2014 education and activities news from St Mary's School, Tristan da Cunha and Tristanians studying overseas.

School Christmas Party held on 17th December
Photos from David Clarke and Dawn Repetto

Fun and games
Clockwise from above left:

Briefing for a Treasure Hunt,
Pass the Parcel,
Older Pupils Chat,
Musical Statues,
Musical Chairs

Entente cordiale as Marc Escudier entertains with his magic tricks
Teacher Yvonne Glass (far right) serving food with other helpers as she retires after nearly fifty years service
Christmas Concert
The school Christmas Concert was held on Monday 15th December and featured several spectacular acts performed in the school hall.
Afterwards teachers Yvonne Glass and Marlene Swain were presented with gifts to mark their retirement in the New Year -
for more photos and a full report see the 2014 Christmas Concert page.
Pupils Visit Factory to View Huge Crayfish (Crawfish or Tristan Rock Lobster)
Marie Repetto's Photo shows the fish
in one of the factory tanks
Chloe Glass, Nathan Swain, Leo Glass, Randal Repetto, Callum Green and Chantelle Repetto with the giant fish

Factory Manager Erik Mackenzie
invited the school to
visit the factory on
Monday 8th December
to view some giant crayfish
that had been caught off Gough Island
recently by MV Edinburgh's crew
and brought live in tanks ready for processing

David Clarke's photos show pupils
who dared to hold the fish
proving Tristan's youth are born to handle fish!

Callum and Chantelle
Randall Repetto
Leo Glass
School says farewell to Jim Kerr and welcomes David Clarke
who replaces Jim as Education Adviser
Photograph from Shirley Squibb of St Mary's School Staff on 2nd October 2014
Left to Right: Outgoing Education Adviser Jim Kerr, Yvonne Glass, Marlene Swain Julia Hagan, Poppy Lavarello,
Sheila Glass, Head Teacher Anne Green, Kelly Burns and new Education Adviser David Clarke.
Anne-Marie Collins and Renee Green were absent.
Introducing David Clarke

David brings a wealth of international teaching experience to his latest job as Education Adviser on Tristan. He has written an introduction to himself which we will publish in full in the Tristan Newsletter. Here are the highlights:

His first teaching post after graduation and teacher training was in Nigeria West Africa which was a baptism of fire but very worthwhile. After returning from Africa and while working in Scotland he met his wife Ferne who has accompanied him in all his travels and they have two children Sam and Sarah who have been with them on some postings while they were younger, including spending a number of years at school on St Helena.

David’s first island was the Scilly Isles off the coast of Cornwall followed by an ODA post setting up the Prince Andrew School on St Helena where David first met Jim Kerr who was also heading back to the UK on the RMS St Helena.

After some time in the UK and further professional training David and Ferne spent seven years from 1999 in the Falkland Islands where David was Senior Teacher at the Falkland Islands Community School where Ferne also worked as a teaching assistant helping students with special needs.

Jim Kerr with David Clarke
outside St Mary's School

After some time in Norway and the far north of Scotland David and Ferne moved to Ascension Island where David was head of the Secondary Department in Two Boats School. Upon leaving Ascension David and Ferne have been back home in the Scottish Borders.

David considered retirement but the chance to come to Tristan as Education Adviser and hopefully help the development of the school and the students in some small way. Ferne is also helping in the school assisting students in a variety of ways. So David has now worked on all four UK owned South Atlantic Islands.

David concluded his introduction:

Where next? Is there a school on South Georgia? For now we are happy to be living and working on that special place, Tristan da Cunha.

Jim Kerr with Anne Green
outside St Mary's School
Editor’s Note: I added this footnote to Jim's article in the February 2013 Newsletter:

Jim’s Tristan Employment a Record
Jim worked on the island as Education Officer 1985-1991 and as Education Adviser 2009-2012. So he exceeds the sojourns of Rev. Edwin Dodgson (1881-1884 and 1886-1889), Administrator Roger Perry (1984-1989) and Agriculture Officer Gerry Stableford (1953-1957 and 1962) to become the longest serving expatriate to work on Tristan da Cunha.

Now Jim adds a third Tristan sojourn between April - October. Jim has now resumed his post as Secretary of the tristan da Cunha Association and will work alongside Chris Carnegy representing the Tristan da Cunha Government in January 2015.

Performing Arts Show

A St Mary's School Performing Arts Show
was performed on Tuesday 30th September
in the Prince Philip Hall
for Agulhas visitors, parents and
other community members.

