At the end of March I flew out to Hong Kong to visit the Logos Hope for 10 days. It was strange to be back on board when there are now only a few people that I know but it was wonderful to catch up with some special friends. I had the chance to visit the city centre with some people, take the teachers out for a meal and also to go up the peak; despite the typically British weather we still got to see a bit of the view!
My main reason for being there though was as Educational Advisor to the ship school. We aim to have someone visit the school twice a year, to support and encourage them. Although we maintain a lot of e-mail contact with the teachers it is always helpful to spend time with them in person as well and there are some things that are easier to deal with face to face. With a high staff turnover it also gives the opportunity to ensure that the school is running consistently and to make sure none of the curriculum gets lost. Different visits have slightly different focuses so here are some of the things I did while I was there…
I spent a lot of time with Sherri, the current headteacher on board. She has recently handed her class to someone else so will now focus on covering classes, one-to-one sessions with some children and leading the school. Ever since I was on board I’ve wanted to see a situation where the headteacher would only need to teach part time so it was awesome to see this finally happen. It means that Sherri will really be able to move the school forward, rather than just keeping things running on a daily basis. We were able to talk about things we want to see happen, discuss some of the current issues (happily, there aren’t any major ones at the moment) and plan the school calendar for the rest of the year.
One of our main focuses this visit was on resources. Being on a ship there is never a huge amount of storage and things have been building up. We sorted through 2 cupboards of secondary resources and cleared out half of them that aren’t actually suitable for what the school provides. These will now be donated in a future port. We also got rid of various boxes of art and craft resources that haven’t been used in the last 4 years, so now they have a bit more space to work with. I also spent time identifying which areas of the curriculum we will focus on resourcing over the next year.
I didn’t meet formally with the parents on board but was able to share meals with many of them. It was great to see those families I knew before and see how far their children have come, and also to meet new families. Now I can put faces to the names I’ve seen so many times. I did meet with each of the teachers which was an encouraging time; despite four of the six of them being new, they have formed a strong team and are all thriving.
Overall it was a successful visit and a delight to see how well the Logos Hope School continues to do. Having been headteacher quite early in the school’s development it’s great to see things that we put in place at that time still working well. The children, teachers and parents were full of praise for the school and I praise God for all He is doing there. But however great it was to see the school and to catch up with old friends, I also knew without a doubt that it is not where I belong anymore. God has taken Chris and I to a new place now and I was glad to get back to my wonderful husband and home