GVI creates new system for supporting Navunisea District School through exam periods
At the start of August, Navunisea District School students undertook their end of term exams. As in all schools Worldwide, this part of the school term is busy and stressful for teachers and students alike. In previous school terms, intense revision regimes and changing exam timetables have meant GVI volunteers have faced limitations getting into the classroom to assist and have been unable to consistently see both remedial and academically talented students for their one on one tuitions. Given our long term objective to improve literacy as well as supporting classroom teachers and volunteers’ desire to help the students and the school to the best of their ability, these two weeks of the term have not been as beneficial to all stakeholders as they could have been.
For this exam period GVI worked with classroom teachers to formulate exam timetables with specific periods in the day in which volunteers were able to take out small groups of students for additional tuition. We then used these timetables to create group volunteer timetables, volunteers worked with all age groups in the school offering comprehensive literacy groups and interactive revision workshops, when all years were sitting exams volunteers worked with small groups of Kindergarten students.
Volunteers were enthusiastic and worked as a team to discuss students’ progress in different literacy groups, giving students a consistent, relevant set of literacy lessons across the two week period despite being taught by different volunteers. With a full capacity of volunteers and no full classroom teaching, students were able to be seen daily for these small group teachings. With the objectives of the lessons ranging from comprehension to punctuation, this consistent input from volunteers was invaluable to students in the lead up to their exams and their long-term education in this area. Volunteers were able to share the achievements of students in these sessions as a team and feel confident they were making a difference within the school.
For the first week of exams, volunteers were able to support the first/second grade teacher. As a team volunteers were able to run revision workshops with grade one students while grade two students sat exams and vice versa, allowing for the teacher to focus on one class. This allowed students to sit their exams in a suitable environment and have a calmer classroom in which to revise. All students from the other class were split and rotated between four volunteers who ran half an hour interactive revision activities to cement classroom teachings. These lessons were in highlighted areas from their healthy living, science and English curriculum and offered students a fun, educational alternative to desk work.
At certain times where the majority of classes were sitting exams, volunteers were able to offer administrative support to teachers as well as creating some fantastic additions to the library’s resource packs which will be utilised by future volunteers. In addition volunteers were also able to work together to ensure all kindergarten students were taken out for group activities on a daily basis. These small group games and activities are so beneficial to kindergarten as they allow for students to be exposed to more English speaking as well as being introduced to groups work and social education, such as the importance of taking turns, at a young age.
Volunteers created an incredibly hard working team to ensure these two weeks were as beneficial to students and as stress free for teachers as possible and did a fantastic job. The teachers at Navunisea also worked very diligently to make their timetables available to GVI and were happy with the work their students were completing with volunteers. In future exam periods this format will be repeated by volunteers to ensure GVI’s long term objectives and commitment to classroom teachers are still consistently being met through this difficult part of the school term.
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