Shirley Squibb's photo shows the school pupils
gathered with Education Adviser Jim Kerr
for whom this was his last school function
as he and his wife Sue were preparing to depart on SA Agulhas II.

Diving Demonstration by Darwin Plus Team
Report from Holly Latham and Photos from Jim Kerr

On 15th April Holly Latham and Rohan Holt, two divers working on the current Darwin Plus project “Sustainable Management of the Marine Environment and Resources of Tristan da Cunha” visited St Mary’s School to (hopefully!) inspire some budding young SCUBA divers and conservationists. Holly donned her full dive kit – dry suit and all! – to visit the classroom, while Rohan helped explain what all the various bits of diving equipment did. Items of diving equipment were tried on by all, with several pupils donning a dry suit and almost all having a go at breathing off a SCUBA regulator. Many of the pupils have had a chance to swim in the rock pools and it is hoped that this introduction to SCUBA will help inspire some to take up diving and further investigate the unique marine environment around Tristan da Cunha as they get older.



Photos show the younger St Mary's School pupils enjoying dressing up in diving gear shown by Holly and Rohan during their visit on 15th April.

School Playground Improvements
Report and Photos from Carl Lander

Children playing Basketball on the new court, during Games lessons.

The delegated FCO budget was used by the Administrator to fund the purchase of equipment to enable an extension of the sporting facilities that could be used by the school and community. The funding allowed the purchase of line marking equipment, paint, fencing and a range of sports equipment.

The project was initiated by Carl Lander. The whole initiative started when, on behalf of the education advisor, the Agriculture Department sourced and procured fencing that was then erected by PWD who also revised the drainage. Mr Paul, the school site manager and Mr Carl, Project Co-ordinator, then cleaned up the old tennis court, removing growth and re-concreting poorly worn areas.

Court/pitch lines were painted that would allow football, handball, hockey, basketball and netball to be played. The PWD then erected the equipment and the Agriculture Department sprayed the area to deter weeds and plant life. Over this period Mr Carl took P.E./Games classes, outlining rules and demonstrating the principles and practice. It is hoped that as the remaining equipment arrives staff at the school will continue to encourage and play a variety of sports with the children and that the children will use the facilities at break and lunchtime. Furthermore the community will be encouraged to use the courts and playing areas outside of school hours.

Head Teacher Anne Green is delighted with the playground improvements and commends Mr Carl who spent many hours working himself on this project. Paul Repetto has taken a job with the PWD so this has left us without a caretaker, and Carl did the playground area himself, which has made the place look a lot smarter. We even have little footprints leading down the path to the school and some outside the front door.


Photos above and below show Class 1 playing snakes and ladders & hop-scotch on the playground with their teacher Miss Ann-Marie

ICT Education News from Carl Lander

In their annual audit in November, St Mary's School were graded 'A' by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. The highest grade for quality of administration and delivery of ICT courses.
The island internet was improved in 2013 offering greater service and a more reliable signal. Along with all other departments, the school's computer suite that supports 10 students using the internet and on-line services has benefited.

ICT exam success
As a result of the improved ICT delivery and network service, in December, Leanne Swain, Kimberley Green and Lynette Green sat and passed examinations for the BCS Level 1 ICT-ECDL course. An internationally recognised qualification in ICT.
Hot on their heels were other Class 5 and Class 4 students Janice Green, Kaitlyn Hagan, Luis Enrique Lander, Leo Glass, Jade Repetto, Natalie Swain and Kelly Swain who all passed their exams in January. Certainly a record number of children gaining ICT qualifications on Tristan.
Not to be outdone, School staff, Poppy Lavarello, Kelly Burns and Renee Green, who have been undertaking teacher training with Mr Carl, also passed their ECDL Level 1 Qualifications in ICT and Dean Repetto and Riaan Repetto, who both left school last year, returned to complete their studies in ICT also gaining the ECDL qualification.
It is hoped that the students and members of the community will now work together to complete their Level 2, GCSE equivalent qualifications in ICT.

Class 1 with their Computer

Class 2 and Ms Julia use theirs

Class 4 Randal Tries it out
Returning students Dean and Riaan get to grips with ICT studies again.
Classrooms get interactive
As part of the ongoing programme of developing resources, each teaching classroom now has a 27" interactive touch screen computer loaded with age specific English, Maths and Science software to be used by the teachers and pupils in the delivery of teaching and learning. Additionally two notebook computers, recently donated to the school, have been loaded with SEN software and are now being used by pupils for differentiated learning in classrooms.

St Mary's School is now well and truly in the digital age.
We look forward to publishing photos of the award of ICT Certificates before long.