PORG International School
PI Events

International School Valentine’s Day

After some activities in individual classrooms based around Valentine’s Day, our pupils gathered in the Year 2 classroom for a whole school activity. Or at least, that was the plan.

There were a number of things, such as puzzles to solve, things to do in teams and some artwork but we didn’t get past the warm-up exercise.

The goal was for each child to say what they liked about another child but the children took over and it worked out quite differently!

The first child misunderstood the instructions and proceeded to say warm, positive things about every other child in the school. By the time they had finished, the next pupil was ready with their opinion and so it went on.

What touched us as teachers was that this was totally spontaneous. We hadn’t planned for it to take up the whole activity period but it proved impossible to stop the children once they had begun.

They thanked each other for offering help and support, they praised each other for kindness or for being a positive role model. Some whose English is still at a more basic level struggled trying to find ways to express their appreciation of others because emotional expression is a much more advanced language skill, yet they persevered until they had made their point.

One pupil who moved to our school after suffering bullying at a previous school made an impassioned speech about their experience of belonging and how novel it was for them.

We went from wondering how we were going to steer the group back to the planned activities to wondering if we could (or should!) try to wrap it up by the end of the lesson period.

From a teacher’s point of view, it was an eye-opening experience. We realised that we hadn’t quite understood the sense of family among our pupils. Far from having to enforce a culture of respect, we could see that the children had formed their own, made it their own and accepted it as perfectly normal.

Once again, we learned from the people we teach.