This week, we have been celebrating World Week at St Vincent’s. We had some special workshops throughout the week, and we have been able to learn more about ourselves and our friends too. We were also really lucky to watch our International Assembly, and some of us even took part, today!
On Monday, we started our learning by looking at a strand of Catholic Social Teaching, preferential option for the poor. We learned more about what our Catholic Social Teaching is about, and we learned that this is about our own moral compass, guiding us on how to live out our faith in the world. We learned that Jesus showed us how to walk in his footsteps, bringing love and care to those near and far. We believe it is our job to live as Jesus and the saints, bettering our world for everyone. Linking this to World Week, we learned about a project that is run by CAFOD. CAFOD are a catholic organisation that work across the world to develop different areas, using money that is donated to them.
We learned about a programme that they run called ‘Hands On’ which supports communities in different ways. We learned about Nicanora and her community that faced challenges on their small farm in the Bolivian highlands. To understand this further, we located Bolivia on a map and looked at some images of the landscape there. We found out that Bolivia was a country in South America, and borders countries such as Chile and Brazil, which was particularly exciting for us because some of us are from, or have families from these countries! We learned about the harsh climate on the ‘Altiplano’ which is the arid plain in the Andes mountains, where Nicanora and her family farmed. The burning sun poses challenges but also gives way to heavy hailstorms, which destroys the crops that the family work hard to grow. We found out that CAFOD have helped the community by installing piping for irritation (which we learned is the practice of applying water to help crops to grow) and they also built a wormery which has helped to make compost to give the plants all the nutrients they need. On top of all of this brilliant work, they also built a vegetable garden and a greenhouse, which helps to shelter the vegetables from the harsh environment.
We learned that the work that CAFOD does, supports people and communities to develop and sustain a lifestyle, while facing struggles and challenges. In our work, we created informative posters all about this project, and were also able to include our new knowledge of Bolivia, it’s climate, and link it to our Catholic Social Teaching, as we included writing about why people donate money to CAFOD and how doing so allows us to follow in Jesus’ footsteps.
Safer Internet Day
We are really fortunate to be able to use technology in our education, and at home too. It helps to link us to our families around the world, and to also learn more about others. However, we know that it is so important for us to remain safe whilst being online. Miss Carruthers delivered an assembly where we thought about the ways in which the internet, and different apps, have changed over time. We spoke about the importance of speaking to a trusted adult about any of our worries about anything that we access online. We spent time discussing these situations in our class too, as we met two characters that had been scammed by an online user. We know the ways in which we can keep ourselves safe, on top of speaking to an adult, we should use the ‘block’ or ‘report’ button to keep us safe from other online users. On this day, we also met Iris from MIND who spoke to us about kindness and being kind online, alongside Year 1 and Year 3.
Children’s Mental Health Week
As part of Children’s Mental Health Week, each class spent some time with Amy, who is a Holistic Therapist. She taught us all about the importance of breathing, to help us manage any stress, worries or to help us relax. She spoke to us about different techniques and we were able to try them with her. We did one where we held a bee in our hand, and made the buzzing sound ourselves, focusing on that sound with our eyes closed. We also tried one where we imagined inflating a big balloon between our hands, with our in-breaths and out-breaths. This also linked with our learning in RSE, as we have spoken lots about our feelings, actions and consequences. We know that it is normal to feel sad or angry, but we also know the importance of strategies to help us to manage these feelings. We now feel well equipped, with these new tools that Amy has given us!
Later, we spoke about sharing our thoughts and feelings and we know that this can really help us to feel better too. Another important part of this is listening too. As friends, we hope to be there for one another, and communication is key to making sure that our worries are shared, but also listened to. To demonstrate this, we played a whispering game where we tried to get a phrase or a sentence all the way around our classroom. We worked so hard to do this and we were really close, every time we tried! We noticed that some of the messages were slightly changed along the way but we still showed great listening, patience and respect for our friends too. After this, we went around the room sharing something that we are grateful for and something that makes us happy. This activity was so lovely for us, and we showed such maturity as we listened intently to others and we also found out that lots of us have some of these things in common!
On Friday, we came together to celebrate International Day as a school community. We came into school in the colours, or national dress, of our countries. Everybody looked amazing, and it was really special to share these memories with our school. We were then really excited to watch a fantastic assembly which showcased all of the brilliant talents that we have within our school. Some of us were even brave enough to go up on stage in front of so many people! We heard some beautiful poems, some great singing and saw some fantastic dancing too. We would like to say a big thank you to Miss Siswick for organising the assembly!
Later on, we spoke more about our identify and the fact that we all belong to different groups. We spoke about our school community being a group that we all belong to, but that some of us belong to different church groups, football clubs, etc. We know that where we come from also helps to make up our identify, and some of us have family from many different amazing places. To celebrate this, we created our own flags, incorporating the flags of the places that we are from. To find out what these national flags look like, we looked in the Atlases and found them based upon their continent. Once our flags were complete, we moved seats in the classroom and interviewed our friends to find out more about where they are from.. We were looking for what we have in common with our friends, despite us being from different places around the world. We found out that some of the things that we have in common are things as simple as liking chocolate, or supporting the same football club, or our favourite songs! We also finished this lesson by discussing why it is important to have friends from different places and we were really thoughtful when we said that it helps us to learn more about other people. We feel really lucky to be part of such a fantastic school community, where we truly celebrate our diversity.
What was your favourite part of World Week?