Barry Comprehensive School is proud to continue to develop its links with Sri Lanka and the charity Help Lanka. In July, 6th Form students Emily Linton, Natalia Davies, Elliot Clissold, Daniel Saunders, Joshua Callis, Matthew Williams, Joshua Albertides and Jacques Sloman along with teachers Miss. Walters, Mr. Bourton and Miss Bagshaw, departed for a working educational trip of a lifetime. Rather than spending two weeks on the beach, the group worked in local orphanages and schools.
Each sixth former was responsible for teaching a variety of classes every morning in the Ihalayogoda School. The Sri Lankan teaching staff were very welcoming and keen for our students to share their knowledge and enhance the conversational skills of the local pupils. Barry Comprehensive students’ skills were put to work within an hour of arriving at the school! The children were all enthusiastic and responded well to the resources and lessons that the sixth form students had prepared. Every day was a new challenge as sometimes they were asked to teach a new class with only five minute notice but they responded like true professionals.
A typical day started with a 6am with a singing alarm clock in the form of Mr Bourton! After travelling to the school the students were in front of a class by 7.30am. They went from class to class and were on duty at break times playing sports with the pupils. Following a break for lunch the team travelled to other schools and orphanages where the focus was on craft, art and sporting activities. These venues provide support for deaf, dumb, blind and orphaned children and adults with learning difficulties. Once back at the charity house, where we all stayed, the students’ work started again with planning for the next day’s activities and teaching.
The trip was a very rewarding and emotional experience for everyone. Since returning the students have continued to support the children they met with donations of clothes, money and letters to maintain the important links that have been established over a number of years. It is very humbling that the Etiawela school children remembered the sixth form students from July 2011 and all that they had contributed to their learning. The school is already planning next year’s trip!
Everyone involved in the trip would like to thank all the pupils, parents, family and staff at Barry Comprehensive School who donated money, time and equipment to support the Sri Lankan children, the schools and orphanages.