December 9 2013 Latest news:
Ramzy Alwakeel, Reporter
Monday, October 7, 2013
Not many schools round off a Friday afternoon with a mock G8 summit, complete with international guests.
But for students at Gaynes School in Upminster the meeting was just one item in a busy “cultural integration” day that saw Japanese visitors snapping planks of wood in a karate demonstration before discussing hot topics like climate change, work and education.
Four teachers and 39 pupils from Ishikawa, Japan, stopped by at the Brackendale Gardens secondary school on Friday.
The Nanao High School teens swapped “lifestyle diaries” with Year 10 students from Gaynes to find out how their cultures differed, before teaming up with their overseas guests to produce presentations for the “summit”.
The day, organised by London company Cultural Homestay in Europe, went down a treat with those on both sides.
“I was interested in talking about global problems,” said visitor Chika Hagihara. “I found it hard to have classes in English but it was so exciting for me. I enjoyed it.”
Gaynes student Courtney Abrahams added: “First of all I found starting a conversation was hard, but as soon as I started chatting I was fine.
“I really enjoyed every minute of it. It was a lovely opportunity.”
And Courtney’s colleague Joe Griffiths said: “I’ve learnt a bit of Japanese and built my social skills with Japanese people.”
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