As part of our Multicultural Week this year each teacher was asked to choose a country that they had a personal interest in or connection with. The children were then given a passport which they used to travel around the school collecting a stamp from each of the countries chosen. Here are the countries that they visited:
Hedgehog – Miss Jackson chose France because Mrs Maskell who works in Hedgehog class goes to France every year and is passionate about it. They learned some basic French words including hello – bonjour, goodbye – au revoir and to count to five – un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq. They also learned the traditional rhyme Frere Jacques. They discussed how we can travel to France from here and looked at the capital city Paris. They then watched a video and talked about the different foods that are eaten in France, including frog’s legs and snails. The children then made French flags or Eifel Towers.
Mouse – Mr Mills chose Mexico because Mr Raftree is working in his class and has been to Mexico. He thought that it would be a bright, colourful and fun country to explore. With him the children watched a video about Mexican festivals and learned all about the country. They also looked at artefacts from the country. The children then made skull masks, flags, paper decorations and cones of paper flowers.
Owl – Miss Ward chose the USA because she is an American citizen. With her the children learned about the American flag and what it stands for; they also heard the Pledge of Allegiance. They thought about modern America and the things we associate with it now as well as watching a video of pictures of the country. They also learned about the discovery and colonisation of America and how it became known as the ‘melting pot.’ They then learned about the original inhabitants of America, the Native Americans. They looked at a variety of Native American artefacts including an arrow head, a blowpipe, a rain stick, an ocarina, baskets, turquoise decorations and a dream catcher. The children then had the opportunity to try their own Native American crafts – headdresses, totem poles, dancing fans or dream catchers.
Deer – Miss Humphrey chose Egypt because it was a country that she was interested in but did not know a lot about. Her classroom was transformed into a learning environment to develop curiosity about Egypt now and in the past. With her the children were given an opportunity to look at Egyptian climate and landscape and compare it to England. They also looked at the importance of the river Nile and studied the ancient Egyptians. The children then had the opportunity to make collars, headbands and bracelets similar to those worn by the pharaohs in ancient Egypt.
Fox – Miss Lawrence chose Turkey because it is a country that she has visited since she was little and felt a lot could be learned from their vibrant culture. With her the children were able to look at objects from Turkey, including tea cups and pillows, and began to make comparisons between Turkey and England. The main learning was focused around learning about a different religion. They learned that there are hardly any Churches in Turkey because people believe in a different religion – Islam. They looked at pictures of beautiful Mosques and the people who go to them. Children in Years 1 and 2 learned the 5 pillars of Islam, which Muslims all believe are very important. To represent this children created their own ‘hamsa hand’ to remind them of the five important Islamic pillars.
Rabbit – Mrs Dearden chose Spain because she lived there for a year and goes there for a holiday most years. With her the children located Spain on a map and learned about the currency, the beaches and the traditional food, in particular paella. They also discussed a favourite national sport – football and discussed the Spanish football teams that they knew. They also discussed bull fighting and whether the children thought that it was a tradition that should continue. The children had a go at Flamenco dancing and learned to count to ten in Spanish. They also learned the colours in Spanish, concentrating on red – rojo and yellow – amarillo to link to the Spanish flag. The children then made their own Spanish flags and had to work out how to make it strong enough to wave for the king.
Badger – Miss Walker chose India because she thinks it is a diverse and interesting country that has a long history with Britain. Her partner’s family also comes from India and they often make several trips throughout the year to Goa to visit extended family. With her the children learned about the animals that live there, how Indians dress, the money that they use and the different religions people believe in. The children’s learning was focused around the festival of lights, Diwali. As it is customary in some parts of India to wear a flower garland to celebrate Diwali, the children then made their own flower garlands.
Frog – Mrs Gray chose Holland because it is a country that she has visited several times. With her the children learned about traditional costumes, typical foods, windmills, tulips and dykes. They also learned some simple Dutch words and watched a video that taught them the names of animals. The children then decorated Delft style plates and made windmills and tulips.
Squirrel – Miss Yaxley chose Germany because she went there last summer. With her the children talked about which continent Germany is in and how people could travel there from England. They looked at pictures of the Berlin wall and talked a little bit about why the wall was put there. They also learned about some of the things that Germany is famous for – sausages, castles and windmills. Each class then worked together to make their own version of the Berlin wall with pictures and writing. They also made their own windmills with turning sails.
Because our Multicultural Week coincided with the Chinese New Year we also spent two days learning about China. Jia-Yu came in and taught us some Chinese dancing, including a fan dance and a parasol dance. She also taught us a monkey dance because this is the year of the monkey, it was lots of fun. On Thursday the kitchen cooked us a delicious Chinese lunch. All of the classes did different Chinese activities including dragon masks, Chinese writing, plate decorating and Chinese food tasting.
This year we were lucky enough to have some parents that came in and shared their knowledge of other countries and cultures too. The Owl Class, for example, had Taylor’s mummy come in and teach them the Greek Zorba and a Tobie’s daddy teach them Japanese.
We had a fantastic week and would like to very much thank everybody involved, particularly The Friends for funding it and making our week as special as it was.