The world celebrates “United Nations Day” every October 24 to honor the commendable work done by the United Nations. This day is also celebrated as Internationalism Day. All over the world, several organisations, especially schools, use this opportunity to spread the message of peace, harmony and unity in diversity.
We, at BINUS SCHOOL Simprug, also commemorated this special event with a week-long celebration. Our PYP students celebrated Literacy and Internationalism Week from October 28 to November 4. The various activities which were planned for this event promoted both literacy and international-mindedness.
Our week started with an ‘around the world display’. Each grade level were assigned a region. Each class then chose a country from that region and decorated their door and outside display boards. Artifacts, clothes, flags, information about that country, etc. were used as displays and on one chosen day, all PYP students were encouraged to visit the other grade levels to learn about different countries and cultures. This was also the day when our parents generously provided us with country-specific finger food. What a day of fun and festivities it was!
The first day of this week-long event saw a Costume Parade. All our students dressed up in different national costumes. This event took place in each grade level, and students, as expected, shared interesting information about their chosen costume.
The next day saw several different activities. Grades 1-3 had mural painting, t-shirt painting and banner making with the theme, ‘One World’. Grades 4-5 students wrote free verse poems on the same theme.
November 1 was a day dedicated to promoting literacy. Our EY students started the day with ‘buddy reading’ with their Grade 5 brothers and sisters. Grade 1 students did buddy reading among their four classes. Grades 2 and 3 had a storytelling competition. Two students per class in Grades 2 and 3 participated in the storytelling with their stories from around the world. Grades 4 and 5 had a poster-making competition with the theme ‘Unity in Diversity’.
Mid-week saw our weekly PYP assembly when we honoured the winners of the various activities. Winners for the best class display were announced during the assembly, which ended with a song rendered by our dear teachers and dedicated to our students.
November 3 was our chosen day to visit the various country displays. Several students and teachers had dressed up in the national costume of their country or the colours of its flag. The hours of the day went fast as we all were busy visiting countries, appreciating different cultures and sampling delicious food. Our Grade 1 teachers were innovative and prepared ‘passports’ for their students who went to several countries and got their passports stamped.
The finale of this weeklong celebration was storytelling by parents – mothers and fathers from the early years and elementary. In the past, we have had our parents volunteering as storytellers. However, this time it was different. It had to be. After all, we were celebrating Internationalism Week. We had storytelling by parents not just in Bahasa Indonesia and English but in five more languages representing the mother tongues of our diverse student population. We had storytelling in Chinese, Malay, Hindi, Korean and French. This activity gave us an opportunity to promote the use of our students’ mother tongue. Our enthusiastic parents had prepared slide presentations, came dressed in costumes and brought along props to fully engage our young listeners. Kudos to our volunteer moms and dads!
The event was a huge success. The entire PYP team geared up and worked extremely hard for the entire week – planning, preparing, conducting, and celebrating all the activities. The positive feedback this event has received has ensured it will now become a part of our school’s annual calendar.
By: Priyanka Patni
Grade 3 Level Head and Class Teacher
BINUS SCHOOL Simprug