Elspeth Dugdale | April 3, 2022
Where to start with a question like that? What has been new this term? Apart from a new school year, new term lengths of 14 weeks (the end is now in sight), this still feels like a new beginning for WTA. 'Renaissance' sounds perhaps too melodramatic, but it is certainly a new start with immense potential.....
- many new students. WTA currently has about 820 students - 400 boarders and 400+ day students. Lockdown caused many other schools to close their doors, so many students have enrolled at WTA for the first time.
- new 'Connect children' at WTA. 2022 has brought a record rate of Lukomera primary students to WTA. One primary school sent all their P7 students to start in S1. Back in 2012, the first aim of Connect was to make WTA accessible to Lukomera primary children, by enabling them to pass PLE. Result.
- new football pitch. For over 10 years, the students have made repeated requests for a 'proper' football pitch, but there were always other priorities. Now it is close to becoming a reality!
- new balls please. A fancy new pitch means that the WTA will be able to justify some expensive, good quality footballs without them being instantly ruined on the harsh school ground & fierce thorn bushes.
- new curriculum. The new curriculum for S1 & S2 is definitely learner-centred, focussing on group work, research and moves away totally from the 'chalk & talk' lecture method. This in turn requires a ..
- new timetable, in fact several timetables! S1 & S2 have a timetable that is slightly different from the rest of the school. This has been so complicated, that there have been three new amendments already to try and 'streamline' the system.
- new technology to be embraced. The new curriculum style is far more suited to using projectors, screens, online teaching & internet research - at last. Teachers familiar with this approach are already seeing positive change.
- new textbooks. WTA has just received its third delivery of new textbooks. These are a 'gift' from the Ministry of Education, all donated free of charge, so far. This is a first.
And it's not all academic newness... we have some 'new' dogs at Mirembe House. Although they were rehomed with us in early 2020, we left Uganda after a few weeks, so they still feel newish. New herb shoots in the garden are definitely a good step for cooking variety - Phil was even lucky enough to be allowed one coriander leaf on his last night curry! And finally, very excitingly, a Luwero hotel has opened a new swimming pool, which is proving a fun, escape-plan for a Saturday afternoon...
A 'generous' amount of coriander - one leaf at a time...!