Extracurricular Activities

Creative workshops inspired by books of Daisy Mrázkova

Not only children who attend the Czech School in London had the opportunity to take part in creative workshops for three consecutive Tuesdays. The workshops were based on themes from books by Daisy Mrázkova. In each workshop the children first got to find out a little bit about each book and then took turns in three breakout rooms. In these they had the opportunity to try out different activities inspired by a specific book. 

The first workshop on 22nd June was based on themes from the book What would happen, if… The children created pocket watches that have the ability to control time and weather. They painted underwater worlds full of fish and jellyfish. They also went to Africa, where they discovered local animals. 

The second workshop on 29th June drew inspiration from the book My Teddy Bear Flora. During our time together they created their own teddy bears with its own bed or bench, and its very own little book. In the third group they had an opportunity to sing and play games. The children had a chance to show their favourite cuddly toys.

The last of the creative workshops on 6th July was inspired by the book Beautiful Tuesday. The children got to make the night sky and eveything that a Tuesday could see. The drawings were based on the illustration style of Daisy Mrázkova. During this workshop the children also played games about animals.

Just as the name of the last book suggests, we have spent Beautiful Tuesdays with the children. You can see the artwork that was created on the school facebook page or on the school’s instagram. 

Seniors read to youngers (January – July 2021)

In January 2021 we introduced the project Seniors read to youngers, this time online. Students from years 8 and 9 along with children from years 1 and 2 met up for 20 minutes every week to read a Czech novel together. Younger pupils, who are interested in reading, make their way through books under the guidance of the older pupils, who help explain difficult words and prepare exciting activities to aid deeper understanding of the text and develop comprehension and analytical skills. At the end of each session, the little readers are assigned small tasks that involve writing, drawing, or coming up with an alternative ending, all helping to instil curiosity and creative thinking.

The optional scheme, which runs free of charge, is led by our enthusiastic, oldest students, who keenly use their spare time to be a part of this fascinating project designed to foster love for literature among young readers.



Embassy – ceremonial handing over of the certificates and sashes

On Sunday 20th June, year 9 students and last year’s graduates came together at the Czech embassy in London to celebrate the successful end to their studies at the Czech School. Ceremonial sashes, certificates and yearbooks were bestowed upon all students in attendance. The day was filled with sweet memories and nostalgic conversations. Miss Sabrina Sečková, the wife of the Czech ambassador, accepted her invitation to the event and handed the students their celebratory sashes. Teachers of both classes – Adéla Herbsová, Filip Charvát, Katarina Lebar and Alena Pilná – attended the special occasion, alongside members of staff, who had known the students from their early childhood at the school including Zuzka Jungmanová, Ivona Klemensová and Veronika Prokopová.  Year 7 Matilda Kraft, who represented the Czech School in the International Czech Language Olympiad, was also awarded a certificate for her 1st place attainment in the category of pupils aged under 14. 

On behalf of the official Czech School board, Dagmar Kraft drew attention to the importance of bilingualism as well as highlighting the importance of the lifelong friendships that the students will carry into their futures. It was our great honour to guide all the graduates through their journey and witness their growth of character into truly unique individuals. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the event, especially as an opportunity to finally meet in person after almost a year and a half, during which learning ran purely online. We are also very grateful to the Czech embassy for kindly enabling us, at this challenging time, to organise the gathering on their premises.

A simply standard family – an online acting workshop 4.6.

On Friday the 4th of June, students from the higher years met at the online acting workshop (A Simply Standard Family), where they reminded themselves what the average family gathering may look like. The name of the workshop led some to recall the synonymous, successful Czech sitcom, while others remembered the comedy-drama Pelíšky.

Each participant was randomly assigned a family member, and so changed into their corresponding costumes and introduced their character to the others. Short dialogues, as if snippets from the congregation of a simply standard family, followed. Grandma Barborka criticized the bold style of today’s youth, auntie Radka received the thoughtful gift of a ketchup bottle and father Bonifác once again forgot to go shopping. 

The workshop was not only a lot of fun but was also designed as an opportunity to practice communicating in the Czech language. The passion and creativity of the actors can be seen in the exceptional video that arose from the afternoon of role-play and improvisation. Most importantly, everyone had a great time acting in Czech! 



Forbidden forest – Children’s Day on the 1.6. and 3.6.

Children’s Day full of children- the ideal combination! On the 1.6 and 3.6 we were once again, after much too long, able to meet face-to-face with children from the Czech School.  We organised an exciting trip to Highgate Wood in the South of London. Both days were filled with games, building forest huts, listening to chirping birds, paintings pictures and above all having fun with their Czech friends. We also tried writing our own secret messages using Morse code and came up with magical stories about how the mystical creatures lived in the enchanted forest. About twenty children gathered on both the Tuesday and Thursday and, despite their vast age range and varying year groups, everyone was exceptionally creative and both days went past in a flash. We all had a great time and hope that we will have many more opportunities in the near future to go on similarly enjoyable trips.

