February 6th, 2014
Today Meraji and Anjali from 9th standard will tell you about how they start their day and what they see on their way to school.
Of course they experience a lot in the different seasons- there is so much to see!
Hello! My name is Meraji. I am from Kargudi which is a Bettakurumba village. It is quite far away from school. Every morning when I wake up I will see the forest and deer. Then I brush my teeth and I eat my breakfast which my mother makes every morning. I like it very much. I like all food. Then I will change my dress and I comb my hair. Sometimes I listen to songs. Before school I will play with my friends. Then I have to clean my room and help my mother. Most likely I will fight with my brothers. I like my brothers very much. Every day I support my brothers because I love them. At 8 o’clock I will walk to the bus stand to catch the bus to school. On the way I can see many elephants, monkeys, dear, wild pigs, and sometimes even a bear. Sometimes I will even see a tiger from the bus.
During the monsoon I don’t like to walk, because it’s muddy, cold and windy. When the rain falls down I like the smell of the mud. During the monsoon we get many fruits and many different flowers. In the rain season I like to stay in bed because it’s very cold and the raindrops sound nice. And I like to play in the rain and I like to see the hail.
My name is Anjali. I’m from Chembakolli. I’m studying in 9th standard with Meraji, Rekha and Vibeen.
In the morning when I wake up I hear bird sounds and I’ll see the field where our cow grazes. Then I’ll brush my teeth and I’ll eat my breakfast which my mother made. It is very nice. My favourite food is noodles. Then I help my mother and afterwards I will take my bag and I’ll walk through the forest. There I’ll see two people walking on the road. They are going to work in the tea estate, plucking tea leaves and cutting wood.
I can see birds, mice, deer, butterflies, grasshoppers and spiders. Then I see some trees like guava trees, gooseberry trees and many kinds of other trees. During monsoon season I don’t like to walk, because it will be muddy and slippery under my feet. It is the most difficult time to walk through the forest because it’s so muddy. It’s also cloudy and windy. During the rainy season I see many elephants. At one point the jeep that takes us to school will wait and we have to ride it for 30 minutes until we reach the school. From the jeep I can see trees, elephants, deer and many people going for their work.
How do you get to school? And what is the first thing you see and hear and do in the morning?
January 20th, 2014
Today two students from Vidyodaya School would like to introduce themselves and write about what they do in school, where they come from and what they like.
Hello, I am Rekha!
I am from Chembakolli and I study in 9th standard.
I am from the Kartunayakan tribe.
My best friends are Sangeetha, Anjali, Meraji and Vibeen.
My favorite subjects are Tamil and Social Science. I like my school very much, even if it’s not fun to study sometimes.
I would like to be a police woman after school.
We are four people in my family: My mother Radha, my older brother Dhanesh, my older sister Remya and me. My pet animal is a tortoise. My mother works as a tea picker and my brother works with an organization called “The Shola Trust”, he goes into the villages and looks for sacred groves (Kaaves, see his entry on “Sacred Groves” from October 2013). My sister is studying in 11th standard; she wants to be a nurse.
Hi! I’m Vibeen!
I study in 9th standard in Vidyodaya school. I want to be a photographer after school.
My mother is from Devala, but we live in the nurse quarters near the Gudalur Adivasi Hospital. My father is from Palakad, he is non-tribal and has a vegetable store in Gudalur town. My mother is Paniya, she works as a nurse in the Adivasi hospital. I have an older brother called Praveen, he studys in College and a younger sister called Dhanya who studies in 6th standard in my school. We have two dogs called Snowy and July and a few chicken. We also have two aquariums with some fish. My best friends are Mridul, Prasath and Rekha.
When I am in the village I like to go for fishing in the stream and play cricket. I don’t know how to swim, but I want to learn it one day.
Next time we will tell you about what we see on the way we have to walk to school.
December 31st, 2013
We hope you had a great time with all your family and friends, had some really nice food, a beautiful Christmas tree and many gifts.
Even here in India we celebrate Christmas in our school.
As said before, Christmas needs some really nice food, so on the 23rd we baked Christmas cakes in school. The kids were divided up into groups and each group got all the ingredients for a cake. We were pretty busy mixing everything and adding all the ingredients, so it took us the whole morning, but in the end we had 20 cakes! They are very tasty with nuts, cinnamon, cloves and other spices in it and we spent the afternoon baking them and decorating our school ground.
