Today we spent the entire day at Springwwood high school where we were greeted by some very enthusiastic year seven students. Their age was our first lesson of the day, as we soon learnt about the British education system, including the fact that year sevens are actually the equivelent of our grade sixes! These gorgeous 11 and 12 year olds dedicated their morning to giving us dramatic presentations about the history of their town. Once the performances were over, the two groups of students mingled with each other as our kids answered age old questions from the very curious year 7s. Some of them were very disappointed to learn that we don’t actually ride kangaroos or keep koalas as pets!
Later, the students were separated into subject areas and attended various classes such as dance, music, art and drama. Everybody noted the vast differences from the two countries and the discussions that emerged were invaluable for each set of students whose eyes were opened up to a different approach to teaching and learning.
After lunch, the students’ competitive streaks were tested as we played England vs Australia in tug of war and softball. We were too good for they English kids in tug of war, beating them in two straight games out of three. Softball was the real challenge, and after the opposing team’s rendition of ‘God Save The Queen’, our students sung our own national anthem with more gusto and pride than I’ve ever heard before! I’m positive that our chants of ‘Aussie Aussie Aussie’ were heard throughout the entire school! After some curious decision making from the English umpire, the game was tied at 5 runs a piece by the end. We will play the deciding round tomorrow.
Overall, the students bonded with each other and their English hosts throughout the course of the day. This was strengthened more so by the fact that our lovely springwood students had organised a night of bowling on their own accord last night. This gave everybody an opportunity to meet ea ch other’s hosts, which of course has drawn the entire group even closer together.
Tomorrow we will spend the day at the Queen’s holiday home – Sandringham House.