As you will all be aware the situation in India is devastating and as a school we are continually keeping in touch with our colleagues in Dum Dum and with the Church Relief Service (CRS). They are all well and they are working together to keep their spirits up under such terrible conditions.
We have managed a couple of virtual meetings with other church schools to discuss how we can help and support in the most productive way. We also have a virtual meeting soon with a representative from CRS to discuss our next steps. Once these details are finalised, I will let you know how we can help as a school.
Thank you for all your support in this uncertain time and let’s continue to pray for our ‘Kolkata School Family’.
India - Kolkata - Dum Dum
Thank you to all those parents who have contributed to our Dum Dum fundraising we now have a grand total of £207 from school donations plus a generous donation of £500 from one family which gives us a grand total of £707 to go towards supporting a project in Dum Dum, more information on this will come in the new year.
On Behalf of those Children and Staff in India, a massive Thank you!
Our Friends in Dum Dum
We continue to keep a close link with Ranu and the children in Dum Dum. Currently there have been no cases of COVID in their school. The staff are sending work home to parents for children to do their learning remotely but as you can imagine this is challenging for the staff and school. Our prayers are with them all and we wish them a 'Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Thank you to the Nari Dana Team who have sent the Derbyshire Teachers their very own face masks. Here is mine.
Supporting Dum Dum
Thank you for your kind donations.
I know many of you are doing lots of fun activities at home. Golden Eagles have been reading lots and I can see lots of you have been baking and helping around the house.
Rohan and Logan are cycling or walking for an 1 hour a day for the challenge.
What are you planning to do?
Devastating News - Cyclone Damage - Dum Dum
I've just been given the sad news that the cyclone has uprooted the school roof and a number of trees in the playground. Sending our love and prayers to our Dum Dum family.
Help raise money for Dum Dum and CRS Covid-19 Appeal
I would love us to work together in raising money for Dum Dum and thought we could do activities for an amount of time. The time being the amount of time I’m in India, which is 228 hours = 13,680 minutes.
I was thinking we could all do something. We could do jobs around the house, keep physical by doing something sporty, sit and read a book, write a poem / story basically anything you enjoying doing and while we are doing these things we enjoy, we could raise money for Dum Dum by donating.
I will collate all the activities we are doing and add up the time it is taking us. For example – reading a book for 30 mins, complete a range of football skills for 15 mins or making a cake for 1 hour.
Help me fundraise, by donating to the – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stanleydumdum33 which is linked to the CRS Covid-19 appeal (link shown on website just above)
Keep me updated with your activities using email@example.com, please use the heading for your e-mail 'Mrs Davies Dum Dum', thankyou. I will then update the website and the just giving page.
Thank you for all your support
West Bengal and Bangladesh were struck by Cyclone Amphan last week.
In Kolkata, streets were flooded, and trees fell on roads and buildings. There was widespread flooding in low-lying rural areas to the south of the city too inundating villages and destroying cropland.
Many people now find themselves without food and water, and some have been made homeless. This comes on top of the challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.
CRS, in partnership with the Diocese, will continue with their planned second phase of emergency food deliveries to communities in response to the COVID-19 situation, but with added urgency in light of the new crisis.
The UK Friends have already sent £9,000 to CRS and a further £1,500 is ready to transfer. The crisis is by no means over yet, so please keep fund-raising and donating if you are able. For ways to give, please visit http://www.cathedralreliefservice.net/donate/uk/
Lovely to see our Dum Dum children safe and well. They have been out of school for a while; in the last few days this has been extended to July. Not only are they going through Covid-19 they now have a 'Super Cyclone' on the way. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all.
Food distribution continues - Brace Bridge,Pally Mangal and GB Lane
A truck was taken to Brace Bridge on Friday 24 April to deliver food supplies to the community there. And on Tuesday 28 April the CRS van was loaded with more bags that were taken to Pally Mangal and handed out on a very rainy day.
Distribution of basic food supplies to communities affected by the national lockdown continued on 28 April at GB Lane.
