St Andrews International School Samakee is fortunate to be a multi-linguistic environment and typically draws families from approximately twenty-six countries that speak a variety of prime languages. This rich cultural diversity is a huge advantage and helps us to ensure that our school curriculum prepares our children for a global future. Samakee International Day is a successful annual event that enriches our curriculum and overtime, focuses on the whole world, not just the countries represented in our school community.
Undoubtedly a fun and enjoyable day that children look forward to, International Day is also a mandatory and academic school day, devoted to learning about different countries and their cultures. Our learning objective for this day is to motivate our children’s interest and to encourage them to open their hearts and minds to the world and its enormous variety of fascinating peoples and cultures. The event is fully supported by enthusiastic members of our PTG who work in liaison with teachers to establish “countries” and related activities throughout our school environment. All the information presented to the children is carefully monitored for accuracy and appropriateness.
On a rotating schedule and clutching their passports, class groups visit a selection of the countries offered and to the extent possible in the time available. During each country visit, children sit with their group, listen to the presentations and participate in the assigned activities. Children generally spend twenty minutes learning about the country they are visiting and doing a hands-on activity emphasizing some aspect of the country’s culture. Careful planning ensures that each class group does a variety of different types of activities such as, folklore, festivals, native animals, sports, music or dance, arts and craft, cooking and more. Teachers accompany the groups to their destinations, maintaining responsibility for class discipline and support for the different activities available.
In addition to these country visits, there is:
- An international parade for which children are encouraged to come to school in the native dress of any nation of their choice with a sign indicating the country in whose native costume they are dressed.
- Performances from a specific country for example: Thai dancing or Capoeira a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music.
- Visits to the International Food Hall to taste foods typical of the countries represented.
In a child friendly way, each country booth is requested to display some minimum information that a culturally literate person would be expected to know as follows:
- map indicating the location of the featured country,
- the continent in which the country is located,
- the capital,
- the country’s flag,
- the currency,
- predominant language(s)
- significant natural landmarks or manmade monuments.
Additional items or artefacts associated with the country may include:
- products made in the country,
- geographic features of the country,
- literature or folklore from the country,
- important historical events,
- artistic or scientific endeavours.
Over the years we have striven to ensure that International Day at Samakee is a dynamic and exciting event and although we revisit some of the same countries, we always include new countries each year. From year to year we also change the overall theme for this special event, thus enabling returning countries to explore something new and interesting.
At Samakee we truly believe that learning about different cultures helps our children to be more understanding and accepting of others. We hope that you can join us for a fun and engaging International Day 2014. The date is Friday 28th March at 8:30a.m. and our suggested theme is “Survival Skills”!