Petr Horáček and our work with his amazing books

Petr Horáček is a renowned author of children’s books.  With Mr. Horáček‘s charitable kindness and financial support from the “we read Czech books” program, we were able to invite not only children from the Czech School without Borders but also from around the entire world to our event. All in all, sixty children joined us for this fantastic opportunity.

In our first session, Petr Horáček enchanted the children with his colourful pictures and stories. The children talked about where they felt most at home. Besides the dwarf from “A long journey”, we also met the Goose Lisa, the Goat, the Elephant and the Penguin, all of which Petr taught us to draw.  Children painted and drew whilst Petr read his book. INSPIRATIONAL is the only word which can describe our 90 minute gathering. The event was touching, and we thank Petr Horáček and all his young and older readers for this experience.

On May 11, we explored the topic of true friendship. Puffin Peter loses his friend Pavel in a storm and sets out on a long and arduous journey to find him. The children enjoyed reading from Petr’s favourite book before splitting into separate breakout rooms full of activities. They drew a puffin, stirred up the sea and lit up the sunset.  They also learned something about the life of puffins and the singing plushy birds and  had the space to discuss their experiences with friends, both in person and in fairy tales.

On May 18, we returned to Petr Horáček’s favorite topic, which is – home. We read the book A New House for Mouse and last spun the carousel beak out rooms.  With Matyáš and Radka, the children managed it playfully. Next door the children did an “animal” yoga with Adelka and talk about the human home and animal dens with Káťa.

Time was running out like water over with Petr Horáček’s books.

 

A virtual visit to the Theresienstadt concentration camp

As part of their lesson year 7 students were taken on a virtual tour of Theresienstadt concentration camp, which explored the lives of the Theresienstadt ghetto inmates durign the Second World War. We also visited parts of the city, and even specific rooms, then inhabited by thousands of Jews, living in horrific, inhumane conditions prior to their removal to concentration camps. Our tourguide vividly depcited their ongoing spirit and hope for anything close to a normal life, in spite of the harsh circumstances they faced. She also mentioned Petr Ginz, a generational peer of our pupils, who published the journal Vedem. Overall, the tour evoked strong emotions and provided excellent details on the place, that we often discussed during our history lessons.

Spring festivities

Spring is full of flowers, younglings, and joyful children. This exactly what our Spring festivities, which took place on the 9th of April 2021, were all about. The online workshop with the theme of spring flowers and new-born animals was held for our youngest students during the half-term holidays. The children sang, danced, played a range of games, and even tried some arts-and-crafts. They managed to create blossoming fields as well as hens with little chicks using their own hands. In short ‘it’s a spring fever’.

Night with Andersen

Traditional sleep-over workshop “Night with Andersen” took place online this year, but it didn’t make the experience any less extraordinary – we did a sleep over at a secret place in our respective homes. On Friday evening, the attendees celebrated the 80th anniversary of the publication of the “Záhada hlavolamu” book and afterwards were invited to join forces with the world-famous investigator, Detective Nick Carter, to disentangle a mysterious murder in Edmonton Green. At the crime scene, detectives worked in harmony to break coded messages which eventually led them to the site of the murder. On Saturday, the team met for breakfast and the refreshed detectives conducted a remote interrogation of suspects. After artistic reflection of the Friday night events, everyone put their heads together and exposed Sherlock Holmes as the culprit as well as his nefarious methods. These results were confirmed by fingerprint analysis and Nick Carter managed to handcuff the criminal and took him straight to jail. Thanks to the hard work of our detectives, London is a little bit safer again.

As free as a bird

During the Easter holidays, on Thursday 8.4, the Czech National Theatre arranged a unique project, designated not only for students, but also for their parents and teachers. The Czech National Theatre offers these exceptional performances to organisations in collaboration with the DOX institution, which focuses on contemporary arts across the Czech Republic. 

The participants were not only members of the audience, but also played a key role in the show itself. They achieved the extraordinary and for just a moment became free birds with the ability to fly wherever they like. Led by professional dancers and the reassuring guidance of the organiser from the Czech National Theatre, Lenka Hubáčkova, the children and adults became immersed in a world of music and movement together, despite participating through screens. The exciting events of the evening were then drawn to a close with pleasant discussions and  warm conversations that ensued.



