On Wednesday went to the American International School in Kingston (AISK). As noted on 24/2/12, got to know Scott Genzer, the principal of the middle and senior schools, on my first visit here through a mutual friend Douglas Butler, and it's been great to stay in touch since then.
AISK would be a very short walk from here if it was possible to get straight there, in fact it's necessary to walk round a lengthy block round Jamaica College, a large boys' school next door to here which owns the land on which AISK is build. AISK is a small - about 300 pupils - 3-18 school, teaching the American curriculum leading to the International Baccalaureate, Whilst I think it was originally intended for the expatriot community, something like 75% of the pupils are Jamaican nationals. Scott had asked me to share some thoughts on mathematics meets ICT with the mathematics teachers, Dan and Ken. Seemed to go down well. Was some way in before I realised that I wasn't projecting onto an interactive whiteboard, therefore no problem in writing on top of the projected image with an ordinary whiteboard pen. Even when I realised this I still wasn't comfortable!
On Thursday went to Charlemont High School in Linstead, St Catherine's, about half way between here and Ocho Rios on the north coast. Having been told that it is not possible to do the journey by public transport, I then discovered that my host, Ian McCleary, who was with us in Reading in 2010, does the journey every day - home to Half Way Tree, then to Spanish Town, Linstead and finally to Charlemont, taking well over two hours.
Unfortunately the schedule did not allow for any pictures either in Spanish Town, which twice in Jamaica's history has been the capital:
or along the Rio Cobre:
So I hope you'll excuse, on this one occasion, pictures found from elsewhere on the Internet. About 2 miles either side of the Flat Bridge pictured above are gates to prevent vehicles going along when the river is prone to flooding, every year, apparently, some people lose their lives along this stretch.
School was great, came away with a gift of a picture from a pupil whose class I observed. Had a postcard of London with me I was able to give in return, but what was nice about this is that he clearly wasn't expecting me to do that. And able to talk to the Principal at the end of the day about lesson objectives which clearly had a connection with him. So thanks to Ian for arranging that for me, much appreciated!