Now back at home in Poulton, Lancashire, with husband and dad, Paul, they have taken time to reflect on their amazing experience.
During our time at the Happy House School Ellena, Alex and I spent time in various classrooms.
Alex was asked by the KG2 teacher to do maths with the class. He wrote a sum on the board. Almost instantly one boy and one girl shouted out, “Next”, until there were 8 sums on the board. Alex then wrote two more challenging sums, the teacher did not think the class would manage it – most did. I spent time with a girl who was taking time to answer the questions. Alex started going around to those who had finished. He marked Natasha’s work (one of my sponsor girls), she got 10/10! She was so pleased with herself and I was so proud of her!
In another class I discussed letter writing and the class compiled a letter to send to a friend. We talked about sending and receiving letters versus emails.
With Class 8, who will be taking their Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in December, were working on an exercise from their text books on the use of ‘Who’ and ‘Whose’. This we did together. When they had finished they asked if they could ask me some questions – they asked me about myself and about the UK, which turned into a mini geography lesson.
My experience with the Happy House was awesome! I had seen a few pictures beforehand and heard my Mum talk non-stop about everything they do, but I hadn’t quite grasped how big of an operation it actually was.
There are over 300 pupils at the school which must be a handful for Mama Sue and all of the staff to manage.
The children at the school were all very friendly and wanted to meet me, especially the younger kids. I taught a KG 2 maths class where I stood at the front and gave them questions to answer (adding and subtracting).
There were 2 pupils at the back that were competing against each other to see who was the quickest, and when they had answered they shouted, “Next!"
It was personal to us as our sponsor girls Natasha, Priscilla and Ann greeted us. We toured the school and I was amazed at how much had been built. With all space utilised for either a classroom or library or special study place.
All of the children so eager to learn. The baby class loved picture books. They learnt words through these illustrations. The older classes were revising from their exams, learning from the mistakes they had made in grammar and sentence function questions.
We also helped out on the grocery shop. Loading all the essentials from the local town into the car and cramming the boot shut. There is a lot of growing mouths to feed.
Spending time at the Happy House was another huge part of our time. Mama Sue and Papa Dave talked us through the internal workings of how it is so successful for the kids. It is wonderful to see the staff so passionately involved in the family also. The true feeling of the family environment and fun really stood out.
We enjoyed celebrating the end of exams party. Which had great food, great atmosphere and even greater performers.
We had an incredible time at the Happy House and Happy House School.