Report by Emmakulatha (headteacher) of the Bethany Pre and Primary School - August 2020 Hello Graham, David and all the UK team, I hope all is well with you and your families. Back at Bethany, we thank God all is well. The children and teachers are working very hard. Our school is now growing,  we are currently  providing education to 268 children, 102 are Bethany children and 166 are children from the village. We are grateful for all your support because without it, none of what Bethany is doing would have been possible. Children progress All the children have now settled back to their normal routine at school after their 3 months Corona holiday.  The level of the English speaking has dropped but we are doing all we can to maintain our standard.  The children are going to sit for their terminal examination next week, the first exam after their corona holiday (will send the results too) this will give us a clear picture of their progress.   Although we tried very hard to keep them busy during Corona holiday, their  English skills have dropped. Preschool teachers are teaching everything again. It is unlikely that we will be able to have enough children from Reception class to join STD 1 next year.  However our Bethany children are doing much better compared to the village children.  Therefore we are hopeful that all of our Bethany Children in reception will make it into year 1 next year. Exam Classes (STD 4 & STD 7) As you already know that STD 4 and STD 7 are required to do a national examination to allow them to move to the next level.  This year we have 30 pupils in STD 4 and 11 pupils in STD 7 who will be sitting for their national examination in October (STD 7) and November (STD 4). Therefore in order to prepare them for their national exam, they have a very tight timetable. They begin their sessions around 6:30 in the morning and ends at 5:30 ( do not worry they have breaks in between sessions).   Adding on that we are very pleased with our STD 7 children. They have performed really well in their mock  examination (see attached document with the results of 8 schools).  There were 548 pupils who took this examination, Our pupils took the top positions, Chariki Juma and Yacobo Stephano were the first.   Because of our excellent performance  our education officer paid us a visit yesterday to congratulate our children for their excellent results ( see the pictures attached).  The education officer also brought some presents for our children, the presents were pens, exercise books, biscuits and juice ( you can see these in the pictures).  We are so proud of our children as their hard work has paid off, we are praying and hopping that they will do even better in their national examination. Village children Sadly four of our STD 3 children from the village have dropped school. Nobody knows where they are, the parents did not ask permission or inform us of anything. I did visit their homes but nobody was around. I tried to ask around, and it is believed that they have moved to other villages.  We just hope that wherever they are they are continuing with school as they worked very hard at school. Teaching staff Teachers continue to dedicate themselves to working very hard.  I know sometimes it can get really hard and challenging but they find the courage to keep going. I have now introduced a system of meeting on every last Saturday of the month. The main purpose of doing this is to keep reminding ourselves of the Bethany vision and discuss other school matters.  I have named this meeting " We are all in it Together" ( David might remember this as he introduced the idea during his last visit to Bethany).  Also in terms of encouraging teachers to use English all the time I  introduced an idea of a fine, just to keep the teachers on their toes, and the idea was unanimously agreed),  so if a member of a staff speaks Kiswahili he/she gives TSh 1000/ (33p)= we keep it in our "Speak English box",  and at the end of the term we decide how the money can be used, for example buying some exercise books, chalks or presents for the children who have done well in their examinations.  This is working very well because so far this term we only have two staff who were caught speaking Kiswahili, and of course nobody really likes the idea of losing their money for Swahili speaking. All in all I am very pleased with their English skills. The pupils, teachers and the parents are very grateful for everything. What Bethany is offering to these children other people pay millions to receive it.  We cannot thank  you enough for all that you have done and continue to do. Truly you have played a very big part in changing our lives for the better. I was talking to our STD 6 and & 7 children on Monday about their school life, future etc, everyone has a dream of becoming somebody one day, and this made me  realised that Bethany has truly given these young people hope and a great start in life. Personally, this made me feel so blessed to be part of the Bethany vision and gave me the courage to continue serving it!    Thank you once again and May God continue to bless you. Every blessing, Emmakulatha