Distribution of emergency food.
Many have responded to the CRS emergency appeal to support CRS communities during the coronavirus lockdown in India.
This week, basic food supplies including rice, potatoes and cooking oil were distributed to villagers from the CRS centre at Mahamaya (Mahamaya is the link school with Scargill, one of our neighbouring schools.)
Hastings is another school linked with the Derby Diocese. It is a squatter settlement located under a concrete flyover. It is a community of extremely poor families and they are among the most needy during this time of emergency lockdown when people are without income. People queued patiently for bags of essential goods.
Update on the situation in India
The situation we are in is also happening to our extended family in Kolkata. I have been sent many photos, which have been astonishing. The streets are completely quiet which I have never seen before and I can image our friends haven't either. I am in communication with Ranu and her and her family are well but school is closed because they are all in lockdown. Other friends have said, schools and churches have been opened for the homeless people which is wonderful to hear.
Our extended family and friends will be in our prayers.
Learn phonics at home
If anyone is struggling with phonics whilst schooling at home , have a look at this fabulous website which was put together by a group of English teachers for part of our project in Kolkata.
I hope one of these links work.
Brace Bridge is a school project taken on by CRS. As some of you might remember, especially Robin Class, many of you donated towards this project and while in India I had the opportunity to visit and take a number of photographs. From these you can see the foundations and bamboo structure are complete. The roof has recently been added and the next step is to have washing and toilet facilities. The children are using the school and there are over 40 - 50 children attending.
How Time Flies!
I can’t believe how time has flown since my trip to Dum Dum. I was so enthused when I returned by the amazing progress the children had made in speaking English and the understanding and progress they had made in Phonics. The children were so excited to show me all their hard work and Ranu (the class teacher) couldn’t wait to show me her planning/work. She continues to teach the children the methods and strategies I have shown her and is willing to learn more. The time in school and the CPD sessions have clearly been very productive.
The two days in school were focused on teaching and learning English. We did lots of speaking and listening activities, using our new pet parrot – Stanley. This encouraged the children to speak more openly and helped them with their listening skills. Stanley pretended to peck them and became upset when the children weren’t listening. The children thought this was funny, which was lovely to see.
The CPD sessions were based on teaching different strategies for teaching English. In the CPD sessions we had a number of English teaching groups showing these strategies to the Indian teachers. We also had a planning session with our own Indian teachers to discuss which strategies to implement in school from the CPD and also work through the activities I had planned while in school.
My teaching in school was based around the ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ story. The Indian children love learning through books and enjoy activities based around them. I had lots of activities for the children to do including retelling, sequencing and acting out the story, counting with caterpillars and our amazing number cards that Robins made, symmetry around butterflies and lots more.
Saturday - Sports Day
Today was exciting we invited over 500 children from a number of CRS schools to join us for a version of sports day. We had the sack race, skipping, football and parachute games. We all had a fantastic day and the children loved it.
Friday - day at school
I've had another amazing day at school today. We have been team teaching and the teacher has learnt from me and I have learnt some Bengali from her.
With the younger children we focused on the body and the hungry caterpillar story. They made some wonderful caterpillars from tissue paper and loved playing with the jigsaws and dominoes, and used the dominoes to focus on learning colours. Again, they loved using the number cards that Robin Class made for counting and they also loved singing head, shoulders, knees and toes.
The older children looked at prepositions and directions using our parrot called Stanley and I told the story of the hungry caterpillar and the children had a go at sequencing the story. I asked them many questions about the book and after this we drew our own butterflies.
All the children enjoyed making their bird gliders and we flew them in the classroom and the corridor because the playground was very muddy after the rain.
To finish the day we sang the song ' Walking in the Light' I have recorded this to show when I get back.
Thursday - Training Day 2
All the English teachers and the Indian teachers joined together for another full packed day of teaching and learning different aspects and strategies in English. My group focused on teaching the vocabulary small, smallest and smaller. Big, biggest and bigger using a book about bugs. The teachers really enjoyed the story and were asking lots of questions. We had lunch altogether which was lovely and we had time to even further strengthen our relationships with the teachers.
