Making Maths Fun, Sewing Machines, Joining the Local Library and More

Guest Blog from Margy Cockburn

Margy Cockburn, an experienced Maths teacher trainer visited Nabugabo for 6 weeks at the end of 2017. During her time at at Nabugabo, Margy contributed so much, not just fantastic training for the teachers, resources and skills but also kindness, love and compassion to all within the community. Below is a photo blog from Margy with a few highlights of her time:

A few photographic memories of my time with the Nabugabo Community Learning Centre, where 'community' really is the operative word; I received the warmest welcome; was made to feel completely at home; was bowled over by everyone's enthusiasm for working together to get the best outcomes for the pupils at the school and there were more moments of hilarity - including me performing in a dance competition and making the national newspaper - than I could (or indeed, should wish to) record.

Thank you all for making my time with you unforgettable in all the right ways. Margy

Maths in Action


Teachers Vincent, Moses, Patrick, Betty and Cissy at a staff development session, Proving maths can be fun and providing a practical demonstration that making mistakes can be one of the most useful learning tools and a cause for celebration not shame

Magic Multiplication Square

A crib sheet explaining an extension of the 'magic multiplication square' - by playing pool with the decimal points you can use it for decimals and percentages and that went down really well

Maths Resources

Some of the new kit in the store room - have to say the printed money caused the most interest and the packs of cards got used in quite a few extra-curricular activities.

Exploring mixed fractions

Primary 5 explore mixed fractions using the newly-acquired Multicubes, counting beads and chalk boards.

Drumming and Dancing

The school dance group struts its stuff while the drummers provide all the rhythm necessary at one of the legendary and heartfelt school 'warm welcome' assemblies.

Pupils are a key part of the Nabugabo Drummers and Dancers, who regularly perform displays for visitors at the nearby hotels.

Dancing Children in costume Children drumming Man Two girls Girl say on chair Two children Baby drumming Children in costume

School cook, Justine, showing she is mistress of the calabash as well as producer of the best 'poshu and beans' you will ever taste.

Book Day at Sand Beach

The school has become a member of the government-run library at the nearest town, Masaka, which means it can have 30 books on loan for a month. The first batch was very well received and it is hoped transport arrangements will be able to be made to enable pupils to access the 11 net-linked computers and dozen or so e-readers which are also held there.

Children reading Child reading book Group of children outside Reading book

Lakeside Christening

Pasta Andrew, as he became affectionately known, positions himself in front of a very apt instruction to lead the ceremony baptising one of the teacher's daughters and one of The Arc residents.

Andrew Bible
Girl with christening candle Baby

Getting Creative

Central Masaka offered the possibility of acquiring a Singer sewing machine (the Chinese version, with a lot of dragons on it). It took about five litres of oil, some not-so-delicate grinding from the local automotive expert and hours of practice treadling to get the smooth action required but everyone had a go. Some will clearly continue to improve and hopefully get to the point where they will be able to share their skills with the pupils. The first step towards establishing a craft centre on site for when students complete their primary education?

Sewing machine Sewing machine

Matuba Fabric

And another craft idea that may be explored - matuba cloth, made using a method that predates weaving, is a traditional cloth from the Bugandan kingdom. It is made from stripping the inner bark of the matuba tree, then soaking, bashing, stretching and drying it to form a malleable fabric that, in its finest form, feels a bit like felt.

Stripping bark Softening bark Stretching bark Drying Matuba Drying Matuba Margy with the Matuba Master