Durham School pupils and children from Russia have been exploring each other’s cultures.
Youngsters from St Petersburg and Moscow spent a busy week in Durham with their counterparts from Bow School, which included a ‘Mini World Cup’ ahead of the real thing in Russia this summer.
During their stay the 25 Russian children (13 from Moscow and 12 from St Petersburg), aged between 8 and 11, took part in lessons and activities at Bow, Durham School.
The visitors hosted assemblies with the help of pupils at the independent prep school and the cultural exchange finished with an outstanding performance of young Bow School dancers together with their new Russian friends.
Meanwhile the Russian teachers delivered a Russian Folk Workshop for the British pupils teaching Russian dance, songs and making ancient Russian children’s games.
Sally Harrod, Headmistress of Bow, Durham School, explained: “The children had an amazing and enriching week. They made some fantastic friendships and were able to find out about the Russian culture through real-life and first-hand experience.
“It was very interesting for our pupils to find out more about what school is like in Russia and they picked up some of the Russian language during the week, which they demonstrated wonderfully in the assemblies.
“We look forward to the children returning to our school next year.”
During their stay, the children were also treated to a performance of Charlotte’s Web, which came courtesy of theatre-in-education specialists, M&M Theatrical Productions. The main purpose of the Russian group visit was to take part in an International Youth Primary Project and to collaborate with young people from Durham.
This project allowed the children from Bow, Durham School to have a personal experience of meeting and learning with youngsters from Russia and to broaden their international, interpersonal skills.
The visit was organised by Most Education, the North-East hub for intercultural relations and educational opportunities.
It actively promotes youth exchange projects, teachers’ professional development, school partnerships, international learning and cultural experiences and communities alliances.
Both Russian schools are UNESCO Associated schools and, also International Baccalaureate schools.
Most Education founder, Lana Briton said: “This project was specially designed to give our young primary children a personal experience and the confidence to work in international context by developing interpersonal and communicational skills from earlier ages.
“We are keen to further promote the North East of England to a worldwide audience for future tourism and educational opportunities.”
Agata Mukhina, a pupil from St.Petersburg, gave her verdict on her visit. She said: “It was a magic time. I never realised that English children and teachers are so kind and friendly to us. I am hoping to keep in touch with my new friend from Durham.”
The children have been encouraged to stay in touch with their new friends, by hand-writing letters which Lana says she’ll be happy to deliver back and forth.