Ready, Steady… GO!
Did you watch the 4 fantastic Relay Races in the recent Athletics World Championships?
They were GREAT. Gabby, Colin, Paula and Michael were clearly excited as they talked us through the build-up to the races. Training, preparation, practice, teamwork; these were just some of the words that were mentioned… a lot!
The last six weeks have witnessed all these words in action here in Ipswich as the team at Oasis English Language School have been getting ready for the start of our second academic year.
As one of the English language providers in the area we were thrilled to be allocated 3 free places on a Council funded, 2-day training course all about teaching those who are illiterate in their first language. Several of the refugees we meet fit into this category and it was really helpful to be given some expert advice about how to proceed with them in the coming term.
Great Britain hit their medal target after women win 4x400m silver before men add bronze to London 2017 tally. And from the 4x100m, “Brilliantly executed exchanges by Chijindu Ujah, Adam Gemili, Danny Talbot and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake gave Britain gold in 37.47 seconds, breaking an 18-year-old national record and European record and securing the world title for the first time.”
Preparation means so much. For us at Oasis it’s the time to do all that unexciting background ‘stuff’ (a lot like endlessly practicing the hand-over of that baton!): making sure that all the DBS records are up to date, planning our advertising material, creating a new banner, booking dates to speak about the project in different churches across the town over the year ahead, beginning the process of recruiting a new trustee, and all manner of other incidental, but important, things.
Not in terms of teaching but in the ways we chat to students and each other in those incidental moments when we bump into each other in town or when we invite others to eat with us in our own homes. Our desire is to be known as Christians, known as people who integrate our faith into our life in every part. Not just being friendly when we are in the classroom but being consistent in our approach to others whenever and wherever we see them. Practicing integration and the art of real friendship across the language divide. The summer is good for this!
We closed the 2016-2017 academic year with a meeting for teachers and other volunteers to reflect on our first year together. Highlights from the meeting included these facts based on collated student evaluation forms:
100% of our students said they had enjoyed our lessons and had felt that their English had improved over their time with us.
75% said that their favourite thing about our school was the opportunity it gave to meet students from other nations and to begin new friendships.
97% of our students said they intend to come back to us in September.
And our budget for the year balanced!
Just like the 4 relay runners… we need each other in order to be a success! Registration for our second year will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, 6th and 7th September. We’d love you to be praying for us as we sort the logistics and continue the adventure.