India: Children’s Day celebration at Vidyodaya School(entry 119)

November 29th, 2009

Hello!

On 14 November, we celebrated Children’s Day in our school. We remember India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru on this day. He was very fond of children. On his birthday every year, Children’s Day is celebrated in India.

Harsha

We had a full day of school with new activities. Harsha Anna, an ex-student of our school, is studying Fine Arts in Bangalore right now (he’s the person in the blue kurta in the photograph). He brought his friends from Bangalore. This group had artists and singers. They spent the whole day with us - entertaining us.

In the morning, we had our regular assembly session where we sang shlokas. Then our headmaster talked about the Children’s Day. He told us about the rights of children; like the right to education, speech and so on. In India, there are many children who don’t go to school. They start working when they are very young. Sir said that we should fight for the rights and no child should be made to work. All the children should be in school.

Then, Harsha Anna made us play a game. He blindfolded us and asked us to draw a picture on the blackboard. It was very funny to see our drawings.

Drawing

Then we sat in groups. We learnt how to draw nice paintings. How to make portraits , cartoon and landscape pictures.

Anand

They taught us how to mix colours and then we drew objects and scenery. In the portrait group, each group had two people. We drew each other.

Portrait

All our drawings were displayed after lunch. The teachers also joined in with this activity.

Mahesh

Then, it was time for singing and dancing. The group brought many musical instruments like veenas, dolaks, guitars and drums.They played the instruments and all sang songs. Many of us saw these instruments for the first time.

Musical Instruments

In the last session, they played an Adivasi song and we all danced. The teachers gave us sweets.

Dancing

Badichi - I loved the drawing session on the board. When we looked at our drawings, they looked very funny and we laughed.

Siva - Harsha Anna’s group sang a Bengali song which I liked very much.

Prasad - I liked the guitar and drums.

Nandini - the Irula dance with the live music was nice and I enjoyed it.

Dhanya

Revathi - I loved Poornima akka’s veena. She played very well. I also liked the Bengali song.

Bye,

Class VI

England: Bentley-West Primary (entry 4)

November 27th, 2009

Hello everyone,

Your new school looks fantastic! We would definitely like to visit your school, as it looks really interesting and very different to our school. We hope you enjoyed reading about our art exhibition and liked looking at the photographs. We think we have some great artists in school.

We have decided to tell you about our deaf base this week. Miss Bird Year 3 Teacher of the deaf has took some photographs of the staff and children.

Miss Bird:

Bentley West School has a base for hearing impaired children. We currently have nine children within the base but we have a new child starting in January.

There is one deaf child in Reception, one in Year Two, four in Year Three, two in Year Five and one in Year Six.

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There are six members of staff who support the deaf children throughout the school day. We have three teachers, two nursery nurses and a deaf instructor.

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The deaf children in our school use British Sign Language to communicate. They learn to read and write in English along with their class mates.

The deaf children are taught in the classes with the hearing children except for music. We have a specialist teacher who comes into school to teach the deaf children music. He makes the music more visual so they can build up rhythms from visual patterns rather than listening to them.

The deaf children from all the different year groups have twenty minutes together at the end of each school day. This helps to improve their sign language and build friendships with the other deaf children. The deaf children also go on trips together. We go to the theatre to see special performances in sign language.

The school has recently bought some video cameras so the deaf children can record their sign language easily. The children and staff are very excited about these. Are there any deaf children at your school?

Bye!

We would also like to tell you about our visit to Wroxeter Roman City. We went on Monday 23 November. It was so exciting when we arrived we went and explored the museum. We found out that the place we were at was once a big Roman City with a very large basilica which the Romans often used to meet and take exercise. Here are Louis and Hassan taking notes in the museum.

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By Lauren

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The picture above is of Bethany and me dressing up in Roman costumes. It was great in the education room we also made posters about the Romans.

By Talia

We will tell you more about our visit in the next blog. It was a shame because it rained quite a lot but we still enjoyed it and learned a great deal. Hope you are enjoying your new school and we also hope the weather is much better. It has stopped raining so much here but the temperature is beginning to drop, particularly at night. The weather forecast showed it would be eight degrees tonight.

Bye, looking forward to your next blog!

India: our new school building - Part II (entry 118)

November 22nd, 2009

Hi,

Did you like reading about our new school in last week’s blog?

We are writing some more details about the new school building.

Entrance

In the new building, our group has a separate class room. Our class is big and roomy. We have a nice shelf in our classroom where we keep our files. From our window, we can see the green fields.

Shelves

It is nice to have lot of space in classrooms. All of us are happy to have so much space.

Our Kalyani Chechi has a separate room to make tea for the teachers. Ragi kanji (porridge) is also kept here.

Ragi

In the break time, we stand in a line outside this room near the window and get our glass of ragi.

Ragi1

The teachers have a big staff room. The weekly teachers meetings are held here. The education team meeting also takes place in this room. The education coordinators come from their different areas for this meeting. The teachers also eat their lunch in this staff room.

The older children eat lunch inside the classrooms. The younger children sit outside under the trees and have their lunch.