Today we took a trip to Diamond Harbour which was a lovely ride through lots of greenery and rice fields. When we arrived we had a walk around and went down to the waters edge and saw lots of boats and ships- but no snakes. We then were greeted with a traditional Bengali greeting and later a traditional Bengali dancing.
In school today, teaching English grammar, phonics and counting. It was so lovely to see all the children, they have grown so much. I meet two children that have left and gone on to their next school, they were in high spirits and very excited about their next adventure.
The children used a number of resources I took with me and loved the hungry caterpillar activities.
We also used the number cards made by Robin Class for our counting activity. The children were counting to 20, they were very good especially when some of them are only 3 years old.
I showed the children our video of us singing and they are going to perform theirs on Friday which I will video to show you all at home.
CPD day today, meeting all the Indian teachers and teaching and planning together. It was lovely to see them all especially our teachers from Dum Dum. We all had an amazing day teaching our planned activities and learning the song together 'Walking in the light'. We then spent the afternoon planning with our teachers, so lots to think about and do for tomorrow.
We then went to Mother Teresa's house, a very special place to visit. I said prayers at her tomb for you all and learnt lots of interesting facts about her. It was a special time for prayers and reflection.
My (Mrs Davies) trip to Dum Dum January 2020
I have attended a number of meetings for the 2020 trip with the other (30) teachers across Derbyshire. We have been deciding our focus this year which is going to be on teaching English. We are going to be looking at Vocabulary and Grammar such as adjectives, pronouns, verbs and emotions.
I am so lucky to be going back again to India, especially to see the children in ‘Dum Dum’. On the 24th of January 2020 (not long to go) I will be on my way to the airport, fingers crossed with lots of amazing ideas and gifts. After last year’s success based around the book ‘We are going on a bear hunt’, I’ve decided to base this year around the book the ’Hungry Caterpillar’. The children thoroughly enjoyed the activities last year and I hope they will enjoy the ones I have organised for them this year. My teaching will cover phonics, reading, number, life cycles and lots more.
Again, this year I would love to take a number of resources with me, to help support my teaching and subsequently, their teaching, based on the ‘Hungry Caterpillar’. I hope you all can help me to fulfil this, by either donating an amount of money or purchasing the item yourself and letting me know, so I can update the wish list. (see the wish list 2020 below) Please can any monies or gifts be given into school by Friday 17th January. Thank you again for all your support.
Please come and support our 'Dum Dum Stall' to help raise money for our link school in India. We have some amazing products to buy and a number of games to play. I don't want to give too much away, so I will keep it all as a surprise. Hope to see you there!
Two amazing videos from our children in Dum Dum, They have been practising these songs, that I taught them when I went out last January, They have made amazing progress and I can't wait to see what else they have been doing when I return this January (2020).
India 2020 Update (Mrs Davies)
I am happy to say that I will be returning to our link school in Dum Dum in January. I have attended two meetings over the last few months to discuss our aims for the visit. Again, we have over 30 Teaching Staff from a range of Church Schools attending, with a vast knowledge of teaching and learning.
We are focusing on teaching English as an additional language, covering a range of different topics such as our bodies, animals, colours etc.
In school I will be teaching English and Numeracy skills through a range of activities, as well as the additional activities we are organising as a group to teach to all the Indian Teachers.
Contact with Dum Dum School.
I have had contact with Dum Dum and they are enjoying using the resources I took across. They are using the tennis balls to help them with their catching, throwing and counting. They are also playing the under and over game which I introduced to them through the story of the ‘Bear Hunt’. They are grateful to everyone at Stanley St Andrew’s for providing them with amazing resources.
Check out the 'Children Tab' and the 'Video Resource Center link' to see a video of the children from Dum Dum playing the game.
Our first meeting after returning in January.
