St. Nicholas Event 2018

Czech School without Borders, London organized again a St Nicholas event for its pupils and their parents. On December 8, 2018, at 2:45 the Church St Mary Magdalene opened and the full program could start. After a short introduction, pupils from Year 5 performed a play that was prepared by teacher Adela and trainee Adam. Children played about the winter child games and Christmas so the audience thanks to that they could feel the coming Christmas atmosphere. Then, children and their parents enjoyed the great feast; meals were prepared and brought by all parents. After that, another performance took place. Children from lesson called Hudební půlhodinka together with trainees Káťa, Maruška and Kačka sang a few Czech Christmas songs and carols. Children also played the maracas, the triangles, and the drum. Moreover, three parents accompanied the performance by playing the guitars and the flute.

The carols and songs invited St Nicholas who arrived with the angels and devils. St Nicholas had a pack full of many small presents for every child but at first, children had to sing him a song and swore to speak Czech at home and to read Czech books with parents.
Children were very excited about the packs and presents. At 6 pm they were leaving the church with small presents and their own handmade products that they had made during the whole day, such as paper Christmas trees, angels or handmade decorated gingerbread.

The whole St Nicholas event was very successful; children and their parents enjoyed the programme, meals and creative activities. Moreover, everyone had a chance to talk in Czech with friends or with teachers from the Czech School without Borders, London.

WInter Session in Harpenden 

On the 5th December 2018, a Czech School Without Borders, London acting in Harpenden organized an annual Winter session on the occasion of coming Christmas. Children made their own Christmas tree decorations, sang Christmas songs and played a few games together with their parents, such as pantomiming. We even celebrated a birthday of one of our pupils. Moreover, a special host from Czech School Without Borders in Madrid, Veronica, took part and helped us with the organization. The session was very pleasant as children enjoyed the afternoon full of songs, games and Christmas atmosphere.

“The KLAUNIÁDA” performance

On Saturday, November 17, 2018, an event called “KLAUNIÁDA” took place at the Czech School without Borders, London. The event was held for pupils from kindergarten to grade 4. The school was visited by two clowns from The Bolek Polívka Theatre Ensemble from the Czech Republic. The Clowns played a theatrical performance about two gymnasts from the Czech association called The SOKOL (The FALCON). During the show, they pretended to fight and they were merely teasing each other. This initiated a series of comic moments which was fun for both the children and the teacher. On the backdrop of all jokes the children witnessed a wonderful friendship between Čeněk and Břeněk, saw several acrobatic elements, heard The SOKOL (The FALCON) anthem and found that The FALCON is not just the name of a bird but it is also a name of a physical educational community which has a strong connection to Czech history. The whole performance was very enjoyable for children as they were singing, stumping and dancing with the clowns as the performance came to the end. Everyone, who attended the show, was leaving with a big smile on his face.

Discussion about First Aid

On 10th November a duo of professional paramedics from an organisation Life Rescue from Prague, Michal and Tomáš, visited our school and introduced children to the topic of first aid.
Through games, they passed basic knowledge about paramedical rescue onto the children and they all talked about which international symbol symbolises a hospital, what equipment belongs to a first aid kit and how to use a bandage. Every pupil got a badge of a young paramedic and a notebook with activities and games. When Michal, in the end, asked the kids, who want to become a paramedic the whole class enthusiastically raised their hand.

Discussion with Dr Froso Argyri 

On 10th November 2018, a scientific Dr Froso Argyri, who works in a research team BiLingo at UCL that studies bi-, tri- and multilingualism, held a presentation at CSWBL about multilingualism and parenting.
This was not the first time and again, her contribution was very inspiring and the following the discussion with parents (and a few kids) encouraged their parents’ and teachers’ effort in keeping up the children’s ability to speak Czech on more than a decent level.
Dr Froso is a mother of two trilingual daughters herself and very often she uses her own experience and specific examples from her Icelandic-Greek-English family.
This time not only she discussed the question of multilingualism but also the
downfalls and benefits of multilingualism and bi- or even a trinational identity. From the discussion, it emerged how difficult of a process cultural identification is and what problems it brings to multilingual children living in international families in London.

