On 2nd July, Mr A Jones, Mrs M Morgan and six Year 12 students travelled to Sri Lanka to support the work of the charity, HelpLanka. While in Sri Lanka, the team spent week-day mornings teaching English in a rural school. Our students were responsible for delivering lessons to children aged between 5 and 11 years old. The students were able to provide the children with variety of fun and engaging learning opportunities, whilst the students themselves developed new skills and gained confidence during the two weeks of teaching. Mr Jones was also able to use his expertise as a PE teacher to provide sports lessons, along with a donation of cricket equipment. The Principal of the school was thoroughly delighted with the pupils’ opportunities to have sports lessons, as this is something that is very difficult to include in the curriculum, due to lack of resources. Mrs Morgan also provided the school with ICT lessons to pupils and provided some basic training for the teachers, using the one PC that they had in the school. The school was also given numerous teaching resources including a laptop that had kindly been donated by Miss Rowe. The children at the school thoroughly enjoyed the experience of the visit and tears were shed when it was time for our departure.
Afternoons were spent in various locations. Children’s homes and orphanages were visited and the team provided face painting, arts and crafts sessions, games and sport. Tristan Jeans spent several hours teaching children how to create loom band bracelets, which they were highly captivated with and Nathan Cogbill became quite adept at badminton. The team was able to donate toys, books and equipment to these homes and all these materials will certainly be put to good use in these facilities, as their own resources are so limited. A large collection of hearing aids were also donated to a school for deaf children.
The team also had the opportunity to discover some of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful tourist attractions. A particular favourite was the elephant sanctuary on route to Kandy, a family-run facility which is the only non-profit organisation working with captive elephants in Sri Lanka. The students also enjoyed the opportunity to watch the Sri Lankan cricket team play a One Day International cricket game against South Africa, at the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. They even had the opportunity to soak up the lively atmosphere and meet the local people in these welcoming and cheerful surroundings. The students also had the chance to gain some cultural experiences when they visited the Golden Temple of Dambulla, the Lions Rock at Sigiriya and various museum about Sri Lanka main trade produce.
The students worked hard throughout their time in Sri Lanka and were complimented by the charity organiser and local people alike. The enthusiasm and kindness that they showed was exemplary and they were excellent representatives of Barry Comprehensive School. However, none of this would have been possible without the support and generous donations of pupils, parents, staff and members of the local community, without this the team would have been unable to provide so many resources or made such an impact in Sri Lanka.
If you are in Year 12, and would like to be considered for this amazing opportunity, details of how you can apply will be coming soon. If you would like any more information about what the trip entails, or would like to offer your support for next summer’s trip, please speak to Mr Bourton, Mr Jones or Mrs Morgan.