Sarah Elliott’s Blog

Travel with me on my voyage of learning and discovery…

Events Committee

Posted by sarahelliott on March 9, 2010

Before Christmas, I was involved in setting up an events’ committee with a couple of other members of staff. It was felt that our school was lacking in good organisation of big events and something needed to be done about this.

The committee worked together and decided that we should aim to have about 3 large whole school celebrations a year. 2 of those celebrations will happen every year – celebrating International Day and also May 17th, Norwegian National Day. As a Norwegian international school, it’s important not only to recognise the roots of the country that we are in, but also to celebrate our differences and similarities. The 3rd event is to change on a yearly basis, focusing on a major festival from differents cultures.

This year, we decided that we would celebrate Chinese New Year in February. With every large celebration of this kind, it was decided that 1 PY and 1 MY class should be responsible for carrying out some research behind theĀ festival and presenting it to their respective department before the actual celebration in order to better prepare the rest of the school for it.

The entire school should aim to be involved in the celebration in some way. For Chinese New Year, this worked really well. Grade 7 took on the responsibility in MY and Grades 5 and 6 in PY. Grades 5 & 6 were able to interview one of our school volunteers from China and discover some key information – it tied in well to their Unit of Inquiry on Time, as they were able to look into the differences between the Chinese calendar and the Gregorian calendar, lunar cycles and so on. Grade 7 worked together with me to research into the history and traditions of Chinese New Year – both classes then filtered the information down through assembly presentations to the rest of the school.

The music teacher worked with PY on a Chinese New Year song, Grade 7s performed a dance at the celebration (more on that in my next post), Grade 8 made the decorations for the evening and Grades 9 and 10 prepared and ran evening activities such as tiger face painting, tangram craft, Chinese New Year card making, paper-cutting, Pin the tail on the tiger, a chopstick team game, paper dragon making and Chinese caligraphy for the rest of the school. Parents were responsible for bringing some food, our head even ran an introduction to Qigong for the parents and the whole evening finished with a floating lantern lift-off.

It was the first time that our school has had a celebration on that scales, with so many activities going on and it was a total success. It was an excellent occasion for developing a feeling of a whole school community spirit. It was so much more than just flags and food, it was about developing a real understanding for another culture. I spent so many hours organising everything and was very relieved when it was over. I feel that all that effort was really worth it, as the parents were very appreciative and it was evident that everyone enjoyed the evening.

Here is an article about the event from the AgderPosten:

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