Past events

PORG International School Ski Course 2020

Ski Course 2020

For the last three days before the end of the semester, we held our annual ski course for pupils in the International School and the International Kindergarten.

Once again, we were at Skalka Family Park in Poruba. We had the use of the nursery slope for our beginners and the main slope for our more advanced skiers, with qualified instructors from among our teaching staff.

This year, we had many kids who had never worn a ski in their lives before. The first day for them was hard work indeed, learning whole new ways of simply standing up  and walking!

By the end of the first day though, they were happily riding up the conveyor belts and coming down (mostly) under control.

The older and more experienced kids meanwhile, were up on the big slope starting to learn parallel turns. Under the guidance of the PORG instructors, they followed each other down in wide, graceful sweeping turns.

During the second day, we built of the skills of day one. The smaller kids started turning exercises, alternating between 'pizza' with the ski tips pointing together and 'chips' with the skis parallel. The older kids were noticeably more confident too. Their sweeping turns were getting straighter and many of them were beginning to bounce from one turn to the next with their skis parallel.

By the end of day three, it was as if we had a different group of kids with us. Nobody was falling over whilst trying to stand still. There was nobody sliding backwards down the slope looking confused. There was nobody, as it turned out, who actually wanted to stop when our time was up.

On the nursery slope, Monday's complete beginners were speeding up, slowing down and weaving in and out of plastic markers on the snow like they had been born wearing skis. On the main slope, the older children were coming down at terrific speeds, stopping expertly at the end of the queue for the lift before heading up to do it all again as quick as possible. One group was even practicing slalom skills on a neighbouring slope.

There were certainly a few tired-looking faces on the bus back to school but all of them happy and full of fresh air. Like most of the facilities which we enjoy in Ostrava, Skalka Family Park is only ten or fifteen minutes from PORG International School. This means that we can enjoy great events like the ski course to the full and not spend too long travelling to and from the venues.

Some of the kids are going off with their families over the Spring Holiday, so they will be well prepared. As for the rest of us, we're already looking forward to next year! You can see the photos of this year's course here on our Facebook page.

PORG International School Theatre Visit

Theatre Visit

On 5th December our students from Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 went to see a play performed by students of a performing arts gymnazium from Brno. The theatre venue was at the K-TRIO Cultural Centre in the south of Ostrava, a short tram ride from our school.

The play was called 'Peculiar Children', based on the fantasy novel 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children', by the American author Ransom Riggs.

The performance was in English and proved to be a great success. Afterwards, our children had a chance to talk to the actors, take pictures with them and see how the stage and props were organised.

Performance art is a wonderful way of developing self-expression and some of the children in our school are not bad actors as well, so we hope this will not be our last chance to see a play performed in English.

The city of Ostrava is becoming more and more known as a centre of arts and performance since the decline of the steel industry. The furnaces and mines may be closed but the creativity lives on and the innovation it brings makes the city a great place to study and be inspired!

World Hello Day at PORG International School, Ostrava, Czech Republic

World Hello Day

This year, our pupils took part in World Hello Day to help us understand the importance of communication between people as a way of avoiding conflict. World Hello Day was started in 1973 and to join in, all you have to do is greet 10 people who you don't know.

Greetings open conversations and as an international school, we have an advantage - lots of native speakers from different cultures to teach us!

So we tried to learn greetings in as many languages as we could, both from the first languages of our pupils and from other languages which they suggested. Then we went out to the nearby Medical Faculty of Ostrava University to find 10 people to greet and spread awareness of World Hello Day.

As well as greeting students at the medical faculty, we surveyed them to see how many languages they could greet people in. The average result was 9 languages per student!

Although we had great fun researching and learning the greetings, we hope this day will stay in the minds of our pupils as they grow up  and travel more. It's amazing how a simple misunderstanding can lead to an argument or worse but by starting with a greeting, we show that we want to be friendly.

Our greetings signs will be on display around our school to remind us and our guests how important a simple greeting can be.

Dolni Oblast Vitovice School Visit

Science And Technology Centre Visit

How many schools have a European Cultural Heritage Site within walking distance? PORG International School does and we went there to meet up with our friends from Stramberk Elementary School to sample some of Ostrava’s unique cultural heritage for ourselves.

The site is the Lower Vitkovice Area. In the past it was a vast industrial complex of coal mines, blast furnaces and foundries. Nowadays it boasts two interactive science and technology centres, full of hands-on activities for kids to play around with and see how things work.