Three Tales of Fear and Bravery with books of illustrator Galina Miklínová and author Eva Papoušková

This year we met up with Galina Miklínová for the second time, as she took us on a virtual tour of her exhibition, The Museum of Oddsockeaters, in Prague’s Villa Pellé. The children had the opportunity to meet characters Kanafásek and Jonáš, known from Večerníček stories. We learnt what else the illustrator does, when not amid drawing pictures in novels – she creates comic posters and banners to guide tourists through nature trails or paints murals on the walls of children’s hospitals. At the close of the afternoon, the children made their own Oddsockeaters and came up with unique names for their new pets. 

 

The second workshop on fear was inspired by the book ‘George the wombat is brave’. Together we read the second instalment of the trilogy called “George the wombat is brave.” Then, the children enthusiastically discussed what they found out about George the Wombat, whose home is in faraway Australia, created amulets and danced to aboriginal ritualistic rhythms as kangaroos, ostriches, and snakes to express and overcome their fear of travelling to the exotic land. 


The guest of the third workshop was Eva Papoušková, who alongside Galina Miklínová, published the novel Cilovnici. The title of the novel itself represents the letter C from the phonetic alphabet in Morse Code. The protagonist and hero of the story is young Záviš, who recounts the fates of the boys and teachers from a boarding school that greatly influenced the paths of many renowned individuals. These included orphans from the war such as Miloš Forman, but also children from respected families such as future playwright and president Václav Havel.

Cinema story about the Velvet Revolution

On Saturday the 27th of March students from the years 6 to 9 had the opportunity to take part in the “Cinema story about the Velvet Revolution”. This involved a very interesting moderated online discussion about the events of September 1989, which was prepared by the organisation Post Bellum.

Moderator Hana Hubková guided us through the era of communism as well as through the events of September 1989, with her talk being supplemented with witness accounts of those who took part in the revolution along with archive footage. We also had the opportunity to learn about the stories of 4 individuals, with each one having a different view of the Velvet Revolution (the videos included protagonists of the student movement as well as a member of the State Security).

The students listened with great interest and some actively contributed to the discussion. The whole project was really interesting.



School year 2020/21 - Pantoland - cooperative Christmas performance + online drama club

This school year 2020/21 Czech School Without Borders, London provides drama/art after school club in Tufnell Park Primary School in collaboration with St. George church pantomime group. We were tirelessly working on a panto performance with a difference to meet the challenges of the time in which we found ourselves. We were ready to start a new project with the school group at Tufnell Park, but Lockdown meant our course was cancelled as we could no longer be in the same space, however we were creative and came together with a group working towards an online pantomime. This gave us an opportunity to use our skills at running online workshops to play games and run creative exercises with the group to create material and enhance their drama skills for the panto, meaning they could play characters, write scripts and produce material for the animation we created. It was a combination of animation and live action, made and delivered from home, and produced as an online pantomime, safe and fun for everyone to enjoy. 

After the project ´Pantoland´ was done and successfully presented to the public, we continued delivering a creative course aimed at teaching drama and craft skills and techniques through fun games and interactive activities, combating the mental fatigue and monotony of lockdown. Through the whole online time, we felt very united with those children and we were very proud and impressed about their passion and positive attitude. It was a great project for us teachers and for our students.  

Online workshop with Elliott

On the 6th of March a collection of teachers, assistatns and volunteers of the Czech School took part in a virtual workshop with Elliottem Ajai-Ajagbe -Daley. Elliott, who is a long-time friend of the school, is not only an actor and author, but also a teacher. He prepared a range of games and activities designed to diversify online learning. During the two hours our participants were able to try first-hand, tasks suited for the youngest and oldest students of the school, suddenly finding themselves in the opposite position to the one they usually adopt during Saturday classes. Elliott also left time in the closing minutes of his lecture for potential questions from the virtual audience primarily concerning the act of teaching on an online paltform. Throughout the pleasant afternoon the participants gained plenty of ideas and inspiration, while most importatnly enjoying the amaible atmosphere and postivie mood, for which we are very grateful to Elliott.

Workshop Kytice/The Posy

On Friday, February 19, six brave pupils from the Czech School without Borders gathered for an online holiday workshop, dedicated to writing ballads with Radka Polenská and Veronika Prokopová.
We were inspired by the new, beautifully illustrated edition of Kytice by Karel Jaromír Erben. The book in the Czech Republic and, in the artistic translation by Susanne Reynolds, in the UK were published with reproduced graphics and special author prints by Míla Furstová. The senior students of our school learnt this and many other interesting information at the beginning of the workshop. The artistic accompaniment of Erben’s ballads became a springboard for the next part of the workshop. In it, students unleashed their imagination and interpreted illustrations. Then they got acquainted with a sample from the film, based on the book, by director F.A.Brabec, which became the Czech film of the year 2000.
This was followed by a joint reading of the essential parts of the ballad Vodník/The Water – Goblin, whose drastic end did not the students surprise, but instead gave them the inspiration for their own work. Some also added illustrations to their ballad after the workshop.
Thanks to all the brave authors.