Lunch

The school office also has a nice room where Shanthi, Sreeja and Surendiran work. They keep notebooks, pencil, eraser and so on in the office room. We can go to the office any time, if we need to get things from there.

Office

We now have 17 teacher trainees in the school. They are all Adivasis who are studying to become teachers. They have a big room near the staffroom. They attend assembly everyday. They are also with us during craft and games class.

Trainees

The trainee girls stay in one of the big rooms behind their class. The trainee boys stay upstairs in the meeting hall.

The building looks nice with the newly painted walls. We have many toilets in this building. As this building used to be the hospital, a number of toilets were built for the patients and their families to use.

Painting

We do miss our old school building, specially the trees and the green grass. We would like to grow grass in front of the new building also. We have already planted hibiscus along the fence.

Would you like to visit our school? Do you like the photos?

Bye

Class VI students

England: Bentley West Primary (entry 3.)

November 20th, 2009

Hello everyone,

We have also had terrible weather here. Some parts of England have had over 37cm of rain fall in 24 hours. This caused the rivers to burst their banks and flood town centres. Over 100 people had to leave their homes and sleep in community centres. We have storms and it has been very windy but we are safe and have not had to close our school. We hope the weather improves for you soon.

By Hannah:

You asked if we went on any visits - next week we are going on a visit to Wroxeter Roman City. The visit will help us to learn more about the Romans as this is our topic for this half term. The Romans invaded Britain in AD43. We are looking forward to finding out more about how the Romans lived. We will tell you all about our visit next week.

During our art week each year group learned about a different artist. Then we produced a piece of work in the style of the artist. We are going to show you some work from each year group. It was great this week when we exhibited all our work and parents also came to look at our achievements.

Year 1 learned about the artist Georgia O'Keeffe. They painted poppies and they made poppies from tissue paper.

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Poppy picture

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Year 1 flower picture, by Talia

Year 2 produced work in the style of L. S. Lowry. The stick people really stand out and I liked the way they have used dull colours and shades.

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By Mya

Year 3 - We focused on Georges Seurat. I really enjoyed creating a colour wheel particularly when we mixed up the colours. We made a display of all the activities we did to help us understand and show our parents.

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Then we scrunched up paper to create the shape of fruit. Then we covered and painted them. This is how the fruit looked.

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By Owen

Year 4 painted in the style of Salvador Dali. They painted the background first then painted an object which they cut out and stuck on. After that they used either pastels, pencils or wax crayon to create shadows. I really liked Year 4 work it looked great in the exhibition.

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By Takira
Year 5 developed their skills in drawing. They produced work in the style of David Hockney.

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By Lara

Year 6 enjoyed learning about the artist Pablo Picasso. This was my favourite artist. His work is very unusual and I really like the bright colours as it makes the painting really stand out. I liked the individual paintings.
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But my favourite was the whole class piece.

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By Joshua

We held a choir concert last week and lots of parents came to watch us. All of Year 3 and Year 4 took part - four classes in total. Each class sang some songs on their own. We also sang in year groups. Year 4 opened the concert by singing Use the Force. It was a lively song all about forces. Each class sang a song in a different language some were hard to learn but they sounded beautiful. We rehearsed the concert by performing to the whole school. We were all nervous but our teachers said we did a great job. To close the concert we sang our last song called 'Building' and it was sung by all children and staff. It is a contemporary song that builds up layers of melody.

By Gabrielle

India: Our new school building (entry 117)

November 16th, 2009

Teacher:

During the last week, there were heavy rains in the Nilgiri district. There were lots of landslips; roads were badly damaged and people’s houses got washed away.

Landslide

It was really bad to read in the newspaper. But, all these happened in Ooty and the other side of the hill. Gudalur was not affected, even though it rained a little. Because of this, the district administration declared a week’s holiday to all the schools in the district. For few days, there were no buses on that road. So, at Vidyodaya School, we did not have class for one full week.

Revathy writes about it in this week’s blog.

"This week, we didn’t have school because of the rains. We had holidays the whole week. In Gudalur, it did not rain much, but in Ooty, Coonoor and Kotagiri, there was very heavy rain.

I enjoyed the break. I made a bag and played a lot. I went to my uncle’s house in Gudalur and looked after my little cousin brother. I learned a new song for the children’s day, which is celebrated on 14th November."

Now, the Class VI students are writing about the new school.

"Our new school is big and spacious. It is very nice.

Meeting

We have one big assembly hall in this building. Every day, we spend the first class in the morning here. All the teachers take part in the assembly. When any visitors come to the school, they also join the assembly. We can even dance here as there is lots of space.

Meeting

We have a large area for our library. It is very nice. We can sit comfortably and read books. We can do puzzles here and they are all kept out.

Library

It is easy to pick the ones we like. In the old school, we had only a small room for library. The puzzles were all kept on shelves.

Library

We enjoy reading books in the new library.

Library

In our new school, we don’t have a big playground. We go to our old school ground to play once a week - it is only a few minutes walk from here.

Play Ground

Here, we can’t play football and cricket. But we play other games like kho-kho, runner and catcher and so on.