Workshop Anděl Páně 

Czech School without Borders, London prepared a craft workshop for children on the occasion of a screening of Czech fairytale film called Anděl Páně 2. The screening was organized by Czech Centrum, London in Regent Street Cinema on 4th November 2018, as a part of festival CZECH 100 remembering a centenary of the Czech Republic.

From 13:30 children were coming in fancy costumes of small devils and angels in order to take a picture with two figures from the film itself. The two figures were two volunteers that wore the original costumes from the film that were borrowed by the filmmakers from the Czech Republic.

After the screening children could make three different toys that were inspired by the film plot. Children enjoyed film screening and they went home with the devil´s pipes, paper angels and apple trees from cones.

A Centenary of Czech republic

Czech School without Borders, London commemorated a centenary of Czech Republic on Saturday 3rd November 2018 during the whole-school happening in the atrium of St Mary Magdalene Academy. Before the end of lessons at 13:45 everyone in colors of the Czech flag – all children and teachers – watched a short performance. Firstly, a student of year 9, David Orsulik, in the costume of partisan from World War I reminded all historical events significant for the founding of independent Czechoslovakia in 1918. Then, the first Czechoslovakian president Tomas G. Masaryk was invited to read an original speech from 1928 when the first 10 years of Czechoslovakia were celebrated. Tomas G. Masaryk was acted by the graduate of CSWB Matyas Polensky – today a volunteer in year 5. After that, children from the musical lesson called Hudební půlhodinka sang Masaryk´s favorite song Ach synku accompanied by the violet and the flute. The whole happing was concluded by the Czech anthem sung by everyone.

Workshop Corsairs of Her Majesty

On 26th of October 2018 during the half term holidays Czech School without Borders, London organized a workshop called the Corsairs of Her Majesty for 19 children, which took place in the magnificent spaces of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. The event lasted from 9:30 till 17:30 and through the indoor and outdoor activities it helped children to understand better the Tudor dynasty, especially Elisabeth I and her Corsairs.

After a short walk by the clipper Cutty Sark, we headed straight to the museum where children worked on one part of their worksheets. That was followed by a museum tour with a comment done by one of the interns. The children saw the record-breaking speedboat Miss Britain III, figureheads, the famous painting the Battle of Trafalgar by J. M. W. Turner or the interactive polar exhibition.

After lunch, there were art and craft activities prepared. Children were creating boats from wine corks, their own pirate flags and finally, they dressed up the 4th-grade teacher Soňa who personified Elizabeth I.

The children continued with the second part of worksheets near the big world map in the museum. The great map was later used to remake the Francis Drake’s journey around the world. Besides that, children learned about the Tudor fashion, they were also finding differences in pictures with pirates or they tried to find a way out of a labyrinth.

After that, children got a chance to run around in the park. It was followed by an activity where one child from each team was blindfolded and the others had to navigate them to the target using codes they came up with. It was moved even further to finding treasures. In the teams, the kids divided themselves into pairs and they were searching for little gifts they were gathering for the queen as her Corsairs. Finally, we moved onto finding a lost treasure box that contained gifts for everyone. Children successfully found it so they could go home proudly with the gifts and the certificates.

Workshop A Centenary of the Czech Republic 

Czech School without Borders, London prepared the whole-day workshop commemorating the centenary of Czechoslovakia. The workshop was held on 23rd October in the Imperial War Museum from 10 to 17:30 for children over 10 years. The very important centenary was remembered by many indoor and outdoor activities.

After short warm-up activities children walked around the museum in order to see for example the coding machine enigma or a nuclear shelter from World War II. Before the prepared activities, during the mind mapping, children showed that they know a lot about the Czech Republic and its nature, history, and culture. Then, a short video about the founding of Czechoslovakia and presentation about the most important historical and cultural events of Czechoslovakia since 1918 were prepared for children.  This helped them to create a timeline of the Czechoslovakian 100 years represented by a Czech national linden and pictures. Children also made interactive maps showing the territorial changes of the Czech Republic since 1918.