Attending a different kind of concert ‘And yet we continue to learn!’

Just as the Czech Philharmonic showed their gratitude to healthcare workers in June 2021, this year (20.2.2021) they decided to dedicate their concert to members of the education sector- not only teachers across all year groups and schools, choir masters, and sports instructors, but also parents and children… The concert was held in the Dvorak Hall at the Rudolfinum and the organisers contacted a wide range of schools, encouraging students, teachers, parents and affiliated colleagues to send their hand-drawn portraits, as a gesture of united support and community strength for the performers. We were also eager to be a part of this experience and so many of our students and parents ‘took their seats’ and were able to enjoy the concert.

https://youtu.be/6TZL4a2uTLI

Back to the future, how the world will look like in 3030

During the half-term holidays, on the 20th of February 2021, we gathered with children across multiple year groups to have a look at what the future might hold. We explored how people imagined the 21st century a hundred years ago and compared their ideas with today’s reality. Afterwards, we put ourselves in the shoes of travelers from the future and through their eyes looked at objects we use daily but that can be completely unknown in a thousand years. A mask for instance will serve as a wonderful hammock for hamsters (even sooner than in a thousand years, hopefully). In the second half of the workshop, we travelled further to the future and everybody designed a device which could win the competition “Invention of the Year 3030”. Based on these, we then created innovative accessories, jewellery and other smart gadgets, such as a weapon enabling its user to walk through the walls, Alexa 3030 (which cooks dinner for you, among others) or a thief-proof jewellery box.

Masopust

On Saturday 20th February, our youngest children took part in our annual, carnival-themed celebrations, giving us the chance to enjoy Masopust festivities for a little bit longer. Even though this year it was online, it did not stop us from enjoying this special day. We made masks out of all the materials we could find at home, such as: plastic bottles; egg and milk cartons and cardboard boxes and throughout the celebrations all sorts of characters appeared. From frogs and butterflies to wizards and witches, we even had two princesses. We were also greeted by original Masopust characters, welcomed by “Strakac” and we exercised with the joker and danced with the bear. Not just that but we learned more about the horse and even found Masopust himself. Throughout the day we had the chance to sing, dance, get a bit competitive with some games and we finished it all off with the traditional burning of the base. We hope that we managed to bring at least a sparkle of traditional festive joy into the rooms of all the children that joined us.

Parents meeting: how to help your children with online studying

On the 16th of January we ran an online meeting for parents to discuss ‘how to help your kids with online studies, quickly and efficiently’

Czech school lessons are shorter online than before, and it’s therefore, important to practice Czech during the week as well as the weekend. Online English lessons are time consuming for both parents and children, and that’s why I think that sharing tips and advice on how to include Czech during the week is very important. With the parents, we discussed  how to include reading in czech in daily activities, for children of all ages. We discussed different ideas on how to include grammar and vocabulary in the kitchen, bathroom or even the park, and it was very beneficial to hear that everyone has similar problems. In the end the meeting was very successful, where teachers and parents both shared experiences, tips and ideas. We have included these on the school website for all to read.

Christmas musical online workshop “We came to sing carols”- Saturday 19.12.20

On the morning of the last Saturday of the Advent season, 13 children got together for a 2-hour Christmas workshop with Veronika Prokopová and intern Michal Stodůlka. Together with their parents everyone joyfully sang carols and participated in Christmas themed craft-making. Who would have thought that so many activities could be fit into such a short time frame! Following the caroling the children played games; due to the wide scope of ages some tried a game of pairs, while others competed in a thrilling round of Christmas Kahoot. And a Christmas card? No problem! Another round of caroling, card-making, bauble crafting and fairytale watching coupled with Czech Christmas customs and traditions ensued. This and much more made for a fun and exciting time at the online Christmas workshop this year.

Autumn 2020, international art competition “Comenius to the classes!”

In autumn 2020 we commemorated the 350th anniversary of John Amos Comenius’ death. We incorporated his portrait into our Czech school logo and shared his quotes on our facebook and instagram pages for a whole week. 

Before Christmas we asked children from across the school to take part in the international art competition Comenius to the classes! They really did confirm the main idea of Comenius, that we learn through play. There was an array of both traditional and non-traditional portraits bursting with creativity and playfulness. 

