A “Flying Squad” in the Holy Land

An initiative promoted by the Lieutenancy of England and Wales to offer English language lessons to students in schools run by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Print Mail Pdf

A “Flying Squad” in the Holy Land

The Lieutenancy of England and Wales is proud of the way in which it has supported the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem (LPJ) schools over many years.

A new phase of assistance began in 2010 when the Lieutenancy received from Fr lmad Twal, then LPJ Director of Education in Jordan, a request for help with the teaching of English in the schools. The Patriarchate teachers are highly qualified, dedicated and committed but they are excluded from the substantial assistance for development and training provided to State schools by the international community. Maintaining the standard of teacher training in the LPJ schools is a priority.

Being native English speakers, the Lieutenancy of England and Wales was uniquely qualified to respond to this request. Fluency in English opens employment opportunities. Improved standards would also raise the status of the LPJ schools. The "English Project" was built on the experience of the inspired first Lieutenancy online Teacher Training project, and was developed in 2002 by Steve Hirschhorn and the late Michael Whelan KGCHS.

The new project was planned with "Flying Squad" tutors from Eckersley Oxford in 2011 by tutors Jonny Kowal, Richenda Askew and Jackie Halsall (now the Lewis Teacher Training Team), Fr. lmad Twal and members of the Lieutenancy Margaret and Bernard Waddingham. The Lieutenancy’s involvement was approved by the Governor General of the Order.

A Five Phase Project was designed for Jordan. This proved so successful that it was extended in 2013 to cater for teachers of English in Palestine and Israel.

The Lewis Team also provided training sessions for other teachers of English in the Patriarchate schools. Over ten days, nearly sixty Jordanian teachers received some level of training. Some of the teachers have already led in-service training in their schools. In May 2013, several led training days for all LPJ teachers in Jordan. These teachers are developing leadership and management skills and are already planning with and training fellow teachers of English. Cascading best practice has begun.

Peer Mentoring was a further development, with teachers self-evaluating, reflecting on their strengths and noting areas where they wished to improve, before being observed by their colleagues.

The final session in Ramallah ended with a drama production of A Dream within a Dream. Adelle Spindlove, from Theatre Express (part of Lewis School), led thirty students at Al Ahliyyah College to demonstrate a new approach to English. They gave a passionate and moving performance in English.

The considerable funds for this unique project were raised by several Sections of the Lieutenancy of England and Wales, by many parishes in England (mainly through Crib Collections) and by Fund raising balls organised by both the Lieutenancy and by the Jesuit Parish of the Immaculate Conception in London. Other donations were made by Cambridge Nazareth Trust, The Catenian Association and generous individual benefactors. The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem itself funded the transport for teachers and the Lewis Team.

“This is truly a great opportunity and we would like to thank the members of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre in England and Wales, for putting these sessions together for our students and teachers” and “KHS has helped these teachers, who are a candle that lights up the field of education to illuminate the paths of others with hope”, stated Fr. Faysal Hijazeen, LPJ Director of Education in Palestine and Israel.

(February 20, 2016)