As part of the External Programs, one of the primary goals of the OYIS Saturday Program is to become more active within the community.
As the first step in this process we support the whole school YMCA Pink Shirt Day Event. Linked to the eradication of bullying, the event is based on an incident in Canada where a number of students bullied a young, male student for wearing a pink shirt. In solidarity, children at the school decided to wear pink shirts as part of an anti-bullying campaign they started. This has turned into a world wide event and now at YMCAs across the world, staff and students wear pink shirts on a chosen day in the last week in February. In the lead up to our participation in the event our Saturday Classes read stories and talked about why bullying is unacceptable, how it hurts people’s feelings and the reasons behind why some children might bully others. The Saturday Program’s Management Team feels very strongly that there is no place for in our school or any other. On the event day we wore pink, celebrated difference and acceptance and made decorations that would be used in the OYIS celebration the following week.
As a second step, towards our goal, we recently had the opportunity to participate in the OYIS International Festival. The chance to have our students engage in a range of activities online in English with other children their own age, is somewhat rare, so we jumped at the chance. Our classes were all very enthusiastic and really enjoyed being part of the huge online event. Parents of our students were also given access to all the content and encouraged to join rooms on the day. Teachers were given information about each of the rooms that were being run and could choose based on what their classes interests were. For example, a number of classes dialed into the Grade 4 Origami lessons and then into the live music performance that was run over lunch time. In addition to joining rooms, one of our Grad 5/6 Classes led a workshop where they taught participants how to make 3D shapes with straws and rubber bands. Participating in tasks such as this are great ways for students to gain confidence when presenting to groups. Thinking through ideas and setting out information in logical and easy to understand, meaningful ways supports not only their ongoing language learning but also their public speaking abilities. With one of the Grade 3/4 classes we had them enter the Mystery Cook Off competition, where they successfully competed three different dishes of varying difficulty.
As we continue to expand and develop our Saturday Program through the exploration of opportunities to work more more collaboratively with the OYIS Monday to Friday Programs, we encourage, support and engage our students in a positive learning environment each week.