On the next day we cut the 20 cakes into more than 300 pieces and served them to everyone during the celebration- what a fiest!
We did not have a Christmas tree in Vidyodaya School but we built our own stable out of straw and decorated it with colourful bands and stars. In the weeks before Christmas we had made many mud-figures for the krip, painted them in all colours and finally put them in the stable.
Our celebrations in school took place on the 24th.
At ten thirty everyone from the organization’s office, the school and even some people from the adivasi hospital gathered on the ground near our school.
As said in the last blog post we had practiced all the Christmas Carlos in the weeks of December and presented them to our audience. We also had practiced some dramas that we then performed in front of them- it was great fun and everyone really liked it!
Afterwards of cause Santa Clause needed to visit us and we were all waiting to see what he brought for us and who was hiding behind the mask. In fact we had even two Santa Clauses who came with three bags of gifts. Every child got a present and Santa Claus even danced for us. In the end we all tried to guess who the Santa Clauses were and finally unveiled the truth- It was one of the teachers and a student who had graduated from our school last year.
So, all in all we had a really nice day and everyone was celebrating Christmas together. One other reason why the kids might have been so happy could be that the Christmas holidays started after the celebrations and they have to return to school only after new year’s…
We hope you had a great Christmas celebration and spend a wonderful time with your familys.
Belated merry Christmas and a happy new year for all of you!
December 20th, 2013
Hello, here is our final blog! This week we have been performing our play and doing lots of fun Christmas activities. On Monday and Tuesday our parents, carers and families came to school to watch our play. We really enjoyed performing and our grown ups enjoyed watching it! The show was called Panto Pandemonium and it was about lots of different stories from traditional pantomimes.
On Tuesday we all had a traditional Christmas dinner in the hall. We had Christmas crackers and all wore paper hats. There was Christmas music playing and all the teachers sat with us to eat their dinner too.
On Wednesday we had parties. We had 4 different activities and we moved around to each classroom in KS2 to do each activity. We played a game where you had to roll the dice and if you got a ‘6’ you had to go into the middle; put on hat, scarf and gloves and then spoon cotton wool from one bowl to another until someone else got a 6! In the next room we had party food that we had all brought in, the third room we acted out charades for each other to guess, and the final room was a disco where we danced and played musical statues!
We really enjoyed reading your blog and it was nice to know the things you are doing for Christmas. We haven’t made a nativity from clay but we do have a nativity scene in school that one of the younger children’s grandparents knitted from wool.
We have really enjoyed writing to you over the last 6 weeks and we hope to hear from you again soon. We wish you all a happy Christmas and we hope you enjoy all of you activities you are doing at school.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Cherries!
December 16th, 2013
This week we have been working really hard on our Christmas play, we performed a dress rehearsal to the children in KS1 which went really well!
We have done lots of Science this week finding out about circuits and electricity. We thought about lots of ways to make sure we are safe around electricity and some of the things we shouldn’t do; such as putting fingers in sockets or overloading sockets. We carried out several investigations using circuits. We tested materials to see if they were electrical conductors or electrical insulators, we added bulbs to one circuit and we added batteries to another circuit. When we added bulbs we found out that they all get dimmer as they have to share the electricity. When we added batteries to a circuit the bulb got brighter until there was too much electricity and then the bulb blew.
We looked at 2 more artefacts in the bag: one was the rice strainer. We weren’t sure what it was , we thought it might be a: sieve, instrument, plate, Frisbee, something to put tea bags on or a mat to put your cup on. We also looked at the pictures and the writing on the calendar.
In our classroom we have a Christmas tree. We have decorated it with lights and baubles. We have also made a paper chain out of strips of paper.
We have been learning lots of Christmas songs over the last few weeks and this week some of us were chosen to go, with some teachers, to sing at a local supermarket. It was really lovely, lots of people watched us and we raised lots of money.
We are really enjoying all our Christmas preparations and we can’t wait to perform to our grown ups next week! We will send you a photo of us performing!
