year 2015




STEPS TO CZECH [London, Sundays]

PICTURES FROM CHILDREN [Reception] and MAXIPES FÍK [Steps to Czech; PDF]



On Sunday, March 22nd, we went with our Sunday group to the British Museum once again. This time the two thousand year old ancient world full of marble statues, sculptures and rare coloured amphoras was waiting for us and we could take a close look. We were not there only to see things, we have also learned new words and we have found out a lots of interesting things. Do you know that some ancient statues have no hands, no head or legs? Such statue is called torso! We felt so sorry for the sculptures and statues without various limbs, that we have tried to draw them some. We also colored statues with crayons, because the white marble seemed too sad... And to prevent the statues from catching cold here in London (because some of them had in fact no clothes at all), we clothed them, at least on paper, into beautiful coloured dresses.
Time was passing by very quickly, as the water in the river Thames, our visit of the museum was coming to an end. Teachers put homework into our workbooks for next Sunday, gave us each a small gift and led us outside the museum, where our parents were waiting. We were looking forward to talking about everything we have learned that day.

We said goodbye to each other and we went to enjoy the rest of Sunday. So see you next time, in the British Museum or in the Czech School...



LILACS OF PEACE project [four workshops in May 2015]

The Lilacs of Peace art workshops will be inspired by the e-book Lilacs of Peace which tells the history of the Second World War and commemorates the 70th anniversary of the end of the War. More than 100 children from Islington created the artwork for the e-book.

Prague was the last European capital to be liberated on May 9, 1945, marking the end of the Second World War in Europe. As if Mother Nature had anticipated this long-desired peace, the spring that year came unusually early and, almost overnight, thousands of lilac bushes blossomed in Prague gardens and parks. As the Soviet tanks drove through the city, its welcoming citizens gave bundles of the scented purple and white flowers to their liberators and adorned their tanks in grateful appreciation. Ever since then, the first appearance of lilacs each spring reminds us of the end of the war as a cherished symbol of peace.

The aim of the Lilacs of Peace project is to tell children about a fundamental part of 20th century history that shaped all our lives across the world, through inclusive artistic endeavour that is designed to be both educational and entertaining. Its emphasis will be on the peace found in 1945, long hoped for, and its resonance throughout the world today.

MAY 11 [Aimed at pre-school children, Museum of Islington.]
Did you know that animas fought in the Second World War? Some animals even won medals for bravery!

MAY 25 [Aimed at primary school children, Museum of Islington.]
Tales from the Holocaust. We’ll be talking about Nicholas Winton, an English banker, who saved 669 Jewish children, and Anne Frank, a Jewish girl from the Netherlands who hid in a secret room behind a bookcase to escape the Nazis. Anne kept a diary which is still read all over the world.

MAY 28 [Aimed at primary school children. Museum of Islington.]
Technology – planes, aircraft carriers, flying bombs, the atom bomb. The Second World War was a new kind of war. Scientists were inventing weapons that were faster, stronger and deadlier than before. Leaders knew that the side with the most powerful technology would win the war.

May ended and our workshops Lilacs of Peace have finished. We introduced our e-book about the World War II, in which authors are trying to explain this difficult topic to children. There were three workshops in the Museum of Islington and we worked with both pre-school and elementary school children. They made some medals and a variety of puzzles with pictures of Prague. They also bombed cities, repaired and built new houses, soared with manufactured planes and drove tanks through the battlefields. Older children had an opportunity to disguise tanks using special painting techniques, to write their personal diary, as Anne Frank had, and to make a bookmark for it. They could help Julian Bilecki to hide and save twenty-three Jewish people from the Nazis, or they could even make the trains that Sir Nicholas Winton needed for saving more than six hundred children from occupied Czechoslovakia before being transported to concentration camps. We were talking about the Word War II, made beautiful products and listened to the special old songs during all our activities. Everyone gained some knowledge and experience, and all children were offered to take beautiful products home.

