Schools spotlight on Team Masri
Northwood Primary, Kent, is twinned with Beit Hanoun Preparatory School for Boys, situated in the Gaza Strip
Paul Greenwood, teacher, Northwood Primary writes:
Our partnership with Beit Hanoun continues to enhance children's learning and their knowledge and understanding of the world. Their joint work on the Olympic values has made a big difference to their attitudes and enjoyment inside and outside the classroom.
Beit Hanoun teacher Hasan Ramadan, who co-odinates Beit Hanoun's side of the partnership, has now visited our school twice. His first visit started with a welcome assembly, in which he showed us a video he made of life in his school.
Children at Northwood were amazed at the differences in children's lives between the two schools - not to mention the English speaking skills of the Gaza children.
During Hasan's visit, we also enjoyed a Skype conversation with Beit Hanoun. When wrestling was mentioned, the pupils spent fifteen minutes taking excitedly about their favourite wrestlers and football teams!
Hasan taught the children about his religion and the traditions and culture of Gaza. When he left, we kept in regular contact with Hasan and his school through letters, videos and Skype.
Everyone was excited when we heard that Hasan was coming back to Northwood this October.
On his first day back at the school, Hasan went with a class to a local secondary school where pupils played many different Olympic sports for the first time: trampolining, tennis, volleyball and table tennis. It was a fun way to learn about the Olympic values.
The next day, Year 5 children held an assembly about the Olympic Truce and performed a drama to show its relevance - particularly in the playground.
On the Wednesday, Year 5 showed a presentation and spoke about about the Olympic values - and announced that the following day would be an Olympic day where the older children would coach and help younger children to play a variety of Olympic sports.
The older children would encourage others to show the Olympic values and would reward children with special 'value stickers'. Children in Gaza also took part in their own mini-Olympics.
End Quote Paul Greenwood Teacher, Northwood Primary
It is hard to pick a highlight from so many successful activities, and perhaps the best is yet to come. ”
Hasan stayed at our house during the visit, and we managed to find time for his dream visit: a tour of Wembley that finished with Hasan and my son, James, holding the FA cup.
Outside of Hasan's visits, we've been using the partnership as an inspiration for many of our lessons.
In teams of four, children have picked a country to support in the Olympics and have made a website with games and information so they can share their work with children around the world.
The Gaza website was built by six children over a weekend; they kept in touch with each other using a forum, and produced a fantastic site at the end of it.
We hope that the friendship and understanding between our schools will continue to grow - we have shared so much about our cultures and lives, and are looking forward to continuing our partnership beyond the Olympic Games.