Zachary from year 3 built a lego portrait and did not forget to include the name. Dominik and Alexandra from year 5 chose to do a collage using different materials. Miriam from year 7 drew John Amos in pencil. Madeline from year 8 baked and decorated Comenius’ portrait as a brownie. Natalia used chalk and Viola opted for using cubist principles in oil pastels, both from year 9. Graduate Amelia had a fun graphic take on her creation with various realistic backgrounds. In the spirit of Comenius year 4s brainstormed about what they would change in the education system and created an ideas map.

All children were awarded with an honourable mention for their creations by the director of the National Pedagogical Museum and library of J.A. Komensky. A big congratulations to all the children that took part.

Online meet and greet with st.Nikolas

On Saturday the 5th of December 2020 Czech School was paid a visit by St.Nikolas!! Everyone has adjusted to these unusual times and St. Nikolas is no exception. St Nikolas, the angel and the devil sat behind their webcams and gradually joined all the classes. As always, the children sang carols and recited poems, and to everyone’s astonishment, they managed to avoid the imperfections of the online environment and sang in unison. You can see how creative the children of Czech school are. Some sang in choir, others did a word relay. Not only that but we didn’t miss out, as the naughty kids were taken away in sacks by the devil, this was all done through his ability to go between the “windows” on ZOOM and take someone away. Of course, the rest of the class did not agree and bought their class mate back with a nice poem. In the end, the devil did not take anyone, everyone was satisfied, but as it is well known, the devil never sleeps, he watches over everyone and writes a book of sins for the next year.

 

Brownie off - baking contest

On the 19th of December 2020, Czech school got together with past graduates to run an online baking contest called “brownie off”, which turned out to be very successful. The main contestants that joined the competition were high school girls. Throughout the two hour workshop, students were walked through, step by step to make their brownies. The organisers, who are sisters, prepared gluten free and vegan options, so that absolutely anyone could get involved. During the workshop students got the choice between making marzipan or icing as well as making a beautiful homemade Christmas present for friends and family, this was done by putting all dry ingredients into a jar which was then decorated and given as a gift to someone so that they could bake their own brownie.
All contestants had successfully baked and decorated their brownie by the end of the two hour workshop. Then from pictures that were sent by each contestant, the brownies were voted for by the teaching faculty. The ones with the most votes were the winners and were awarded with an Amazon gift card.
Overall the event was a great success which everyone enjoyed.

Czech community sing Christmas carols 2020

Every year the Czech School holds the traditional St Nicholas celebration that culminates with the arrival of St Nicholas accompanied by devils and angles. This event, however, is also a celebration of Christmas with home-made cookies, hand-crafted ornaments and communal carol-singing. Unfortunately, the pandemic meant it could be made possible this academic year and so instead, we eagerly joined the Czech community Association project called “Compatriots sing carols in 2020”. The project was created and organised by the head of the Czech music association Malimelo, Eva Klosová, with the help of Jiri Kratky. Czechs from all over the world were encouraged to send in recordings of them singing their assigned carols. As a school we asked our parents to submit recordings of the song Tisíc Andělů, carol Půjdem spolu do Betléma and the famous Jingle Bells. While it was a challenging task, the amazing project was ultimately a Success so much so that it was posted on the Radio Prague International webpage alongside the creations of other participants.
While this was certainly a reason for great pride, what was most rewarding was the execution of the project itself: the fact that we were once again working together as a community and singing as a group.
And as our guitarist, Dáša, said, we continue to draw positive energy from this experience and very much look forward to any new challenges that may come our way in 2021.

Let’s play with songs – online workshop – 30.10.2020

An online music workshop- ‘Let’s play with songs’- organised by Veronika and Michal, was held at the end of October. The children sang their hearts out, danced, changed costumes, and also created their own kazoos, monsters from the song Máme doma obludu and a magical forest from Skřítkové tesaři, all infront of their computer screens. While the workshop lasted two full hours, even the youngest children at four years old had no problem enjoying the entire event. 

The workshop was more than a sucess, as the children sang Czech folk classics such as Kočka leze dírou or Vyletěla holubička ze skály, but also learnt new music. Despite being ‘only‘ held online, everyone had a phenomenal time. Thanks to the unified singing and creative tasks, we were all able to better connect; the computer was no longer a just a computational machine, but an intermediary between us and the children. As a result of this workshop, we were able to show both children and parents alike that even when we cannot physically be togehter, we are still able to sing, dance, craft and have fun as a group. Nothing is impossible when it comes to Czech School workshops!



