Smile, enthusiasm, surprise and tears – all of these we could see in children’s faces on Saturday December 7th. St. Nicholas accompanied with angles and devils came to the Czech School and all day was full of Czech traditions. It was an extraordinary day. During the noon, St. Nicholas visited every class. After knocking on the door, reading from “book of sins”, listening to beautiful Czech poems or carols, every child was gifted with a package full of surprise. However, it was not all. In the afternoon, ale children, together with their teacher, moved to a large sports hall, where children had an opportunity to try a large variety of art activities, such as decorating gingerbreads, making Christmas paper decorations or small candlesticks made from apple. Gradually, parents were coming and those who performed as a part of “Hudební půlhodina” were getting ready. We listened to best known Czech carols. Not only were children singing, but also teachers and even parents joined them, and all sang together. Thanks to our two angles, Veronika and Ivon, who accompanied us through this special day, we all started to feel the true Christmas atmosphere.
Special thanks belong to all teachers, volunteers, interns and all those, who helped us with the organization or were part of this day.
30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution
It was Saturday, November 16 th and from the very morning it was obvious that the day is somehow special. Most of the children wore national colours and also the program of lessons was slightly changed. After the lessons finished, we met in atrium and commemorated, showed and explained the events that happened not that long ago.
During the day we saw some videos with demonstrations and older children made their own banners which were brought to atrium later that day, where Radka and Štěpán were talking about their memories. We hung our flag and sang songs related to the revolution. We also sang national anthem which was accompanied by “Hudební půlhodinka”.
Olympics in Czech language
Czech School Without Borders, London took part in the national competition in the Czech language. The competition was organized by the worldwide association of Czech Schools. CSWB, London prepared the first school round on 4th May 2019. SIx children from year 2 – 6 wrote a test checking their ability to understand a text, to write a story by their own and checking how children can understand the Czech sayings. The competition was divided into 2 categories and CSWB London chose from each category the two best-written tests and send them into the worldwide round of the competition. At the end of May, the results will be announced but the school round has already been checked and resulted and CSWB London will announce the results on 6th June in the occasion of the Summer Party.
“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.
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.
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.
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.