Summary of a progress report recently received from Mutebi Daniel (Danny), Director of Margaret Junior School.
Pupil numbers have increased to 364, although not all pupils will be attending the school at the same time. It is felt that the increase is partly due to the good performance of pupils and their excellent exam results.
The school currently has 14 permanent staff and the school prides itself on paying teachers on time.
• Children are receiving an improved balanced diet. Milk, eggs, matooke (starchy variety of banana), rice, cassava and potato are included. Pupils have enjoyed cultivating crops and money has been spent on fertilisers for a better yield. Rain water, which is now stored in the tanks purchased from money raised by The Friends from the 2018 Christmas Appeal, is used to irrigate crops.
• There has been an improvement in sanitation with an increase in piped water.
• 25 desks have been made for the new examination room.
• Lighting has been improved allowing children to continue to study for longer.
• 20 new text books and 40 new story books have been purchased for the library.
• Adequate stationery is now available e.g. chalk and pens.
• An increase in monitoring pupil’s health and an improvement in the provision of first aid.
• Mass services take place in the Main Hall and Boarding pupils are encouraged to attend prayer at the local church. Pupils who follow the Muslim faith have been supported to attend the mosque with teachers of the same faith.
The Trustees of The Friends of The Margaret Junior School were pleased to receive such a positive report but are aware that there are many challenges.
The cost of food and stationery is continually increasing. Precious rain is needed to irrigate the land. Maintenance of the buildings is a never ending process!
Open Gardens event – Through the Garden gate
Over 400 people enjoyed the glorious weather on Saturday 1st June wandering through 14 gardens in the Underdale Road, Racecourse Avenue and Monkmoor Road area of Shrewsbury. There was also an opportunity to look behind the gates of the Monkmoor Allotments. The area was buzzing!
As people visited the variety of gardens from formal to a garden with nature in mind, they collected ideas for their own gardens. It was not just about gardening. Holly Woo from the Swift’s Society talked about the life of the swifts nesting in one of the gardens.
Chris Bainger, Fisheries Technical Specialist for the Environment Agency, was in another garden that went down to the weir to talk about the ecology of the River Severn, especially the fish. He was accompanied by his stuffed otter! Master Composters were on hand to give guidance tips on the best way to compost. Children (and some adults!) enjoyed pond dipping.
Teas and delicious homemade cakes were enjoyed by visitors as they were serenaded by a string quartet, light classical and folk music. There was an opportunity to buy original paintings, homemade chocolates, plants, jewellery from Uganda and books. A raffle was held for a one-day chocolate making workshop, kindly donated by Melanie Fallon, Bonbonniere.
The new Mayor of Shrewsbury, Phil Gillam joined visitors in the afternoon and had an opportunity to visit 6 of the gardens and talk to visitors. He was amazed with the variety within each of the gardens.
A staggering £2,600 was raised and will be spent on providing education for over 320 children. All the children come from local villages and many are orphans, living with grandparents or other members of their extended family. Most families are subsistence farmers, with little money for ‘’luxuries’’ like education or health care.
Hilary Procter, one of the Trustees of The Friends said ‘’ What a fantastic day. The event could not have taken place without the enthusiasm and generosity of the people of the Monkmoor area and our many supporters. Although we did have visitors from Texas who were on holiday. It was a Community event and the money raised will make a difference to the education of so many children. A teacher’s wages at the school is equivalent of £40 a month. We hope to make it a biennual event’’.
A big thank you to the Wynn Foundation, Don Holme Valley Lions and The Women's Institute in West Yorkshire.
After many years of daily fun the children’s playground equipment has seen better days.
With their generous donations we can now begin to replace the equipment and let the fun continue.