Storytelling

After the Saturday classes, several teachers and interns met and tried how to do storytelling in a foreign language. Although met with a little delay, everyone came with a smile on their faces to the workshop organized by Elliott Ajai-Ajagbe Daley – versatile artist. We really enjoyed it. Not only did we have an opportunity to try some activities that we can use in teaching Czech, but also we had a lot of fun, for example with describing the reasons for traffic jams (whether it was due to gigantic ants or Godzilla). In the end, we had an opportunity to ask Elliott some questions about storytelling, how to motivate children to storytelling, but also about the life of an artist. Thank you very much, Elliott!

Mother language international day

On Monday 24th of February we visited an event organized on the occasion of Mother language international day at Islington Town Hall. We had an amazing opportunity to listen to Somali and Arabic songs, to watch Kurdish, Eritrean or Iranian dance performances or to listen to spanish conversation performance.
Czech school without borders represents itself with its choir, children sang 2 songs “Malé kotě” (song about little kitten, who is sleeping in the shoe) and Banana (song with dance about a person, who wants to stop living in the city and want to move to a jungle). Then Elliott Ajai-Ajagbe Daley presented workshop Fun Fairy Tales, which is currently underway at Tufnell Park Primary School.
The whole day was a pleasant meeting of the different cultures that met in Islington.

Architects workshop

We had workshop about architecture in half-therm holiday. It was about brutalism which is an architectural way. The first activity was outdoor painting where children had to copy on the list of paper the building of Slovak embassy in London. Wind complicated our work a bit but at the end we were all successful and finished our awesome work.
Than we started with other art technique: frottage (process of taking a rubbing from an uneven surface). Children did it very well and after that we played few “running” games to give little rest to our mind. Other craft-hands activities waited for children in the Czech centre.
After lunch break we started to built our own architectural unique from different types of materials. We saw short document about brut architecture, we wrote short secret messages and did apple stamps. Between all of that we had time enough to play memory game, dance to the Czech songs and improve our Czech language whole time. At the end of the day we reviewed our work and rated all woskshop.
We had great day full of education and getting know something new what we would use perfectly in our future also!

In the footsteps of famous Czechoslovaks…

We went with older children on Thursday 20th of February 2020. We started with the tour of the Czech embassy, where we learnt for example why local cinema was closed for several years. Then we work with the part of Letters from England by Karel Čapek. That text was an inspiration for our journey, which started on Baker Street (and we all agree with him, that it’s basically a boring street), around Madame Tussauds Museum and back through Hyde park to former Czechoslovakian embassy on Grosvenor Place.
Because we got really wet during the rain, we stopped for a cup of hot tea and get back to the school, where we read other parts of Letters from England and we’ve tried to guess meaning of words like „studna”, „barbarský” or „Talián”.

Workshop with Elliot

On 25th of January, we met together in Czech Centre where Elliott Ajai-Ajagbe -Daley – actor, writer and teacher, with whom Czech School cooperates, prepared a workshop for us. Elliot gave us advice about children’s motivation, lessons preparation and leading a team in an educational environment. Each of us had an opportunity to try a large variety of games in the area communication, observation activities and acting games. We focused on learning by hearing, observation and experience. After playing games and applying knowledge practically, we moved to the theoretical level and in an open discussion Elliot answered all our questions.
It was one of those days we met together and had lots of fun. We would like to thank Elliot and all those who came to spend nice afternoon.

30th Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution

“Jednou budem dál, já vím.” This text and melody of well-known song welcomed each of the incoming visitors of the event which took place at the Czech Embassy on November 24th. The event was organised by Czech and Slovak schools in the UK.
The main objective of the event was a reminder of events that concern most of us and have not happened so long ago. We were offered a rich program for all age categories. For the youngest, art workshops were prepared, and the others had an opportunity to make their own transparent, to see an exhibition of objects from the times of communism, to watch a movie called “Osmy”, to sing songs from this period. We could also listen to the stories of those who witnessed the events in person.
At the end, the winners of an art competition, called “What does the Velvet Revolution means for me and for my parents?” were announced. We would also like to thank all of our little artists and congratulate them all.

IT workshop – not only....

On Saturday, November 16 th , we met together in Czech Centre where Soňa prepared a varied program for us. Whole afternoon was full of inspiration. We were shown various activities, games and “get to know each other” games that can be realized thanks to today’s technologies. We had the opportunity to try some games right on the spot. We were all excited about the program.
Big thanks to Soňa.

The Lucky Four - workshop

On Sunday, November 10 th , we commemorated the 60 th anniversary of the “Lucky Four” in Regents Street Cinema. Firstly, children watched a movie called Čtyřlístek. After that, they were divided into smaller groups and small workshop followed. There were several activities related to the movie. Children could make their own walkie talkie, cloverleaf or Bobik, who is one of the characters of the “Lucky Four”. They all enjoyed the afternoon.