MAY 31 [Kurdish Children and Youth Centre]
At the end of May we had another workshop with the Kurdish children. We introduced them our new e-book, since in the last autumn they collaborated with us on the book illustrations. They liked it, mainly because they recognised their own art. After the introduction they started a lot of creative activities focused on Prague and the Czech Republic. They built Saint Vitus Cathedral, the Prague Castle, made their own Golems and invented a poison in the Rudolf the Emperor alchemists’ workrooms.

The Kurdish group learned a lot of new information about the Czech history and culture. They worked hard and found surprising information about tights, which were produced in the Czech Republic, our homeland. They made some interesting products with tights and everybody was surprised that it is possible to use them in different ways.
We had a great time together. Even the Kurdish children themselves appreciated not only enjoyable moments they spent together, but also self-made medals for their creativity and bravery.



WORKSHOPS IN HIGHBURY QUADRANT PRIMARY SCHOOL [five Monday workshops, 21 September - 19 October]

There were five workshops organized for the children from Highbury Quadrant Primary School. The topic of the first workshop was The Waste Land. The main aim of this workshop attended by twenty-five children was to present the fate of three Czech villages – Lidice, Ležáky, and Javoříčko – that were burnt down during the Second World War and also show the parallel of the past with the current situation in Syria, which is now being destroyed and deserted because of the war.
Lidice is a village which, as a part of the Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, on orders from Adolf Hitler was completely destroyed by German forces in reprisal for the assassination of Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich in 1942. All 173 men over 15 years of age from the village were executed, 184 women and 88 children were deported to concentration camps. 
The village Ležáky was completely razed to the ground by Nazi forces during the reprisals for the assassination of Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich. In December 1941, several Allied paratroopers were sent to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich in Operation Anthropoid. Several people from Ležáky helped this group, providing a hiding place for their radio set. Gestapo agents found the radio transmitter in Ležáky which belonged to the paratroopers. All 33 men and women were shot, children were separated from their families and sent to concentration camps or to German families. Unlike Lidice, Ležáky was not rebuilt after the war, and only memorials exist today. 
Javoříčko is often referred as the Moravian Lidice. It was burned on 5 May 1945 by German troops, at the same day when American soldiers reached Pilsen and the Soviet troops were liberating one Czech town after the other, after 9 o´clock the Nazi Units came to Javoříčko. German killed all the men and burnt down the whole village. Today approximately 50 inhabitants reside in the village. 
The other workshops in Highbury Quadrant Primary School were focused on war heroes, technology and culture.




FAMILY WORKSHOPS, Museum of Islington, half term holidays [29-30 October 2015]


The Czech School without Borders London organized workshops for two classes of schoolchildren on 12 November 2015 in the Islington Museum. The aim of the event was to introduce interesting things related to WW2 in an attractive way. With the help of the instructors children could create paper puppets representing the war heroes (pilots, soldiers and nurses), try their skills in cross stitching or practice their imagination in scraping the images on paper painted with ink. Great success had also creating submarines of plastic bottles or encoding secret messages. The lecturers also prepared an accompanying program in the form of thematic board game and a variety of minor tasks such as motion games, crosswords or puzzles. For some children, the highlight of the program was the opportunity to experience how people felt in the bomb shelters.



There were two workshops for the Kurdish community organized in November 2015. The children could create the stories about their own war heroes, think about the positive and negative facts in their lives and the world as well, create together a beautiful painting and have fun while playing the authentic board games.

The last workshop of the successful project Lilacs of Peace was held on Saturday 28th November and was organize in co-operation of the Czech School without Borders and the Kurdish Children & Youth Centre. It was a magnificent end indeed, because it was attended by nearly thirty children of all ages (4-15). Most of children had previously attended more of these Lilacs of Peace workshops but even this time they tried new activities such as painting a small piece of the picture using water colours which together with other ones made a big abstract painting, they learnt how to assemble a toy – a paper cone with the bead on the string which should be caught in the cone. Children also thought about positive and negative aspect of the war in parallel with their own lives, they used their creative imagination in writing stories and what’s more, children could play a board game especially designed by Lilacs of Peace project lecturers.

