During Summer 2011
On Monday 27th June 2011, Orchard Primary School’s Year 5 class hosted a visit from ten children from Years 4-6 from St. James’ CE Primary School, Emsworth, Hampshire. A wonderful day was had by all as the children began to get to know each other and make comparisons between living in Streatham and living in Emsworth, a small seaside town close to Portsmouth.
We showed the children some of our local area, including the colourful and vibrant Brixton Market. On return to the school, St. James’ children observed Salah (prayers) and then listened to some of our children’s presentations on what it means to be a Muslim and the principles of Islam. Brother Anise gave the children a very short taster of Arabic and prepared a laminated poster for each child to take away with their names translated into Arabic.
On Wednesday 29th June 2011 we made the return journey to St. James’ and were expertly guided around the school and local area by the children. They had prepared a treasure hunt style sheet to help us search for local landmarks and geographical features. On our way around the town, the children spoke passionately about where they lived and gave our children an insight into what a day in the life of a child living in Emsworth might be like.
‘I thought that they were really kind and it was excellent that they waited outside the school to greet us and made us refreshments.’
Whilst at the school we had the opportunity to observe a typical St. James’ assembly with a Christian ethos and the children gave us presentations on Christianity.
Some of our Year Six Eco Team also visited the school with Mrs. Haider to talk through how Orchard can move forwards to try to achieve Green Flag Status. St. James’ School Eco Team are very proactive and gained the special award for their school in January 2011.
‘I enjoyed the beach because we found lots of crabs, fish, seaweed and old pottery.’
The value of the reciprocal visits was enormous. The children will take away many precious memories and you can’t beat hands on learning experiences like the ones experienced this week.
We hope that this will be the first of many meetings between the two schools. The children will stay in touch via a specially set up, secure blog and teachers have swapped emails too!
During Summer 2012
The Year 5 classes from both schools took part in reciprocal visits. The children from St James took part in an Arabic workshop led by a group of Year 6 pupils. They also visited Brixton Market. The Orchard Year 5 class then went to Emsworth to spend the day at St James School. We are pleased that this link has been strengthened and intend to continue this valuable collaboration.