GAP Year Student at PVP

Canford OC Gemma is currently in India visiting the senior girls at PVP Home. She tells us in her own words what she has been up to, today.

“Today I visited the girls’ school at Pattiveeranpatti but due to the public exams that are fast approaching I only spent an afternoon there. The diligence and focus of the older girls who are preparing for exams are admirable. Every evening at Goodwill and today at school the determination of the students and commitment to their studies is almost tangible. Exams might be 3 weeks away but each day the children have revision tests or science practical exams and at Goodwill, it seems that every 12th standard girl has a textbook permanently glued to her side!

At school, I attended an 8th standard Science and English lesson. Both lessons had a clear focus on language and ensuring the students understood the English words as well as being able to recall examples and repeat pronunciation. The teacher was excellent and continually asked the children questions to keep the learning active. During the English lesson I couldn’t help but add to the definitions given in the textbook and before I knew it I had been asked to teach. With the help of the teacher and some large gestures, the class and I struggled through some Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I am realising what a privilege it is to have English as a native language and what a challenge it is to teach and learn (although I’d take 26 letter in the alphabet over Tamil’s 247 any day)! Before leaving I was put through my paces in games and was taught a Tamil version of hopscotch that required a fitness and agility I definitely don’t possess! The school is a busy place and not every year has a taught class for every hour of each day but, despite this, the children are perfectly happy to engage in independent or joint study. My overall impression is one of keen enthusiasm and I am grateful to have been allowed to the school at such an important time”.

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