In the park, five different sportive activities commemorated the most significant sportsmen and sportswomen of the Czech Republic such as ice hockey player Jaromír Jágr or athlete Roman Šebrle. After that, children started to decode 8 various codes in order to open a mysterious safe. All children were very successful in decoding so thanks to the password DEMOCRACY the safe was opened and everyone was given a T-shirt with the picture of Tomas G. Masaryk – the first Czechoslovakian president. After the last taking of pictures in the new T-shirts children were leaving with great experiences.

Hudební půlhodinka

Czech School without Borders, London, offers a new musical lesson for children from 5 years who love to sing and play musical instruments.

Since 6th October 2018, every Saturday morning before the Czech lessons, children are singing, playing instruments and even sometimes dancing for 30 minutes, from 9:45 to 10:15 in St Mary Academy.

Together with trainees Káťa H., Maruška and Kačka N. children learn Czech Christmas songs, folk, and modern songs that are always accompanied by violin, flutes, and guitar. Children can bring their own musical instruments as well!

Children are going to show their musical abilities during the happening on 3rd November 2018 where we will commemorate the centenary of Czechoslovakia. Children will sing the favourite song of the first Czechoslovakian president Tomas G. Masaryk called Ach synku.

Next time, when you can sing together with children from the musical lesson will be on 8th December. On the occasion of Mikuláš children will sing well-known Czech Christmas songs and a few modern Czech Christmas songs as well. 

International day

On 4th October at the Tufnell Park Primary, Islington, there were International day celebrations with the Czech School without Borders taking a part. The event lasted two to two and a half hours.

The Czech school hosted a stand with handcrafting and art activities. Children had the opportunity of creating snails from newspapers, templated helicopters, flags from colourful papers they were cutting out, but the favourites were spectacular butterflies from tissues and pegs. This part was led by the preschool teacher of the Czech school and its interns.

Besides, thanks to a dear member of the Czech school committee the children could listen to poems that were being made on an emigration themed workshop Taking Flights and throughout the whole last year. The poems were written by Czech kids in English and then recorded so you could dive into a stream of deep meaningful words.

An undividable part of the event was intercontinental cuisine. The parents brought some of their national dishes, both sweet and savoury and meaty and vegetarian. To mention, for example Palestinian falafel, the German and Polish versions of a soft plum cake, Georgian BBQ, Italian pasta and real American doughnuts.

PLAY Through The Borders

The theatre performance called PLAY Through The Borders was held in Czech School Without Borders, London on Sunday 15th September 2018. The performance was prepared by Michaela Váňová (screenplay and directed by her herself), a Czech actress and a theatrical lecturer of Czech Theatre Minor. The solo performance inspired by the real stories of children from so-called Kindertransports was accompanied by the music of David Hlaváč. The performance took place in the library two times, firstly for children from the fifth and the sixth class, secondly for the pupils of the seventh, eighth and the ninth class.

The Kindertransports were the main topic of the play. The kindertransports were trains with Jewish children going from Czechoslovakia to Great Britain thanks to Sir Nicholas Winton so who rescued over 600 children from going to concentration camps. The actress, Michaela Váňová was inspired by the real stories of rescued “Nicholas Winton´s children.” In the play, Michaela is a nine-year-old Jewish girl Hana that is waiting on the small train station in Great Britain in 1939. She is waiting for her new adoptive parents and she realizes that no one understands her. Through paintings, music, dancing movements and mainly words she explains her Jewish origin, the situation in Czechoslovakia and the reason why she had to leave her country.

After the performance, there was a place for the questions and discussion so children could ask about the time of the play, about the story or the performance itself. Children were interested in the play very much, they discussed together how they would behave in the similar situation, they also added their own stories and facts they have read, heard at English schools or they were told by their older relatives.

The performance in the Czech language with the educational idea supported the breaking of language and cultural barriers; it also supported the intercultural thinking and the feeling of national identity of Czech people living abroad.

Učebnice bez HRAnice

Czech School without Borders London in cooperation with Fraus Publishing are preparing teaching materials, specifically focused on education of Czech-English bilingual children.

The planned materials will have two main functions

This textbook not only reflects specific language needs of bilingual children who grow up in a different cultural context but at the same time, it would like to be fun and offer plenty of interesting topic and activities.