nursery children were "acting out" songs with
one of their teachers, Mrs Sally Ceesay. They were certainly in
good voice and it always seems to get the children energised in
We are delighted that our long term supporters and friends,
Chris and Steve Humphries are with us again. Chris does many
things for us including helping with the youngsters who struggle
with reading. Steve (pictured) helps us maintain our second hand
classroom chairs. These were brought to Gambia after the end of
their life in a UK school so they've lasted well, really.
However Steve has to regularly put them back together,
discarding the ones with the worst damage.
Steve has also lined up a set of chairs to go to the welder-man,
nearby, who patches up any broken metal work to give chairs a
third or fourth life!
Weeks ending 17th January 2020
School has now restarted after the
Christmas break and the school is looking good, thanks to our
wonderful cleaner, Awa Nyassi, who cleans the whole school now.
Our previous cleaner has left to further her education and Awa
wants to see if she can manage since the extra cash is really
Break time is pretty
normal with ad hoc games, including French skipping, whilst
others just chat. The mornings are cool now (under 20C) and
children often wear extra clothes under their uniforms until the
day warms to the normal 30-35C.
More formal games take
place on the sports area. Margret Mendy (LB Head girl) is
supervising an LB2 game of football.
At the end of every
day some of the Nursery children, who finish at 1230, have to
wait more than an hour for older brothers and sisters, who are
in classes elsewhere in Sunrise, before going home. This time
can be boring for the children and although they play or chat,
sometime there are problems for staff to sort out.