Work in Progress - Giving Fuel to the Light

Dalia, Mpho, Sunita and Lungile in Hyde Park. (Andrew must have been in camp with the year 6 boys.)

Lungile Shange and Pretty Mpho Makhetha are teachers from Masibambane College, one of the schools which ERT works with in South Africa. The 1000-pupil College is at Orange Farm, a semi-formal settlement close to Johannesburg. Together with Dalia Semper from the Renaissance School, Trinidad, Sunita Mego from St James Johannesburg, and Andrew Rivett from Erasmus School, Melbourne, they joined this summer’s teacher development course in London.

Both Lungile and Pretty Mpho tell us that the ERT has given them the way to turn the dreams of perfect pupils into reality!

They write:
“You have given fuel to the light that our school shines in the community.
“We can conquer everything – children only need good material, love, good care, and no limitation.
“Children at St James are given the very best, and the opportunity to achieve greatness.
“Staff at St James in London are encouraged to be themselves, which allows them to support both peers and pupils so beautifully.”

Providing teachers with experience of the special qualities of St James teaching is one of the most important things which ERT does at present. Andrew Rivett, for instance, spent five days in camp with year 6 boys from St James Junior School, learning survival skills in Oxfordshire. As a science teacher in Australia he particularly enjoyed the ways that St James in London introduces pupils to the exploration of the wonders of nature.

Andrew later wrote:
“St James doesn’t only go out of its way to provide good material. Of all my observations of the school, nothing was more impressive than the good company the school provides to its students, through its staff.”
He added: “Teaching the child to begin any activity from stillness allows full attention to be given to what is in front of them; this makes all the difference.”