Visitors from Kamwokya

Teddi Katusime and Robert Mulerwa spent a week at Our Lady’s, during which they taught us all some singing, some dancing, and a lot about Uganda and the Kamwokya Christian Caring Community. They also had fun joining in with some of our classes.

These are just some of the things that took place.

From Mrs Stemplis in Home Economics
Teddi came along with a 3rd year class and enjoyed making shortbread.

From Mrs Tulley in Support for Learning
Robert and Teddi joined the ESOL (English for Speakers of another language ) class for a session to meet class members and work with small groups, as they work towards their Learning Outcomes in their SQA exams.

The visitors were introduced to the variety of resources available in the Support Base for ESOL pupils and worked with IT packages to improve pupils’ conversational skills in English.

For their part, pupils much enjoyed the opportunity to learn from Teddi and Robert how English is taught in Uganda and appreciated the opportunity to practise their English skills in conversation, learning more about the connections between Our Lady`s High School and Kamwokya.

From Ms Newman in Geography
Robert and Teddi came to the Higher/Int II Geography class talking about Uganda and the health problems in the country. In particular they told the class what it is like to get Malaria and how the epidemic effects the country.

From Mrs Anderson in Maths
Robert and Teddy were in my S1 Maths class. The pupils spent time before they arrived making up posters with some of the statistics we had about Kamwokya, so at the beginning the children presented their findings and asked a question they had thought of. Robert then showed them a video / presentation about life in Kamwokya and through this answered all their questions.

The pupils really enjoyed it – especially the dance at the end.

From Mrs Connor, Andrew House
Robert had the Andrew House Pupil Council Meeting in stitches.He made us all stand up and do a song and dance which included swaying around and sticking our tongues out.It was a scream!

Overview from Mr Mulrooney
Our Lady’s High School established its partnership with the Kamwokya Christian Caring Community, Uganda in the year 2000. This relationship took another step forward when we welcomed Robert Mulerwa and Teddi Katusime to spend a week working with the pupils and staff. This offered a great opportunity for all the pupils to really get to know and appreciate what life is like in a developing world country. Of course, partnership is a 2 way street, and Robert and Teddi both left Scotland with a lot of insight into both Scottish education and Scottish culture.

Robert and Teddi work with the youth of Kamwokya, many of whom are either orphans or have lost a parent due to HIV / AIDS. Robert is the coordinator of this project and Teddi is a young girl who works as a ‘peer educator’. Several classes at Our Lady’s experienced a taste of the educational sessions peer educators use in Kamwokya.

Both visitors spent their week working in many departments enhancing their curriculum and strengthening the citizenship aspects of each subject. This ranged from discussing Primary Health Care in Africa with Higher Modern Studies pupils to transferring Ugandan poverty statistics to bar charts in the first year Mathematics class.

Robert said ‘we have learned so much to take back home with us from working in the school and living with our host families. Close partnership with schools such as Our Lady’s makes a great difference to the young people at home in Kamwokya.’

Our visitors were thrilled that the school Fairtrade group managed to sell over £500 worth of jewellery made in Kamwokya. This money will buy a computer for the young people they work with so that they can communicate with their partner schools on line. In addition the school gifted Robert and Teddi with medals and trophies that will be used to promote ‘education through sport’ among the youth of Kamwokya.

Bernard Love, Head Teacher, commented ‘hosting young people from Uganda for a whole week has had a major impact on our partnership project. It was edifying to see how naturally Robert and Teddi moved among our pupils sharing not only their knowledge and understanding of Developing World issues but also their optimism and great sense of fun.’

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Our Lady’s Annual Awards Ceremony, 19th September 2008

Our Lady’s annual Awards Ceremony took place on 19th September 2008, at which we honoured over 300 young people for their achievements over the past year, and the SQA exams.

The full list of recipients is available on the school website.

Pupils also presented cheques to four worthy causes from our Lenten Charities events:

  • £600 to the Motherwell Homeless Unit;
  • £950 for SCIAF;
  • £600 to ALMA;
  • £400 to St Andrew’s Hospice.

The SCIAF cheque will be distributed to our partners at the Kamwokya Christian Caring Community in Uganda, to help establish a broadband link, to help with travel costs for peer educators coming from Kamwokya, and a donation towards our commitment to build an eating area for Kamwokya pupils.

Our two current visitors from Kamwokya, Robert Mulerwa and Teddy Katusime, came directly from Glasgow Airport to see the Awards and will join us again after the October break for a week in Our Lady’s.

The school choir sang a haunting version of “Hushabye Mountain” which raised the hairs on the back of everyone’s neck (absolutely gorgeous), while the saxophone quartet from the school band played “5’2″, Eyes of Blue” and “Has anybody seen my girl?

Presenting the awards was our special guest, Paul Cooney, who delighted the audience of pupils, parents and staff with stories of his own school awards (for services to the tuck shop) and his achievements since, adding,

“If you’re looking for success, it’s not a destination, it’s a journey”,

and encouraged everyone to be ready to take opportunities as they arise.

Invited guests included Bishop Devine, Fr Stephen Miller (School Chaplain), Suzanne Graham (Parent Council), Maureen Dunn (PTA), Provost Tom Curley, Paul Cooney, Robert Dazell (Quality Improvement Officer, North Lanarkshire Council), Councillor Michael Ross and the headteachers of our four associated primary schools.