06 Sep

In Term 3, Week 2 SPW welcomed 20 Japanese students from Kori Nuvers Gakuin, Japan. It was a magnificent experience for the students and our Year 6 classes to be involved in a range of learning experiences. Over the course of the week students participated in an Aussie BBQ, a visit to Cleland Wildlife Park and various shared classroom experiences.

Many special friendships and connections were made. To reflect on the experience, Grace, a Year 6 student, shared with the broader SPW community at Assembly. Here are the reflections:

Konnichiwa, watashi wa Gracie desu. Douzo yoroshiku.

Being caring, open minded, tolerant, respectful and cooperative ….. This best describes our Year 6 students who last week hosted 20 Japanese students from a school in Osaka Japan.

You may have seen some of our Japanese friends around school last week. This is the third year that students from Kori Nuvers Gakuin have visited SPW and we are very glad to have formed a special friendship and connection to their school.SPW_Japanese Student Visit_10_web

The Japanese students were able to experience Australian culture, school life and home life with their Year 6 host families. Every day they were able to practise and learn more English language. We thought they were so courageous to come to Australia and live with our families and attend our school for a week even though they are only 10 and 11 years old. It was amazing. We are so glad they did. All of us had the chance to use some Japanese with them as well as help them, play with them and have a great time together. They learnt many things from us and we learnt so many things from them, too.SPW_Japanese Student Visit_7_web

Mr Kennedy, Mr Gann, Mrs Forbes and Sensei ran an interesting week of activities for us all. We especially enjoyed combining together to welcome the Japanese students by waving many Australian flags, helping them with Aussie money maths, making bilingual signs, playing games including Australian cricket, eating an Aussie BBQ together, dancing the Nutbush and learning some of their dance moves from Japan, reading Possum Magic along with tasting traditional Aussie tucker, and having some fun with the Green Screen and the Edyson Robots. The Japanese students also visited Cleland and the Central Markets.

We thank the staff, host families, students and wider school community who got involved in making last week something very special. It had a big impact on many of us.SPW_Japanese Student Visit_1_Web

We were sad to say sayounara at the end, and even when the host families said goodbye on the weekend there were so many tears as they literally clung onto their new SPW friends and family. Let’s hope we can keep in contact with them.SPW_Japanese Student Visit_2_Web

We hope the program can continue next year because next year’s Year 6 classes will love it. We really recommend that you volunteer to host a student next year because it is so amazing! Kiite kurete arigatou!

We look forward to SPW’s continued relationship with the school in Japan. A huge thanks to the school community of staff, students, parents and host families who kindly supported this incredible event. A special mention to Skye Baldacchino, (Sensei) for her commitment to facilitate this amazing opportunity at SPW.