Friday, November 7, 2014

Back to Work

Back to Work

   So following our week off work due to unforeseen circumstances, we have had a pretty busy week. Not only have we had to catch up on the office work we have also had to catch up on our sports and awareness raising sessions. Because of this our schedule has been jam packed. However, were not complaining. We’ve had a blast this week, and also had the opportunity to take along the HSB team to our sessions at ABPAM and Cefise. Here’s the run down on this week’s antics:


On Wednesday the team happily returned to Cefise School for our inclusive sport sessions with class CE1 which has 80+ children, a much bigger class size than what we are used to in the UK. For this session our team was joined by 2 members of the HSB team Olivia and Cedric. The session started with a fun warm-up which included lots of stretching and movement and then the class was divided into 4 groups for the planned activities: tennis relay, relay, ball balancing and under/over.

Having the other HSB team join us made us reflect on our progress, at the start of the placement we lacked confidence and were unsure of how to be involved not forgetting the obvious language barrier. But now a month in as a team we are confident leading warm-ups and running activities. Our French has improved with the language exchanges with our National volunteers and we are much more confident and able to be fully involved with the sessions. Anna

Cool Down
Tennis Ball Balance


This week at ABPAM I feel like something changed for me. While I can see the benefits of our sessions for a majority of the children there I discovered this week that our sessions may not be as beneficial for one of our students. The student I’m referring to is a young boy who is blind and also seems like he has some sort of intellectual disability, maybe autism. While I have noticed this student before I haven’t had the opportunity to watch him complete a session, however this week we had more staff than usual giving me the perfect opportunity to observe. The observation really gave me something to think about. While the classes we teach are often mixed in age and ability all of the activities usually cater to this however I really believe that this student could use some more one on one help. During one game he was put in a group with students of his own age, playing a game in which the students had to roll a ball left, right and diagonal according to the numbers being shouted by the activity leader, players who got it wrong were out. While I sat close to him trying to explain the rules it was evident that he didn’t understand meaning that he was the first player to be out of the game. Because of what I’ve seen today I have set myself a goal. From now on I will try to work one on one with this student as much as possible, hopefully ensuring that he can feel comfortable participating in our sports sessions. I’ve started some research to see how I can best support him and have found some really helpful tips. I would really love to be able to help this student even if I can only help him understand one game I think that it may give him some confidence, something that can go a long way for him.  Abbie

Abbie leading Balance Board Activity

Corded Relay with Tom, Tankuano and Melissa

Lycée Leaders de Demain

Today we arrived at Leaders of Demain after a cheeky half an hour session at ABPAM. As I chugged back some of Delieka’s glorious homemade Bissap we were pulled toward our first session. Both classes on Disability Awareness that we performed had very similar properties and thus I will explain them as one.  As I walked into the room it was a sea of older and undoubtable wiser faces, as the youngest of the entire cohort I often feel slightly awkward about teaching older individuals on a topic that they potentially have more knowledge about. However Kabré felt right at home and marched around the room asking questions, developing debates and picking on the quiet ones of the group. I spat out every word of my 3 questions like throwing up a brick, each syllable being dragged out my mouth (I’m not exactly skilled in reading French - especially if the specific vocab is Alien to me). Because of my issues I had to repeat myself a couple of times to actually get the question across. Along with Abbie and Anna even Cat had difficulty being understood. However despite these challenges it was elating to see the students getting deeply involved in the questions and returning them with in depth answers. It reminded me of watching a tennis match moving my head backward and forward to keep up with the debate between team members and a given student, except here I was boggled by the French. Tom

All in all this week has been busy but has also given us the opportunity that we needed to reflect upon our work. We were able to notice our achievements, our flaws and also why love this programme. Were at the end of our sixth week here now and are starting to realise how fast it’s going and how soon it will be over. But we love it here and love our work so are making the most of it while we still have the time. Peace out!!

HSB Sport Inclusive Team

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