A couple of weeks ago, Elizabeth and I meet the India Team for our first meeting since returning in January. It was lovely to see everyone and reminisce about our time together. The meetings focus was about how we felt the trip had gone and the positives we had all taken from it. We all agreed that spending time in our schools was wonderful and training with the teachers was amazing.
Sunday 20th January - Last Day
Early start to the airport (5.30am), very mixed feelings. I have made some wonderful relationships with members of the group and with all the Indian teachers and all the wonderful children I have had the opportunity to work with especially in Dum Dum. But I am also looking forward to seeing my family and everyone at Stanley St Andrew's.
See you all on Tuesday.
Saturday 19th January - Schools Celebration Day - Sports Day
Today, we have over 400 children from our Cathedral Service Relief Schools attending our Celebration Day - Sports Day. The day is being held at St. Thomas' Boy School, Kidderpore, Kolkata. We started with a magician and a ventriloquist, the children never stopped laughing and it was a wonderful way to start the day. We then organised the children into groups and organised them into the 7 stations of activities including football, Duck Duck Goose and parachute games.We all had a picnic together, the children had curry and ice cream. We all had an amazing day, we had lots of fun in the sun. It was a lovely day to finish a fantastic week.
Friday 18th January - Trip to the Sunderbans
A very early start to the day, ready to go for 7.00am for our trip to the Sunderbans, tiger spotting and a look round a CRS project. After a 4 hour drive we arrived at the Tiger Sanctuary, with us all asking the same question were we going to see a Bengal Tiger. Yes, Yes, Yes!!! There it was prowling round his cage. This tiger had been rehoused in the sanctuary due to losing his home. It was a good distance away, see if you can spot it in the picture! and the white crocodiles, these were amazing but looked very different being white/cream in colour. Also on the way back to the bus we saw a baby monkey and her mum.
We then went onto a boat to take us to a CRS school project which is only accessible by water. This was interesting, we arrived to see a number of people waiting on the mud bank. We all looked at each other thinking the same question, how are we going to get off the boat and walk up the mud bank? As the boat was secured, a number of people came over with a pile of hay on top of their heads. Very interesting!!!! They started to pile the hay over the mud bank to cover an area, so we could walk off the boat, it was amazing to watch. We walked through an area of mud and trees and was told by our guide that usually the area would be under water when it was high tide and during a number of months it is not open to people because it is too dangerous. We arrived at the school to see a big crowd of school children and their families waiting for us. They welcomed us by throwing flowers over us, singing songs and saying prayers. We had lunch together and discussed the plans for the future of the school. We said our goodbyes and went back to the boat. On the way back to the Tiger Sanctuary the boat took us close to the river banks to see if we could see a wild tiger but no luck
We got back into the bus for another 4 hour drive but it was well worth every minute because it was a very interesting day and it is always nice to see another CRS project up and running.
Thursday 17th January - Day 2 of CPD - professional development with the Indian Teachers.
We started the day with a couple of songs and then went into literary. The focus being phonics. I was using fishing rods to fish for phase 2 sounds. We had to catch the fish and then say the sound, describe the sound picture and then write the sound. Using lots of different ways to repeat the sound. We then moved onto expanding simple sentences using connectives (FANBOYS) and writing sentences together and independently, thinking about past, present and future tense. The Indian teachers were very good at this. We then had lunch and then moved onto Numeracy. The focus was using the four different operations and looking at problem solving using number story books and apparatus.
We then finished with another two songs which included our school song 'Kingfisher look what I can do? - which you can see in the video/film section on the website. I was so proud to see our children singing their song. The Indian teachers loved it 😍❤️❤️
Wednesday 16th January - Day in school
We arrived at Dum Dum and the children were so excited, so was I. We went outside to play parachute games but I forgot about all the dust. The children were having lots of fun making waves and running through the parachute that I didn't notice the amount of dust in the air. We just carried on because we were having lots of fun.
We then played with the skipping ropes and this was funny because they found it tricky to jump over the rope when it was moving. They were much better at skipping on their own.