Again, children were enthusiastic about doing all of these activities and throughout the workshop they kept asking if there would be more workshops. Hopefully, this pleasant co-operation of the Czech School without Borders and the Kurdish Children & Youth Centre will continue in other projects next year.


EXHIBITION - LILACS OF PEACE [27 November - 20 December 2015]

On Friday 27th November in the Islington Museum there was an opening of the exhibition of the outcome of the project Lilacs of Peace led by Czech School without Borders. The exhibition, which has been opened until the end of January 2016, is composed of pictures, colourful collages, paper puppets, and a lot more handicrafts created by pupils of Highbury Quadrant Primary School, William Tyndale School, and Kurdish Children & Youth Centre with the help of lecturers of Czech School without Borders.

The opening was accompanied with an additional art workshop where children and their parents could try to make some of the things that they could see on the display. The cosy atmosphere of the Islington Museum together with delicious food and drinks for the visitors created very pleasant Friday afternoon that the organizers and visitors enjoyed very much.


THREE BROTHERS [29 November 2015]

Three brothers set out into the wide world seeking adventure, wisdom and true love in this humorous musical take on fairy tales which combines the stories of The Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood and The Twelve Months. Written and narrated by Zdeněk Svěrák and boasting upbeat music and catchy songs by Svěrák and Jaroslav Uhlíř, this is a joyous family adventure mixing actors and animation by Oscar winning director Jan ‘Kolya’ Svěrák.

Jan Svěrák, Czech Republic / Denmark 2014, 90’, English subtitles
With Zdeněk Svěrák, Vojtěch Dyk, Tomáš Klus and Zdeněk Piskula

We had amazing afternoon with fairytale topics!




A NIGHT WITH H. C. ANDERSEN [20 March 2015]

Just as in previous years, this year the Czech School Without Borders, London, participated in a well-known project called The Night with Andersen. On Friday, March 27th 2015 nearly thirty children from our school gathered to experience together a night full of fun games and adventurous reading. A church at night turned into a scary fairytale castle and children transformed into gallant knights, princesses and court ladies.
In several locations across the church were prepared many different creative activities and competitions. Everyone resolutely set to work and shortly after the beginning of our night the little ghosts made by children started flying above the beautiful flowering rosebush of Sleeping Beauty in the church. Knights tournament was also held with knights on horseback. Rudolf the emperor guided us through the golden lane and he could show us his art collection of Archimboldo’s paintings. If children wanted, they could present themselves with their hand-crafted coat of arms or they could prepare for the real castle masquerade ball by creating a beautiful mask.

All the kids were working hard and every good work was deservedly rewarded. In complete darkness kids hand in hand discovered treasure chests at the altar. White Lady, who appeared on the gallery above the nave of the church, descended to the treasure and fairly distributed it among the children.

Accompanied by the old-time music the children were getting ready to sleep to build up their energy for another fun activities that awaited them upon awakening in the morning. Then in the morning all children together greeted the sun, had breakfast and were listening an interesting story about a man in whose honor the whole night was held. About the storyteller, whose beautiful fairytales made him famous all over the world.

And then everybody fled to their classrooms to their teachers and classmates, so they were a little bit closer to be able to speak Czech correctly.



CHILDREN’S DAY [24 May 2015]

This year we celebrated the Children's day in advance on 24th May at Czech Embassy. What was it like? It was very lovely afternoon for everybody. These days we celebrate the anniversary of the end of World War II and in this connection Czech School works on a project Lilacs for peace. We decided to celebrate this anniversary also with children at Children's day and we prepared a lot of activities related to war. Children tried to build an aeroplane, camouflage a tank, not to blow up on a mine field and become a good soldier at military recruit training.There were activities involving submarines, parachutists and ships too. Even though it started to rain we had a great time. We took advatage of a bad weather to see for the first time the i-movie Lilacs for peace. At the end of the day some children joined us to sing a songs about soldiers. Children were excited and parents as well. Many thanks for all the people participating on this event!



CAMP IN WINDSOR [24 - 27 October 2015]


ST NICHOLAS  [5 December 2015]