We met our friends at the U6 Science And Technology Centre and started off with some small activities to help them practice their English and for some of our braver kids to practice their Czech.

The U6 Science And Technology Centre used to be a power station, burning coke gas and producing electricity. Inside, we had a tour of power from before the Industrial Revolution until today. Many of the exhibits demonstrate principles we study in Craft and Technology classes, so the children were soon lifting each other off the ground with levers and pulleys, which we haven’t got the space for in the classroom!

After the Steam Age exhibits, we passed into the Electric age. Here we tried driving buses and motorbikes on a computer simulator and pedalling bikes connected to dynamos to see just how hard it is to make electricity without steam!

There are cars and motorbikes to sit on and try out, as well as a but, an airliner and even a submarine! This last one is a reproduction of the Nautilus from Jules Vernes’ novel, 20000 Leagues Under The Sea.

The machinery spaces under the power hall floor have been converted with all sorts of experiments to show how sound and light waves travel. It’s very colourful and very, very noisy! Needles to say, everyone had a great time generating colour and noise.

It takes about 20 minutes to walk from PORG International School to the Science And Technology Centre in the Lower Vitkovice Area, so it’s an ideal school trip to get a little more practical experience of the things we learn about in class. It’s also a nice monument to the unique cultural history of Ostrava, ‘the steel heart of the republic’. Wherever our children go after they leave our school, we hope they will remember the hard work and ingenuity which built our modern society!

Athletics Day PORG International School

Athletics Day

There's a saying in languages all over the world that 'a healthy body makes a healthy mind'. So, as an international school, we have minds and bodies from all over the world to keep healthy.

Athletics Day is our annual celebration of healthy bodies and minds and, as we are in Ostrava, where better than the Ostravar Arena? It has all the facilities of an international athletics venue and is only a ten minute walk from our school - perfect for a quick warm-up!

The children competed in classic athletics events such as running 100, 200 and 400 metre races. There was also the long jump and medicine ball throw for a little extra challenge, especially for the younger kids. The medicine balls weighed 2 kilos, so for a 20 kilo kid to throw one several metres is no small effort!

The event that kept everyone occupied the longest though, was the Spartan Race. This is an obstacle course where competitors swing hand over hand along monkey bars, crawl under ten metres of netting without getting tangled like a fish, overcome a maze of car tyres without tripping up, leap and scramble over a wall of crash matting  and sprint madly for the finish line.

Despite the heroic efforts of some very promising young international athletes, it has to be said that we have a long way to go before we sweep the medals board. However, none of our team gave up and all of them supported the winners in a very sportsmanlike fashion, which is just as important as winning.

More importantly still, we all had a great time doing it, so many thanks to our team for taking part, the kids from PORG Elementary School for showing us the standards we need to attain and the sports staff for organising the whole event - see you all next year!

PORG International School Ambulance And Medical Care Demonstration

Ambulance And Medical Care

How often have you read about young kids who saved someone's life because of something they learned at school? Well, obviously we hope that it's never going to happen but thanks to the friendly ambulance crew who visited us, we are more prepared than before!

Primary school children especially love to see how things work, so it's a great age to introduce them to exciting things like an ambulance. As an international school, we were lucky to have English-speaking medics to give us their demonstration and training.

For many of the kids, it was their first time seeing the inside of an ambulance and so the highlight was not in the back but the front. The school sounded like a disaster zone as one by one, everybody took turns using the different sirens. They are LOUD!

More practically useful was the bandaging lesson. They showed us how to put on a bandage and tie it securely and soon we had a schoolyard full of kids pretending to be Egyptian mummies. After bandaging, there was a lesson on how to push a wheelchair, so the Egyptian mummies became actors in a medical scene... useful experience for our young drama fans!

We also had a lesson in CPR - how to help someone stay alive until an ambulance arrives. Using the CPR mannekin, the children had some practical experience of checking for breathing and how far to press on a casualty's chest if their heart is not beating.

Of course, it's good to know how to call for an ambulance and here in the Czech Republic, there is a choice of numbers. You can call 112 for the integrated emergency service but there could be a delay connecting you with the right service because the despatcher will have to ask you questions. We learned that it is best to call 155 and be connected directly to the ambulance service - good to know!

All in all, it was a useful and interesting addition to our safety knowledge. Some things more useful than others but all fun - have a look at the photographs and see for yourselves!

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