We then continued the story of the 'Bear Hunt' by playing ball games using words like over and under, to continue using the vocabulary from the book. So the children but the ball over their heads and when it got back to the end of the line that person went to the front and so on.
The younger children did similar games with the two students I had taken with me to Dum Dum and they used the story spoons, they especially liked how we had written them in English and Bengali.
We then went to visit Mother House which was really nice and peaceful after such a busy full day. I went last year but it is such a lovely place I wanted to go again, it is a place you can go and reflect on many things.
After, we went for a meal together and I tried a dosa which is a pancake filled with potato and vegetables, it was very yummy😋😋😋😋😋😋
Tuesday 15th January - CPD day, teaching the Indian teachers phonics and numeracy.
Very busy day today teaching the Indian teachers phonics and numeracy. They have worked really hard over the year to implement phonics into their daily working day and we have seen such huge improvements with their phonics and the children's phonics. I was really pleased with my session today and they seem to really enjoy it. We have also made a song which kingfishers made, and I will be showing them this on Thursday and hopefully I can get them to do the actions with me.
Monday 14th January - First day in school
My first day in Dum Dum today, feeling nervous and excited. I can't wait to see everyone. I was very welcomed when I arrived with Ingrid, Katie-Maria and Hannah. We went into the classrooms and the children were waiting for us, they were sat beautifully. We gave our presents out and then started out activities about the 'Bear Hunt'. The children made their own bear masks, movable bear characters and we acted the story out using masks. The children loved all the activities and had lots of fun.
I'm really looking forward to Wednesday to go back and show them some amazing outdoor games and super numeracy skills.
Sunday 13th January - Cathedral, CRS Team and a river cruise.
Today we started at the Cathedral, we sat through the service which was beautiful especially when they spoke about us and said prayers for us. It felt so lovely to be part of the whole service. After this, we went to plan, our two days with the Indian teachers focusing on numeracy and phonics.
CRS then showed us a presentation about themselves and all the wonderful projects they are involved in.
We then all went on a river cruise down the Ganges. This was very interesting because when we arrived I could see the boat, this was the boat we thought we were going on last year but we didn't. I couldn't believe my eyes 🙄The river was very calm and beautiful and Stanley had a whale of a time ha ha ha . Someone in the group also spotted porpoises but unfortunately I didn't ☹️ Visiting the temples was an eye opener , the place was very busy and loud, but the temples themselves were astonishing. We had dinner on the boat and then came back to the hotel to get ready for school tomorrow. I can't wait be I'm also I little nervous. I hope they like the story, we are going on a bear hunt🐾🐾🐾🐾
Saturday 12th January - Day 2
We then drive to the hotel and had time to freshen up and have some lunch - curry and nana bread. Yum Yum
We then went to visit a 'Jain Temple' it was so beautiful. We looked around inside which was astonishing , so much detail had been used to give every last piece of mosaic its own unique place in this wonderful building.
Can you spot Stanley visiting his friends the peacocks?
We then went for tea and decided to make it an early bed time because we were all tired 😴💤😴💤
Friday 11th January - Day 1 -travelling day
We set off at 8.30 in the morning and arrived in India (Kolkata) around 7.30 on the followin g day. We flew from Birmingham Aiport, with a short stop at Dubia. In Dubia we needed to jog or run to our next plane In case we missed it.. Luckily we were OK and managed to board it on time. This then took us into Kolkata and the CRS Team were waiting for us.
Our last group meeting before flying to India
Not long to go before I fly to India to our link school in Dum Dum. I am a little nervous knowing I will be teaching in school and teaching phonics and numeracy to over 40 Indian teachers. I hope they enjoy what I have planned and especially watching a song that I have worked on with Kingfisher Class (check out the video section of the website).
I had my last meeting on Friday with the other English teachers to go over the last details, worked through our planning and check we have all the resources we need for the trip.
Thank you again for all the wonderful donations I have been given to take with me. Your kindness of gifts and words have been very kind.
I will keep the website up to date most days (depending on the internet) so you can enjoy the journey with me.