I am writing to thank you for the project work that you have carried out with our students during the last four years.

As you know we try and introduce new experiences and skills for our students on a regular basis. This is something that all schools do to enrich the curriculum, but for us such programmes have a special importance as the Seychelles islands are physically very remote. Within this context we have welcomed a good many facilitators over the years, but your contribution to developing this added value curriculum has been unique.

Students working under your supervision have benefited so much. Many of them have taken the skills acquired further, to tertiary institutions for example. This is not just an issue of familiarity and competence with technology, although I must say that the manner in which you encourage confident and effective use of sophisticated equipment is exceptional. It is also an issue of enabling creative thinking and problem solving. Students working with you become better at responding to challenges and working as part of a team to resolve difficulties. They think outside the box and are able to layer developments in terms of imagery, sound, concept and style. They can create professional products whilst maintaining a strong personal commitment to the content. I have noticed additional skills imported into the formal curriculum following involvement with Cafe Society projects, particularly in the areas of Art and Design and Literature.

Further, I must praise the way in which you engage with students; never patronising, sensitive to their agenda, but also clear about the need to produce work and create experiences that they feel proud to be part of. Your manner is engaging and productive; in short, the students really like you and enjoy working with you. They are comfortable working with you in your role as a facilitator, they enjoy the humour but are constantly aware of the prioritisation of work; they do not see you as a teacher, and I think that this is an enabling distinction actually! Many of them talk about you and the work that they made with you years after the event; if part of being a successful educationalist is to make an impact and convey sustainable and extendable skills then you certainly qualify.

Looking forward to the next series of workshops, Jon.

Martin Kennedy
Director, International Schools Seychelles