girls working in computer lab

Back To School!

Cambridge Exam Results Are In! 

In The Last Report We Talked About The Studious Standard Seven Class, And All Their Hard Work They Spent Preparing And Taking Their Exams.  The Results Are In – And All That Work Paid Off!  All The Students All Did Really Well, With The Whole Class Average Higher Than ‘Good’ In All Subjects. The Class Average For Mathematics Was 3.1, Science Was 4.0, And English 3.3. Each Section Is Based On A Score Of 0-6, With 6 Being Excellent, 3 Good, And 0 Poor.  Congratulations Standard Seven!

Busy Holiday ‘Break’

While the children were away for the holidays, the teachers and headmaster worked very hard getting ready for the new term. Construction was finished on the third building, the computer lab was set up, the library improved, the teachers went through computer training, and a new teacher was hired and trained.

Computer Lab Is Up and Running!

After receiving electricity last term, the school was able to set up the computer lab, for a second time. The computers were put into storage in 2010 when the school moved into their new location, without power. The school has done very well in the past three years – slowly finishing the classroom blocks, playground, bathrooms, office, library and computer lab.  Now that electricity is installed, the computers were taken out of storage and set up.

Unfortunately, only 12 of the computers are working right now.  The other 5 will not boot up, and have a problem with the capacitors.  BeeHive has found a way around this problem – when classes use the computers, they split up into two groups – half use the library, the other half the computers, then the students swap. There is plenty of space for more computers in the lab, so the school hopes to have more working ones soon!

The teachers did computer training over the holidays. Some of the newer teachers who started after 2010, when the computer lab got put away, had never used a computer, and there were some very funny moments in training!!

The children love using them.  They also have not spent much (if any) time using a computer, so they are enjoying learning and practicing their skills on them.

Library is Looking Good!

The library at BeeHive School was designed with reading in mind.  Big windows bring in natural light, and it is so inviting everyone wants to walk in, pick up a book, and read. The children are very good at following rules – one rule is the library is a quiet zone – it is amazing how quiet students can be when they are all deeply enthralled in books! Loads of shelves were kindly donated by the building company SR Nicholas (the company building reserve bank and Shoprite in Mzuzu). They were installed during the term break. The only thing a bit lacking are the books. BeeHive has quite a good collection, but more books are needed.

Construction

There are plans to build a student hall and entrance to the school.  Six trips of sand were brought to the school, and the school is in the process of finding a way to get more bricks.

Welcoming The New School Year

The good news about the exams and the improvements over the summer have helped the succesful start of a new term. This term welcomes 172 students and one new teacher. The teacher will teach Standard 7. This is great news for the headmaster, who has been teaching this class and running the school at the same time.  The headmaster is still going to teach Standard 7 English, and French to the whole school, but is excited to focus on administration and school development.

update8_Grid7
new bookshelves in new library
update9_Grid7
new library books
update10_Grid7
students reading quietly
update2_Grid7
old computer lab in need of new computers
update5_Grid7
students using educational software in the computer lab

cauvery-1260

Electricity Will Allow Computer Lab Open Soon

Electricity (and a computer lab!) Are Coming to BeeHive 

BeeHive School has recently received a generous donation from The ESCFoundation, a small German family foundation.  These funds will be used to install electricity in one of the school buildings.  The building has the offices, library, and a space for a computer lab.  As well as better lighting, the electricity will allow us to set the computer lab back up.  The teachers and students are excited to have the computer program back in the curriculum!

Computer Program
In June of 2008, two MIT students came to BeeHive School and helped set up a computer lab in BeeHive’s old location, a house the school rented.  The students brought 12 computers and a wealth of knowledge.  They set up the lab and taught the teachers basic computer skills, how to operate the lab, and teaching strategies.  Shortly after the lab was set up, Beehive students entered the lab with bright eyes and high expectations.  The program was successful and the students were able to learn basic computer skills such as mouse movements, keyboard typing, and file structure.  They engaged with educational games and learned basic programming.

The teachers also benefited from this lab, developing computer skills themselves.  They participated in teacher training programs and learned how to use computers as teaching tools.

When the school moved to its new location, the computers were placed into storage.  Now that the third building–which contains a room for the computers–is completed, the school is getting ready to set up the lab again and integrate computers back into the school curriculum.

Connecting to the Internet
The school also hopes to eventually connect to the Internet, which they have never experienced before.  This will benefit teachers and students for countless reasons, including having access to online resources, being able to communicate through e-mail, and being able to connect to others around the world.

Free online resources, such as Kahn Academy and resources from the British Council, will be incredibly helpful for teacher training, and student learning.  E-mailing the PTA, parents, and teachers will make communication much easier.  Connecting with other schools worldwide will also allow BeeHive School to enrich their curriculum and teach their students about other cultures.

Library & Lights
In addition to supporting the computer lab, Internet, and e-mails, electricity will greatly enhance the library.  The building was constructed with light in mind, and significant amount of light comes in the windows.  Despite that, it will be much easier for the students to read with additional lights on, especially when it’s dark outside.

A photocopier for the office would be also be useful, for worksheets, newsletters, etc, but the school does not have one right now. Unfortunately, in Malawi copiers cost around 800,000 kwacha (more than $2000), so they’re likely not going to be purchasing one soon.  Even so, having electricity will mean that if the school was able to obtain a copier, they would be able to use it.

We will update with photos once the work for the electricity is done!