We miss the mango tree and all the trees that we could climb. In the new school there are a few trees, but we cannot climb them.

Play Ground

We have many classrooms in the new school building - it is nice. We will write about the different class rooms later.

Bye,

Class VI students

Vidyodaya School

England, Bentley West School, Walsall (Entry 2)

November 12th, 2009

Hello everyone,

We really enjoyed reading your blogs. The blog about making the furniture was fascinating! We all thought the finished furniture looked wonderful.

Your visit to the temple looked really exciting. We are looking forward to visiting Wroxeter Roman City. The visit will help us to learn more about the Romans.

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These are the remains of a Roman bathhouse. We are going to Wroxeter on Monday 23 November. We will tell you all about our visit on the blog.

Last week we had an exciting arts week in school. Each year group was given a specific artist to research. We learned all about the artist then produced a piece of work in the style of that artist.

In Year 3 we focused on Georges Suerat, an impressionist artist. First we learned about the artist.

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Georges Suerat was born 2 December 1859 and died 29 march 1891. He was born into a wealthy family in Paris.

We mixed primary colours: blue, yellow and red to make secondary colours. We used blue and yellow to make green, red and blue to make purple, red and yellow to make orange. Once we had mixed the colours we painted a colour wheel. I really enjoyed mixing the paint it helped me to understand the secondary colours. This is a picture of Hamzah painting his colour wheel.

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Blog by Amiee:

We had great fun learning tints and shades. We used one of the colours we had mixed then added white paint to create different tints.

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This is a picture of Jay at work.

Salman is creating different shades.

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Blog by Lucy:
We went on a leaf hunt outside in the school grounds as we wanted to look at autumn colours. There were thousands of leaves to choose from as it is autumn here which is when the leaves fall off the trees. It was great fun collecting them.

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Once we had collected them we sorted out a range of different colours and shades then stuck them onto a sheet of paper for our art display.

Blog by Karen:

We decided to make different fruits. To make the fruit we scrunched up paper to create the shape of the fruit. Then we covered the paper shapes in papier mãché which is paper and glue. Once they had dried we mixed colours and painted them.

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Blog by Nakita:

We have arranged the fruit we made in a bowl for display. We made some huge bunches of grapes!

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I think the pineapples look the best. Do you do lots of art at your school? Art is my favourite subject.

Blog by Megan:

One of the best parts of the week was watching a real artist at work. Alex showed us how to mix paints and demonstrated different shading techniques. He brought some of his paintings in for us to see. Some paintings take him months to complete, others take a few days. I really liked how he looked in a mirror to paint a self portrait.

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Blog by Aaron:

We hope you enjoy reading our blog about arts week. We all had a great time! Next week we are having an exhibition in the school hall and inviting parents to come and see everyone's art work. We will take some photographs and include them in our next blog.

India: Trip to a temple on hill top (entry 116)

November 8th, 2009

Hi,

Last week we had school on Saturday. We came to school in the morning and then the whole school went to a small temple on a hill called Chandanamalai.

We hired three jeeps and took our yellow school van. First, we had our assembly and then we were divided into four groups. We had to look after the younger children in our group.

Vehicles

As soon as we got into the vehicles, everyone was quite excited. The road to Chandamalai was very bad in many parts. We had a bumpy ride. We sang lots of songs in the jeep.

Malai means hill in Tamil. On top of this hill called Chandanamalai, there is a temple of Murugan. Murugan is a Hindu god. Murugan is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvathi. His brother is Lord Ganesha, the god with the elephant face.

Temple

Murugan used peacock and carried a spear in his hand. So, all his statues will have a peacock and a spear. One has to climb 150 steps to reach the temple on top of this hill. There is also a road to the temple. We went up the the hill by jeep and on our way back we climbed down the steps.

Steps

The temple was colourful and there are lots of pictures on the wall. The temple is surrounded be tea estates and then beautiful hills. On a distant hill, opposite to this one, we could see three waterfalls. We enjoyed the scenery.

Lords

Inside the temple, we saw an ant hill. We have heard from people that a cobra lives there and if people offer eggs, it seems, it will come out to eat the egg. There were some statues of snakes around the ant hill. We prayed at the temple.

Tea Estate

There was a lot of open space around the temple. We played hide and seek. All of us had brought our lunch from home. We ate our lunch. The teachers gave us sweets, chips and oranges.

Lunch

There was a man selling ice cream. Teachers got us all an ice cream each and we enjoyed it very much.

Ice

On our way back, we saw a Hanuman (the monkey god who helped Lord Rama) temple. The temple is under a huge rock. The driver of the jeep in which Tulasi and Badichi travelled stopped the vehicle at the temple. Since the temple was closed, the others didn’t stop there.

Petra akka from Germany (in blue dress) and Claudia akka from Austria also came with us. Petra had a camera and she took lots of photos. All the photographs in this blog were taken by her.

Petra Claudia

We had a good time and enjoyed the day. Next time, we would like to go for excursion where we can stay together for few days.

Do you also go for such day trips?

Learning Centre Group

Vidyodaya School