Taking learning out of the classroom into the real world
At BBSchool we have always believed in fostering a child’s independence from as early as possible. In year 2 of the Primary School our children spend one night away on a school trip with the number of nights away gradually increasing as the years go up. Being away from parents, navigating a new environment, dealing with new social situations whilst being in a “safe” environment has always been an important goal for us to achieve for the children.
As a bilingual school it is also important for us that our young students get a feel for different cultures and so this year we decided that each Middle School class would experience a 4 day trip to the UK, with Middle 1 going to Brighton, Middle 2 to York and Middle 3 to Edinburgh.
Learning a language is so much more than knowing the grammar or how to formulate a question correctly. The act of going into a shop and buying what you want or ordering a meal and paying for it yourself in a different currency, organising your own money, getting the change etc. does wonders for a person’s self esteem. Communicating with other humans in their language, understanding and being understood is a fundamental human need and delivers such a positive stimulus to young people who are learning to navigate their way in the world.
For the pupils in the Middle School this chance to experience British culture first hand lead to some interesting discoveries. We’ve all seen pictures of British cities, but many of the children were surprised by the neat, colourful houses. British food has (undeservedly in my opinion!) a terrible reputation, but many kids were surprised at the choice of food and how tasty it was. They had a chance to discover new civilizations, York for example is a viking city, which is a culture that is not really studied in Italy. They had to cope with the British weather which is very different to the weather we get over here and mostly they had to navigate social relationships with strangers and their friends over an extended period of time.
As the Chinese proverb says “Do not listen to what they say, go see” Our students had the chance to go see and maybe learnt something about themselves while they were at it!