International Week has proven for many years to be an absolutely magnificent learning experience for everyone in our community. Throughout the week, our BIS children widen their understanding of others’ cultures and home traditions, they develop their knowledge of countries beyond their home and host countries and they celebrate the successes and achievements from their own and their friends’ countries. For these reasons alone, our community come together to put on this great week. The learning that evolves from such a week is paramount for our children to develop into outstanding Global Citizens who thrive in an environment where we learn together. These two characteristics form part of our BIS Aide Memoire – our mission and vision for not only our BIS children, but also our whole community.
With the knowledge of the excitement, enrichment and learning that is brought by our annual International Week, the whole community were so pleased on Monday when it had finally landed. With the children’s learning at the heart of all planning, classes began the week spending time in the “International Experience” where activities suitable for our younger children were set up around a number of international themes. Each year group carefully selected a theme to suit their children’s learning and shared a snippet of their week’s experience in class through the enquiry based activities. The experience took children on a journey from riding cyclos to building Landmark 81, from creating and testing boats to celebratory traditions from India with Henna and Korea with the game of Ddjaki. Thank you to the parents who volunteered their time to the International Experience – you made the event even more special.
Global Café was also a treat for all, where Fundinotots to Year 6 all had the chance to taste flavours from around the world at the Junior Campus. Our fantastic Country Representatives led our parent groups to create our best yet Global Café on Tuesday and Wednesday of International Week. Children experienced not only delectable food, but also wonderful, colourful and informative stalls representing 27 of our country groups at BIS. A huge thank you goes to all families who gave their time in preparing, planning, cooking and serving at this year’s Global Café. We could not create such a great experience without you.
Along the way children in their learning areas have been progressing and developing their understanding within the theme that was especially chosen for them by their teachers. Our F1 classes explored ‘Oceans’, F2 explored the theme of ‘Buildings’ around the world, F3 developed their understanding of ‘Transport’, Y1 children investigated ‘Continents and Animals’ and our Y2 children looked at ‘Celebrations from around the World’.
International Week on the Junior Campus began with a colourful Opening Ceremony, the highlight of which was no doubt the amazing troupe of Indian Mums who performed an incredible dance from the regions of Gujarat and Rajasthan in India. Both children and teachers were ‘wowed’ by the experienced.
Following on from that super start, and mirroring somewhat the “International Experience” on the EYIC, the 30 classrooms across the Junior Campus were transported for a week to lands far away where classes celebrated the richness of cultures and traditions from around the globe. Each class chose a nation and then researched, prepared and presented a range of events and activities representing their chosen nation or region. From Hawaiian pineapple bowling, to matching the world’s deadliest animals in the Australian outback, activities were chosen to help visiting students learn a little more about our wonderful world. After the preparations, students were able to visit other classes to share experiences and information over two days, Wednesday and Thursday. These class visits offered our children the opportunity to not only learn a little about these faraway lands, but also grow confidence in their own ability to lead activities for friends when it was their turn to host visiting classes.
Adding to the international flavor were two separate areas of the Junior Campus; the “World Room”, organised by the EAL Department where individuals or small groups could experience cross-cultural activities within a calm and relaxed environment, and also our Global Library, overseen by Ms Susan and Ms Van in the JC Library, during which global traditions and cultures were celebrated in print. Another week to cherish on the Junior Campus!
The finale of International Week consisted of four Parades of Nations on Thursday and Friday mornings where families came together to watch the show full of dancing, singing and fantastic parades of our children in their beautifully coloured costumes from their home countries. The breathtaking dances from the country groups, France, India, Japan, Korea, Philippines, UK and Vietnam brought a real sense of global citizenship to our hearts. We were privileged to hear the Harmony Choir from Juniors conducted by Ms Fran.
We would like to thank the whole community for their involvement in this incredibly exciting and uplifting week where we have seen all countries and continents unite together as one. A special thanks goes to our PTG Global Café committee for leading the team of magnificent Country Representatives to provide culinary delights for the whole community.
Ms Mary, Deputy Headteacher Early Years and Infant Campus & Mr Chris, Deputy Headteacher Junior Campus