Bruncvík

Czech School Without Borders, London together with Okénko organized a workshop called “Po stopách knížete Bruncvíka” and together we went back to the ancient times. First of all, we became acquainted how the lion got into the Czech State Emblem. Various activities followed, through which children reached the knight’s passage. They have shown that they can cope every situation and are ready to help others.

Autumn Camp

During autumn holiday, two czech schools in London organized camp which took place from October 21 st to October 24th.
During these four days, 26 children between the age of 5-13 were wandering to the fictional world called “sultánství sulimánské”. It was not an easy journey. First of all, each member of the expedition had to become educated Dr-doctor and then showed his/her dexterity, prowess, courage and obedience. We all together constructed our kaleidoscope and children had an opportunity to spread cream cheese on Czech bread.
Everybody did a great job and all of them deserved a diploma award. After that, we celebrated the healing of the princess Zubejda.

An afternoon with cimbalo music

It was an honor for us to be part of the music-folklore workshop on Monday 7th October. Three ensembles met at the Czech Embassy, each of whom shared a piece of their art and then showed their own production in all its beauty.
At the beginning the cimbalo band Veltlínek from Znojmo taught us their typical song and dance, then Music Club from CSWBL shared the song “Červená se line záře” and its English version “London ́s Burning” and all joined in singing Czech-English canon. At the end we all danced with the dance ensemble Kvítek from Okénko. The reward for all performers and participants was a nice and tasty buffet. And how would such an event work if it was not accompanied with singing and tasting excellent wine from Moravia. We would like to thank all those who participated in this successful, pleasant and inspiring event.

Summer Party

On June 9, 2019, the Czech School without Borders, London organized its Summer Party at the Czech Embassy in London. At the same time, its 10th year anniversary was celebrated and a very varied program was held, including a farewell to the graduates, performance of the school’s music group, bouncy castle, an ice-cream parlour and a contest for the best Czech sweetness, to which all guests could participate both with their own sweet creations and in the following vote. Moreover, four talented Czech artists living and working in the UK, including Tereza Bušková, Hannah Nepil, Petr Štefek and Bernard Štorch, participated at the event with their art/music workshops.
All the participants were leaving very enthusiastic and happy, but above all, they were excited about what else is waiting for them at the Czech School Without Borders, London in the future.

The Mystery in South Kensington

On May 31st, we have prepared a workshop for your kids called The Mystery in South Kensington. The detective case of the stolen Petr Pan’s flute began with an expedition to the Science Museum, where the pupils had a chance to see the Who am I exhibition and learned something new not only about the human mentality, but also about the physical side of human beings. We found out what our hands say about us, found out how would we look like as the opposite sex, and tried to remember the individual features of the face, so we could identify the suspects. And so we got through a training and acquainted all the skills that a good detectives needs to work with. After a short snack in the museum, a journey to the Peter Pan’s statue in the Kensington Gardens awaited us. Pupils were getting clues during the whole workshop – often for a physical activity. The competitions took place in three teams whose commanders were the Czech School Without Borders interns – Andy, Nikča and Mária. Also, Mája was helping in the teams and Káťa together with Soňa organized the whole day. During the competitions, the pupils were practising memorising, readiness, writing, reading and, last, but not least, all the physical abilities. After the last competition, we discovered who was the real culprit of the theft of the Petr Pan’s flute and who was then arrested. At the end, we received the diplomas and small gifts for enthusiastic competitors.

12. 4. 2019 - Soltstice Celebrations

On April 12th, we organized another interesting workshop for our children, namely Slavnosti slunovratu (the Solstice Celebrations). The whole event took place in the premises of the British Museum and in the nearby Russell Square Park. The program was taken care of by our dear interns together with our teachers Veronika and Soňa. The first part of the workshop was associated with the Celtic culture. Through an engaging narrative, the children found out who the Celts were, what they wore, ate, what they discovered, and created, how and with what they wrote. But above all, the children learned, how the Celts celebrated the departure of winter and the arrival of spring which is connected to it. In the exposition, which is specialized in this culture, the task of the children, according to the instructions in the worksheets, was to find hidden parts of a puzzle that they eventually put together. The children also tried the work of the Celtic druids and created their own scapulars, by mixing many kinds of magical herbs. One of the tasks was also to decipher the recently found Celtic parchments and then write down recipes for miraculous potions. The imagination of children was borderless (just as our school is). For example, a potion for eternal sleep or a cure for abdominal pain occurred. The children also got acquainted with Celtic jewellery and made their own jewels, based on some of the showcased designs. In the second part of the workshop, the children visited the park, where many physical activities took place. One of them was collecting miraculous water from the well, but the most important thing was welcoming spring in the Czech way. The children found out how spring has traditionally been welcomed in the Czech Republic and have subsequently created their own life-size Morena (a Slavic symbol representing death and rebirth of nature). With the Morena they created, they walked around the park while singing folk songs and dances. In the end, they “brought the Morena in”, by which they finally ended the winter season and welcomed the spring. After returning from the park to the museum, everyone could create their own little version of the Morena, bring it home to decorate their flower pots. We hope that everybody liked this spring workshop, that we really brought the winter out and that only beautiful spring days full of sun are waiting for the Czech school.