From the Cherries
December 13th, 2013
We are sure you are as busy with your Christmas preparations as we are, so please excuse that we missed the last update.
Around Christmas time there are lots of things to do and we in the Vidyodaya School have a lot to practice and to plan!
In December we started practicing many Christmas Carols, like “Jingle Bells”, “O’ Come all ye children” or “Joy to the world”. Each class will perform one of the Carols on Christmas and sometimes the younger kids will even dance or make moves with the songs.
Yesterday we started another project- making little figures from the Christmas-story from clay.
We will get the mud from the holes that crabs make in the ground, near the rice fields and then we add some water and mix it. Then we use the clay to form krip-figures from it.
It was a lot of fun to play with the mud and try to make an angel, a camel or the baby Jesus from clay. Now the figures have to dry and then we are going to paint them and on the day before Christmas we’ll put them all in a big krip which we will build from straw and sticks by ourselves.
Have you ever made krip-figures from clay?
Another very important thing is the Santa Claus costume! It has been lying around in a dusty chamber since last year so we had to wash it and re-stitch some parts of it.
Some of us also made a list what ingredients we need to back enough Christmas-cakes for all the children and teachers in our school- that’s a lot, but it’s going to be very tasty!
Now some of our older kids will write their own drama for Christmas! They are going to practice it and on Christmas they will perform it for all of us.
To have a Christmas tree, we will cut many branches from the trees and tie stars around it.
Of course the Christmas presents are very important as well and we sometimes hear the teachers whispering about what they are going to give us for Christmas… we are looking very much forward to find out what Santa brings for us kids!
Until then we better watch out, we better not cry and we’ll finish all our preparations and practice the songs and drama well- no one knows who might be watching us..?!
Have a nice and not too busy time before Christmas and have fun with all your preparations!
You’ll hear from us soon!
December 9th, 2013
This week in school we have been busy rehearsing our Christmas play. We have been learning lots of songs and working with all of the other children in KS2 to create our production. It is going really well and we are looking forward to performing it to our grown ups. We have also decorated a Christmas tree in our classroom and put up some other decorations around the room.
In class we have been doing an art project. We have designed, made and printed with our own printing blocks, which was good fun. We had to come up with a design that was fairly simple so we could make it out of straws, string and wooden sticks and glue them onto card. Once our printing blocks had dried we chose the colour paint we wanted to use and then printed our design onto paper. We created our own pattern on the paper. Lots of us were really happy with our work but some of us were a bit disappointed as it didn’t go as well as we hoped it would.
Yesterday we were visited by a brass band who performed for us all. They played lots of Christmas songs that we could sing along to. They also played outside at the end of the day so that our parents could see and hear them when they came to collect us. There was also a performance from year 3 and some other children who have all been learning to play the harmonica.
In Literacy we have been writing poems that have to have a certain amount of syllables in each line. We have linked them in with different seasons of the year. We then used the laptops to type them out onto a PowerPoint presentation and add pictures.
For homework over the last 2 weeks we have all produced a project about India. We have made PowerPoints, booklets and posters full of pictures and information.
We have 2 weeks left in school until our Christmas holidays. Next week we are going to do some Science investigations so we will let you know what we find out! We will also look at the last few artefacts in the bag!
We hope to hear from you soon.
The Cherries, Wansdyke Primary School.
December 6th, 2013
This week we have looked at some more of the artefacts in the bag. We listened to some of the music on the CD and we enjoyed hearing some traditional tribal songs. We looked at the dancing sticks and had a guess at what we thought they were for. Here are some of our guesses: sticks for putting on the fire, making music with them (instruments), building things, hitting carpets to clean them, drum sticks or sticks for stirring when you are cooking. Once we found out what they were for we had a go at using them to tap out the beat whilst playing the music on the cd.
In Maths at the moment we are learning about measures. We have been using scales to weigh things and we are looking at converting grams to kilograms and also using decimals and fractions. Last week we were learning how to use an 8 point compass and give directions.
At the moment we are all learning songs for our Christmas play. We work with the other children in key stage 2 to put on a performance that all of our parents come to watch. We have also been having singing lessons for the last 10 weeks. This week we performed these songs to the rest of the school.
