International Day was last Friday at school for the whole day. It illustrated many differences between working here and in state schools in the UK, some good some bad. For example nearly all of the work was done on the day by the equivalent of the PTA. This meant that each room was themed as a country, an the parents (where possible) who were from that country were the people in charge of organising the whole “country”.
For us in reception this meant that we called shot gun early doors on India. There are a good number of very involved and keen Indian parents. This meant all we really had to do was explain the format of the day and what would be needed to them and they went off and sorted it all out!! Happy Days.
I was amazed by the effort, time and money they put into it. They had decorated my classroom for the day, this was done while I was out of school with Rock Climbing club so I didn’t have a hand in it at all… which is probably for the best!
Each class/year group had a country and did their own thing. Many of them included some food or sweets (we had samosas). The Thai teachers had their classroom set up as Thailand (of course) and they were explaining the reasons that Thai food is served on a banana leaf sometimes. They also gave out a banana leaf cone and a Thai desert-sweet type thing, all of them had different names depending upon how they were made and what they contained.
In the morning before the children rotated around the other classrooms we had a ‘Parade of Nations’ which was the children who were wearing great National dress in a fashion show. One of the great things about it here is that there are so many nations that come to the school you get fantastic display of costumes. This added with the fact Thai children don’t get embarrassed about performing in front of their peers makes for a great spectacle.
This was even more evident in the afternoon – each class had to perform to the whole school and parents. We had chosen to do an Indian Wedding Dance which went down a storm!
Anyway lunch was probably the highlight of the day. The parents (again), many of which own restaurants in the local area, provide a buffet featuring foods from around the world – it was just brilliant. We had an extended lunch of and hour and a half and just ate!
There were a few weird things that I noticed too. Parents here will follow you around all day invited or not. They will turn up at the location of the school trips and just tag along etc. So we had loads follow us around – which is actually quite nice, it’s just they are less than helpful. For example when a colleague was trying to tell off a child outside the room, he just stepped outside too for a listen. One even brought her personal photographer!! So he followed the class around just taking pictures all day, not just of her daughter but of anyone/thing he liked… very strange especially when you consider what would happen if you tried that in the UK!
It was an awesome day which was a lot of fun, this week is Sports Day and that sounds like it will be a blast – it is hosted and the Royal Thai Army’s Sports Stadium, which I drove past the other day, it’s huge!