Cesta skrze obrazovku (A Journey through the Screen)

The theatre workshop Cesta skrz obrazovku (A journey through the Screen) took place on Thursday, April 11, 2019. The whole event was led by the teacher Alenka, together with the interns Mária, Barča and Nikča. The workshop began with a digital exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, continued with great exercising activities in the Kensington Palace Gardens. Around noon we moved together to the Czech Centre, had lunch and started to prepare theatrical situations (sketches). We created a virtual world “the New World” and at the end, we performed a play for the audience. The kids were amazing. It was wonderful to see how they opened up with exercising activities and plays through sounds. And how they played in Czech without any restraint and spoke for their puppets in the Czech language. Throughout the creative process and immersing themselves into the roles, the Czech language has become their natural instrument.

A Night with Andersen (6. 4. - 7. 4. 2019)

Even this year, the Czech School Without Borders in London participated in a project called A night with Andersen, which aims primarily to support children’s reading. This time, the central theme of the project, was the book ” Kuky se vrací ” (Kuky returns) by the Czech writer Jan Svěrák. Therefore, during the night from Friday to Saturday, the areas of the St. Mary Magdalene Church turned into places from the book, which included for example “Smradov” (Stinkplace), a dump, a hollow trunk, beech forest, meadow, cemetery, or a pub. The interns, together with the supervisors Hanka and Soňa, prepared a lot of interesting forest and non-forest activities for the children. The most important ones were the four main sites, where the children could make their landfill characters, or tried to trace animal tracks in the beech forest. They also had to go through a blindfolded obstacle course and puzzle out the encrypted instructions for making a corded bird cage. For every finished activity, the children earned a star on their playing cards, which then served as tickets for the popular forest disco. In the morning, during breakfast, cleaning their teeth and packing, the children could see a movie version of Kuky’s story. The last important thing was giving away the diploma’s and magnets with the picture of Kuky, as a memory for this event. The whole event was very successful and all the children were leaving with a smile on their faces, which was the biggest reward for the organizers for a job well done.
On 23 February 2019, The Czech School Without Borders participated on an event which was called Mother Tongue Day and took place at the Islington Town Hall. This festivity was visited not only by The Czech School Without Borders, but also by other schools, teaching their own mother tongues (including Greeks, Turks and many others). It was, however, very easy to find us between all the different nationalities, as we were all wearing clothes in the colours of our national tricolour (red, blue and white). Additionally, we also wore our new button badges with the logo of The Czech School Without Borders in London. We used our new banner as well. The event began with a ceremony where selected individuals from all participating schools were awarded diplomas for outstanding results in studying their native language. After the ceremony, each school was introduced. The children from our “Hudební kroužek” presented a musical performance accompanied by a short dance. They performed the song “O ježkovi” (song about a hedgehog) and a well-known Czech song “Já jsem muzikant” (song about Czech musicians). Eventually, they performed a folk dance which imitated a traditional dance with clogs. Everything was perfectly rehearsed, the children glowed with pure joy and therefore was their effort awarded by a long, appreciative applause.

International Mother Language 

On 23 February 2019, The Czech School Without Borders participated on an event which was called Mother Tongue Day and took place at the Islington Town Hall. This festivity was visited not only by The Czech School Without Borders, but also by other schools, teaching their own mother tongues (including Greeks, Turks and many others). It was, however, very easy to find us between all the different nationalities, as we were all wearing clothes in the colours of our national tricolour (red, blue and white). Additionally, we also wore our new button badges with the logo of The Czech School Without Borders in London. We used our new banner as well. The event began with a ceremony where selected individuals from all participating schools were awarded diplomas for outstanding results in studying their native language. After the ceremony, each school was introduced. The children from our “Hudební kroužek” presented a musical performance accompanied by a short dance. They performed the song “O ježkovi” (song about a hedgehog) and a well-known Czech song “Já jsem muzikant” (song about Czech musicians). Eventually, they performed a folk dance which imitated a traditional dance with clogs. Everything was perfectly rehearsed, the children glowed with pure joy and therefore was their effort awarded by a long, appreciative applause.

St Nicholas 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.