International Week is just around the corner here at school and Time Out Abu Dhabi Kids asked us how we plan to celebrate. The article is out in April's edition and you can read the content here:
1. Tell us about International Week. What is it all about?
Proud of our rich international community that’s made up of over 75 nationalities, here at the British International School, Abu Dhabi (BIS Abu Dhabi) International Week is one of the most anticipated events of the year where the students not only celebrate their own heritage and culture but also learn about each others.
This year we are exploring the Arts from around the world involving students in activities such as dancing, singing, music, sculpting, construction, designing, painting and drawing. This is a community event and we are drawing on the different areas of expertise from our teachers, students and parents all sharing in skills and developing our ways to celebrate each other whilst we will compare and contrast the Arts from different countries.
2. What countries do the children study, learn, celebrate?
In Primary school each year group will explore a different continent. This year Nursery and FS2 will learn about countries in Europe, Year 1 and Year 2 Australia and Oceania, Year 3 South America, Year 4 North America, Year 5 Africa and Year 6 Asia. Secondary students will work in their form groups to create a piece of work which combines their different cultures and informs each other about where they are from.
3. What activities do the children take part in?
There are a whole host of activities that take place during the week that include the whole community from the students, teachers and parents. Some of the main ones this year are as follows:
- An Arts leader programme where parents have signed up to share an arts skill from their country to student representatives from each class from Year 4 – Year 9. Once the students have learnt the skill they will return to their class and teach it to the other members of their class. They will learn things such as origami, calligraphy, Irish dancing, Van Gogh style painting, traditional folk dances from Arabia and the Philippines and yoga.
- A PTA organised event where students in each class work together to produce an art work on canvas that represents the country they are studying or on artist from that country. The PTA will then hold an exhibition and silent auction of the art work.
- A home learning project for Primary students to create a piece of artwork that represents their home country which they can bring to school to present to their class.
- Parent/ student workshops where families experience some of the different cultural arts curriculum we offer here at BIS Abu Dhabi, and what it is like to be part of a lesson! In our school community we believe that learning goes far beyond the classroom and is for the whole family.
- A PTA hosted coffee morning for parents, bringing families together from the same home country, a great way to meet new people!
4. Do all schools across Abu Dhabi usually host an International Week? Is it a ‘big deal’ in the education world?
With Abu Dhabi being a truly international city, many schools will celebrate International week in their own way. We run our celebrations across a week to give the children and their families a chance to reflect on their own their own and learn more about other countries through a wide range of educational activities.
5. Why is it important to host an International Week?
In a multi-cultural community such as Abu Dhabi, it is important that students realize that while we all live together, we are all from different parts of the world, and that each part is different and special. Learning about other cultures not only develops awareness and appreciation in students but also helps them to develop understanding and tolerance of different people and societies. Our diversity is a rich resource that we can all learn something from.
6. Do the kids put on a show for parents?
The last day of the week is the day when we celebrate our cultures by coming to school dressed either in traditional costumes or in the colours of our country’s flag. On this day we have parades and concerts which showcase our talented students, a real celebration of cultural arts, and share the creativity of the week. It is so important to our ethos as a school that we collaborate, and share in our cultures as a community.