In Literacy we have been reading a book called Ice Palace which we loved! We have done lots of work linked with the story including art work, writing letters in character, freeze frames of scenes from the story and making storyboards of the main events. In the story a little boy called Ivan goes on a quest to find his brother who has been taken by the baddie Starjik. Have you got a book that your class are reading?
Yesterday afternoon a theatre group came into school to perform a play for us. The play was Jack and the Beanstalk and we had great fun watching it and singing along to some of the songs.
We hope to hear from you soon.
The Cherries, Wansdyke Primary School.
November 25th, 2013
This week we would like to tell you about some of the things we have been learning about so far in year 4. In Science our topic has been ‘Moving and growing’. We have learnt the names of the bones in our body and about how our muscles help us move. We learnt a song all about the names of the bones called ‘Name those bones’, it was good fun. In an art lesson we created a model of what we thought our skeleton looked like using black paper and white paper straws.
Every week in school we get to go to the local swimming pool for a swimming lesson. We travel to the pool on a coach and then we get 30 minutes in the pool. We learn how to swim and how to use different swimming strokes. We really like going swimming!
In Art we have been looking at patterns. We looked at lots of examples of patterns and had a go at copying them. We then designed some of our own patterns. In the next few weeks we are going to make our own printing blocks and print our own patterns using paint. We really enjoyed finding out about your cave art, it looked great!
This week it has been national Anti-bullying week when we think about all the things we can do to help prevent bullying. We have talked lots about the ways we should behave and how we should treat other people. We made our own badges and posters to remind people what we should and shouldn’t do to make sure we are all happy.
We have spent some time investigating a bag of artefacts that we were sent. We have had fun trying to work out what some of them are used for! We all knew about the pot stand (Therika) as we had seen one before. We had lots of great guesses for what we thought the sieve (Muram) was for. Here are some of our guesses: a dustpan, scooping fish out of the water, scooping tea leaves out of the sack, a seat to sit on when you ride an elephant or a pillow! We also looked at the bird trap (Velanjikol) and again we had lots of guesses but weren’t sure what it was. We thought it could be: a hanger for clothes, an arrow holder, a flute, an incense stick holder or a bamboo stick carrier. We also looked at the coconut spoon (Kayil) which we really liked! We are looking forward to seeing what else is in the bag!
We are really enjoying ourselves in school and we hope you are too!
From The Cherries, Wansdyke School, Bristol
November 19th, 2013
We are the Cherries class from Wansdyke Primary School in Bristol. Our school has 7 classes from Reception (age 4) up to Year 6 (age 11). All 7 classes are named after trees. We are very lucky as we have a lot of lovely outdoor space with fields and trees. We also have 2 playgrounds with play equipment for us to use. We have spent the last few weeks learning about life in Chembakolli and we are really enjoying it!
Our favourite part so far has been learning how tea is grown and made in India. We then ordered some fair trade tea from the Action Aid website and we had a tea party in our classroom. We all tried some of the tea and we had some biscuits too! Our Head Teacher also came to have some tea with us. It was great fun!
We have done some art activities linked with our work on Chembakolli. We have looked at Rangoli patterns and then coloured some of our own on paper. We also looked at the landscape of the area around Chembakolli and the Nilgiri hills. We then sketched this in our sketch books.
One day at the end of October, Sue, who works for Action Aid, came to visit us at school and showed us lots of pictures of when she visited India and Chembakolli. She told us lots of things about your daily life. We then did some activities including making flower garlands and printing on fabric and we also had the opportunity to explore some artefacts. Sue also brought some traditional Indian clothes with her which some of us were able to dress up in.
In PE we have just started to learn some Indian dancing. We are going to learn a routine in the style of Bollywood which we are hoping to be able to perform to our parents.
We have just received a bag of artefacts which we are excited to explore. We will let you know how we got on with them in our next blog.
We would like to know how you record your work at school, do you have books? We would also like to know if you learn about England while you are at school?
This week in school we have had Remembrance day where we think about all the soldiers who died in World war 1 and others wars since then. We all wear a poppy and have a 2 minute silence to reflect on this.
We look forward to reading your reply and we are really looking forward to finding out more about you and your school.
The Cherry class, Wansdyke Primary School, Bristol.