The Swaminarayan Sunday School partnered with the National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education (NRCSE) to deliver a training seminar for Gujarati teachers in London and Leicester on 3 and 4 September 2016, respectively.

The programmes, open to Gujarati teachers from all schools, were organised to equip teachers with innovative and creative teaching techniques and provide a forum to share best practices. More than 170 teachers attended the sessions, including representatives of 12 BAPS Gujarati schools and 10 other supplementary schools and organisations.

The opening session explained the importance of Gujarati and explored the role and teaching techniques of a language teacher. Pascale Vassie, a guest speaker from NRCSE, reiterated the value of learning a second language, especially one so rooted in one’s cultural and religious heritage, and the role that communities can play in delivering this objective. She also explained the different levels of awards accredited by the NRCSE to improve standards in supplementary schools.

A breakout session gave teachers an opportunity to exchange learning styles and share methods of teaching, successes and useful resources. In parallel, a management session for school heads focused on quality assessment of lessons, the roles and potential improvements in leadership, and strengthening GCSE and A Level results.

The final session addressed several other key topics:

  • the importance of lesson planning and class management
  • an overview of a national Gujarati handwriting contest and how to help students improve
  • the salient features of successful supplementary schools
  • child safeguarding policies

As teachers departed, they each received a collection of educational resources, including games, charts and leaflets.

The event was very well received, with a number of attendees sharing positive feedback. Dina Bhudia, of the Pandav Vidya Shala, wrote: “We thoroughly enjoyed it and found it very useful. We would like to extend our gratitude for opening this out to other schools with a view of working together.”

Jayant Tanna, Chair for the Consortium of Gujarati Schools, added: “The two days provided excellent opportunities of learning to all teachers. It was executed very professionally and clearly demonstrated the hard work, dedication and expertise that had gone into the two days.” 

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