We were delighted to receive for the second time, the International School Award 2018 – 2021 from the British Council. This is testimony to our whole school commitment to embedding a rich and creative range of international work; giving our children opportunities to learn about the wider world and learn to be global citizens.
Our partner school in India sent us photos of their recent project where students from the University of Delhi spent ten days in Mainspring to help the children with their reading and writing. Kitaab Club translated means a Book Club.
Learning about the Nasio Trust Charity and the work they do in Kenya
Louise, Chantelle and John from the Nasio Trust Charity came to tell us about the work they do in Northern Kenya to help the children and their families. We learnt the song ‘Jambo’ which means ‘Hello’ and we are going to record it for the children at the Nasio School.
This year we are continuing to work with our partner school in India and we are looking forward to sharing our work with each other. We have also linked with a school in France 'Ecole Primaire Publique Groupe Scholaire Louis Malbosc' and we will be writing to them to practice our French.
Learning about Fairtrade and Sustainability
Year 5 learnt about Fairtrade and linked their work with the festival of Harvest. They learnt about the countries that are leading on Fairtrade. They also visited our local supermarket and investigated all the different Fairtrade products. They presented their work in our Harvest Assembly and everyone learnt something new from their presentation. Have a look at their presentation.
Celebrating Chinese New Year 2018 the Year of the Dog
It’s always fun to learn about Chinese New Year and how the months were named after all the animals. Did you know that the Emperor named the months after all the animals had a race across the river? 2018 is the year of the Dog.
Year 6 made number games using the Chinese numbers. Now that was a challenge. Here are some of the games the children made.
Getting to know you
'Ecole Primaire Publique Groupe Scholaire Louis Malbosc' is situated in the large city of Beziers, located in the Languedoc-Rouissillon region, in the South of France. Beziers is one of the oldest cities in France, with parts of it dating back to 575BC. It has a population of around 75,000.
Year 5 investigated what we and other countries do to reduce waste and how waste and rubbish can be reused and recycled. They have sent their ppt to Mainspring and are waiting to hear back from the children what they do to reduce, reuse and recycle waste. They also presented what they found out in a school assembly. Did you know that Sweden only has 1% waste. They reuse and recycle their waste to make renewable energy. We agreed that all countries should learn from this. Going Green is definitely the way forward!
Links with our new partner school in India
Links with our new partner school in India
This year we have contacted a school in India called Mainspring school. Mr Anderson, one of our very helpful parents introduced us. The Website for Mainspring Timli School is www.mainspring.in. The school is in Timli Vidyapeeth and it’s in the Himalaya mountains.
Mr Anderson came and led an assembly to tell us all about the school. We wrote letters to the children before Christmas and they sent us cards back. They were beautiful. The children are really very picture smart and used lots of bright colours and patterns.
You can follow this link and see an amazing video of Mainspring school. We learnt that the children walk 4-7 kms to get to school. They walk through the mountains and along a stone path and guess which animals they see on the way to school? Cows, goats, monkeys and even leopards!
We are going to be learning so much about Mainspring and what they learn in school. Ms Khan and Ashish (he’s the Headteacher of the school) are going to set up a skype call so we can meet the children and talk to them.
The School Council skyped with the children at Mainspring school and with Ashish in Delhi
‘It was fantastic and we are going to do it again.’
We have sent books to Mainspring that we made. We made alphabet books and number books so they can learn the English alphabet and counting numbers. We also made some story books and a book about life at Fir Tree with lots of information about our school.
Learning about different countries
This year we have included another ‘Take One’ project called ‘Take One Country’. We always learn about different countries and traditions and the way people in other countries live and what they eat and what they wear. This year we linked our Take One Country project to our sports day. Each team is named after a country so each team investigated their country and learnt so much about it-where it was; the population; their culture and traditions and even about the music they listen to or instruments they play. It was a lot of fun and we learnt loads. We’ve got a big book with all our work in it and everything we learnt about.
Continuing our links with Jack and Jill School
This year we are continuing with our links with Jack and Jill school. We learnt so much from our work with the children and teachers, we thought it would be good idea to continue to write to them.
We received cards wishing us a Merry Christmas and we sent them cards to wish them Eid Mubarak.
Fir Tree has linked up with the Jack and Jill School in Pakistan. The link was made through the British Council and has enabled us to learn about the world around us.
Through the inclusion of an international focus, we offer our children, a range of experiences that enhance their learning and raise global awareness and citizenship.
By having an international dimension as part of our ethos, we provide the children and staff with a wide variety of experiences both within, and in addition to the National Curriculum:
We raise money for the charity ‘Lunch4Learning’, which raises money to give each child a school lunch in Ugandan schools. We also raise money for the Nasio Trust, which helps children in Nairobi.
At Fir Tree the children learn French. Madame Taylor is our teacher and now after four years of learning French every week, the children can now speak in French and some of them can write in French too. The children have celebrated learning French by having a French café where they enjoyed having croissants and this year Siva cooked a special lunch to celebrate Bastille Day.
Raising global awareness and global citizenship was the theme of our Connecting Classrooms project with the British Council that was launched during the week before half term in October 2013.
The launch of our Global Awareness week began with the Asian drumming workshop led by Mr Hill, an expert in playing the ‘dohl’ and ‘tabla’, which really got the children involved, followed by a delicious lunch cooked by Siva of lamb kofta, vegetable curry and rice.
During the week each class spent time learning about Pakistan and finishing their letters and project books about life at Fir Tree for the children at Jack and Jill school. All the children spent time in learning Urdu as well. Each class chose to either learn phrases, the greeting, days of the week, months of the year or colours.
The children were asked if they thought it was a good idea to learn about another country, the response was unanimously positive with one child’s response, ‘It’s good to learn about another country, it makes you more aware’. In learning about Malala, one child said, ‘She has made me want to come to school more,’ another said, ’She has made me feel strong.’ This week each class spent time learning about Pakistan and finishing their letters and project books about life at Fir Tree.
A requirement of the project is for the schools to arrange reciprocal visits and I am very pleased that my visit to Jack and Jill school in Rawalpindi, Pakistan during half term was a successful one. I am proud to say that our children have embraced the learning of another culture with interest and enthusiasm. In turn the children at Jack and Jill received the work from our children about life at Fir Tree, how they learn and the importance of values with great interest. We welcomed Mrs Malik, the Headteacher of Jack and Jill in May 2014.
One of the highlights of our Connecting Classrooms project was when a group of Year 5 children skyped with the children in Jack and Jill.
Excitement brewed with a hint of nervousness, which seemed to vanish after greetings of Hello and Salaam leading to interests and sports. The highpoint being that both schools play cricket and hockey. Through this project we have linked two schools together giving the children and staff an invaluable opportunity to learn about each other’s customs, culture and traditions and that is what raising global awareness and citizenship is about.
Mrs Malik came to visit us for a week in May. She was greeted with enthusiasm from all the children who had many questions about her life in Pakistan and her school. We welcomed her in an assembly where we did one of the dances from our performance of the Lion King, a group of Irish dancers performed as well including the orchestra and choir. Mrs Malik brought some cards and letters from the children.
Mrs Malik taught us how to do the ‘ludhi’, a traditional dance from Pakistan. She spent the week with us and watched us learning. We asked her lots of questions. As one child said, ‘Mrs Malik is sharing her beliefs with us and we are sharing ours with her.