From Monday 22nd to Thursday 25th October, St Joseph’s school celebrated Heritage Week. This was a week of activities which explored and celebrated the different family and cultural backgrounds of every child in the school. We were amazed by the range of nationalities, professions and interesting facts that were uncovered when we started to dig into our backgrounds. Here is a diary of what we did in Year 5:
We started the day with a whole school singing assembly where we learned and performed famous songs from lots of different countries. We particularly enjoyed a song from Holland about a clog wearing mouse! After that Year 5 had a special visitor who came to our class to talk about their family heritage. It turned out they had Spanish ancestors and a close relative who designed a famous sweet wrapper. In the afternoon we had a special assembly all about heritage and the importance of celebrating our differences. During the assembly we were given a special challenge: To design a school flag to represent all the pupils in the school. The best design would be turned into an actual flag and displayed in school. We were all hoping that our design would be picked.
Today, we designed our own flags for the special competition. We tried to think of something that would represent the backgrounds of all the pupils in school and also represent those things which make St. Joseph’s such a unique place. The designs were very colourful and impressive. We also had a visitor who was American. He gave a talk to the whole school about the U.S.A including its food, animals, weather and history. He was very friendly and had lots of amazing information to share. He now lives in Christchurch, but clearly misses his hometown; even if they do have moose bigger than cars roaming around everywhere!
Today we did lots of different activities in class. We watched some video clips of puppet shows which told traditional South-East Asian stories. Then we had to write and perform our own stories using unusual puppets from different countries. We also drew self-portraits using special skin-tone crayons. As many of us had relatives who had served in wars (and one had even been a Morse code machine operator!) we learned how to use Morse code to send messages. We started by decoding a secret message and then learned how to create our own names using the code. It was really interesting.
Today was the last day of Heritage Week so we were allowed to dress up in costumes that represented something from our own family heritage. Some people wore traditional clothes from other countries, some dressed as the jobs their family members had once done. There was an impressive range of costumes including policemen, butchers, soldiers and nurses. In the afternoon every class had a party and got to try foods from different countries. We had food from India, China, America, Greece and many other places. There was even enough for everyone to have seconds!
Overall it had been a really fun and interesting week. We all learned a lot about ourselves and each other which we hadn’t known before. It helped us appreciate that we are all different and all have special stories to tell about where we came from. These differences are what help make us who we are and should be celebrated. That is exactly what we did!
By Ana and Yasmin B – Year 5