Past events

PORG International School Annual Book Fair

Book Fair 2020

Books, books, beautiful books!

We have just had a wonderful day of books here at PORG International School, with a visit to Ostrava from our friends at EduCreate Europe.

They have always provided a sensational range of books for our annual book fair and this year was no exception.

A bonus for our 2020 book fair was the range of publishers on offer. Although Usborne Books are rightly famous for their range and quality, they are not alone. This time, they were joined by many other companies, all offering books which will educate, be loved and kept for a lifetime.

Colours, characters, pictures, all combined to bring our children an adventure or help them learn a new subject. The worlds of programming, chemistry, physics or robotics are no longer secret places, closed to all but the students in a university. These topics are shaping our future right now and the books available make them accessible from primary school upwards.

Worlds of fiction fire young imaginations far more vividly in a book than on a screen. New words, new ideas, new dreams all spring to life when a child opens a book. For the children of our International School, this is so important not only for their development generally but to help them to understand and use English in the world they are growing in to.

In this Age of the Internet, it is all too easy to turn to the search engine of your choice and click on one of the top three results. What will the world be like when this is the only choice? With the books on offer at the book fair, there is a whole world of adventure attached to the learning! Will there come a day when no living human knows the feel and smell of a good book? Not as long as we have Edu Create and our annual book fair at PORG International school!

PORG International School Carnival On Ice

Carnival On Ice

We have just celebrated the carnival season with our annual Carnival On Ice.

Children from the International Primary School and the Bilingual Primary School walked down the road to the Ostravar Arena where we had the Multifunctional Arena all to ourselves for two hours.

The Carnival On Ice is a chance to dress up and have a bit of fun but we could definitely see that many of the children are serious skaters. In some cases it was hard to tell if we were looking at kids dressed as hockey players or future national team champions!

Of course, many of the children were complete beginners (not to mention some of the teachers as well!) so we were fortunate to have our sports teachers on hand to help us stand up and move in the right direction. In fact, some of the teachers were fortunate to have kids who can skate to give them some professional advice as well!

We started with an hour or so of free practice, gettting the idea of how to stand up, turn, stop and fall over with style and grace. One end of the rink had been turned into a small hockey arena and the better skaters were zooming around in a blur of fancy dress and flying ice crystals. It was terrific to listen to our newer students' English as they had to communicate with their classmates with no time to think. It's amazing what a little pressure can do!

The majority of the rink was a more sedate fashion parade. Many of the costumes were beautifully made - full of the creativity which the children display whenever they get involved in these activities.

After our practice session, the sports teachers had organised competitions in slalom skating, dribbling hockey pucks, racing and, of course, best cotume. After two hours of hard skating, it was a very quiet group of kids who received their certificates and left the ice. The ten minute walk to the areana from our school was closer to fifteen minutes going back and it very very quiet in the lunch hall – definitely the mark of a successful school trip!

 

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!

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