Sport & Art and Craft Programme
The Centre for Multigrade Education is an organisation that works towards the upliftment of selected rural farm schools in the Western Cape in South Africa, where class sizes are often large and teachers have more than one grade in a class at a time. They have recognised the need for a more inclusive sport and art programmes in their schools and have embarked in a groundbreaking operation.
Firstly, facilitators have been appointed from the area/community that each school is in. All have passed the highest grade at school and were unemployed. As these facilitators have no formal teaching training, they are presently receiving training and support as well as materials and lesson plans.
The Sport Programme
We are currently running a sport development program in seven farm schools in and around the Western Cape. The aim is to see what the effect of sport development have on the general well being of the scholars and what effect sport has on academic outcome.
The first part of the program started in May when we conducted an in-depth evaluation of all the children. We tested the grade 4, 5 and 6 pupils in these schools (240 children). We’ve evaluated body composition, speed, agility, hand-eye-coordination, cardiovascular fitness and other motor skill development areas.
The second phase is currently in process and we are designing a program that will address all the shortcomings that we picked up in the first phase of our research. The children, under supervision of a coordinator that we appointed in the beginning of the year are buys training twice a week and for one hour per day. The Centre (CMGE) is paying these coordinators a monthly salary of R2000-00.
The coordinators receive training on a regular basis which consists of one training session a month in Wellington and one where we visit the schools. On these visits we evaluate the program and how it is presented, we also interact with the coordinators to see where we can adjust the program for it to work correctly at each specific school.
After the testing and analyzing the test results it was alarming to see how poor these children tested in most areas of physical development. Attached is the statistics of all the different tests we did on these 240 children.
The coordinators have been working with these kids for almost three months now and already there are huge improvements. We are only re-testing them in October but there is a definite improvement in most of the motor skill development areas.
Material and equipment used in the program:
We have designed a bin that is filled with the following equipment:
Agility hurdles (20), agility poles (10), large and small balls (30), cones (20), hoola hoops (10), skipping ropes, stopwatch, whistle, pull-up bar and motor skill frames for hand-eye-coordination and throwing training activities. All of the above is neatly packed in a wheely bin (Large dustbin).
We have created a program that is easy understandable and explain how each activity works. A sample program is also included.
We are planning a massive sport day on Robben Island the 9th of November 2011. We are inviting all the participating schools that form part of our pilot project. More than 250 children will have the opportunity to visit one of the most historic places in our country. On this day they will compete in a wide variety of sporting activities. The aim is enjoyment and we want to create an environment where these kids can really enjoy themselves and have the opportunity to compete against each other.
We have formed a partnership with M-Net’s Lets Play initiative and they will help us to plan and develop the day and all the activities.
Go to http://www.cmge.co.za/videos for two videos about this Sport Program:
1. Introduction to the Sport Program.
2. Testimonials for the Sport Program.
The Art Programme
The programme then has two functions or streams
- The training of facilitators to provide child centred, creative, exciting art lessons wherein they act as the guide and facilitator.
- The development of a suitable curriculum, specific to the needs of the learners in these schools and the provision of suitable materials.
Facilitators are encouraged to foster individual growth and expression in a non prescriptive way. The process of making the artwork is of utmost importance, trying new options, experimenting, solving problems, and taking risks in a non-threatening, fun environment helps with the development of the young mind and as such are a focus. Visualization skills, the development of individual, creative thought, self trust and understanding, acceptance of different opinions and cultures are all emphasised. This together with co-ordination skills and learning how to manipulate and use materials will help to provide an all round learning experience.
Art is the perfect subject to link and help learners in many ways with other learning areas. This can be done in an informal way, for example, if a learner is taught to experiment in the art class, to think independently and to think of new and different solutions to a given problem, this can help with solving maths or science problems. The link with other learning areas can also be more direct, if the lesson focuses on making a mobile using geometric patterns on a snake shape for instance, math(geometry), biology(information on reptiles), balance(technology), storytelling , discussions, movement (how do snakes move, show me?) are included in the lesson plan for the day.
“Practice makes perfect”. The more decisions learners are forced to make, the easier it will be later on in life to make bigger and more important decisions. Being creative involves thinking, feeling and perceiving. Ultimately the aim is to provide the skills that will one day help these learners to improve their lives, to have the courage and skills to make their dreams a reality. If a few become artists because they have developed a love and need to be expressive in our lessons, and go on to make a living out of it, it will be all the much sweeter.
See http://www.cmge.co.za/gallery/multimedia for more photos about this program!