International week reminds us that there is a wonderful world out there

As usual, our International Week takes place in the week running up to Chinese New Year. On Friday 12th February, it becomes the Year of the Ox, which “symbolizes the attainment of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. The Ox is dependable, calm and methodical”. This year, we can’t follow the usual activity programme due to lockdown but our student-led Diversity and Inclusion Group has come up with a range of activities to enhance our understanding, knowledge and appreciation of other cultures, countries and languages. Some of these initiatives will take place during tutor time and some can be done as extra-curricular activities.

Cooking, quizzing, learning and playing

The Diversity and Inclusion Group has devised a range of activities for across all ages, to help us to learn more about other cultures, countries and languages. There is a challenge to learn to say hello or good morning in five languages: Thai, Hindi, Swahili, Creole and Russian. We have quizzes based on the countries from which our current boarding community come as well as a Q&A with students at our partnership school in Kenya, Agoro Oyombe.

The week started with a group from ‘Team GB’ teaching our international boarders the various nuances involved in that age-old British tradition of eating scones and cream!  Is it jam first, or cream first?  Who knew?

The Dasgupta Review reminds us all of the ecological crisis facing the world, so we have a Powerpoint presentation to explain some of the key facts and educate us about the main issues.

As part of the WBS Around the World, we have a section on board games and artistic styles from around the world. As well as a fiercely contested chess competition and a hilarious game of charades, there will be a chance to learn games such as Maj Jong and Xiangqi, or art activities such as Day of the Dead illustrations and Chinese calligraphy.


Finally, there is a presentation on how the money raised during Casuals Day in October 2020 has been utilised by Agoro Oyombe. Improvements there include upgrading the girls’ toilets to improve hygiene, and the next steps are to do the same for the boys’ facilities.

Sporting challenge for International Week

The PE department have challenged everyone to travel the distance from West Buckland School to Agoro Oyombe in Kenya, via any method using the human body. This could be running, cycling, rowing, swimming, skateboarding or any other activity, and the fitness tracker evidence should be sent to tutors to see if we can, as a community, cover the distance of around 6,400 miles overland. We have until the end of half term to achieve this but the PE department are confident that if students and their families pull together, that we can achieve this distance.