The students of St Catherine’s are involved in a fantastic mutual exchange program that allows students from both schools to host students from the other.
On Monday 6 March, 12 students and one teacher from the school, Chiben Gakuen in Wakayama, South Kyoto arrived at St Catherine’s for their 17 night exchange to learn English.
Three days later, students from Year 7 welcomed their Japanese guests to participate in the cultural activities for their annual Japanese Day. The morning began with a special presentation from the Chiben Gakuen students, who shared photos of their region, school, Mt Fuji and spoke the Japanese language.
Following morning tea, Year 7 were divided into two groups to learn about the ancient martial arts, the samurai and ninja, whilst others were exploring the flavours of Japanese cuisine. Crafting the skill of chopsticks, students experienced cooking and eating yakisoba, a Japanese delicacy of fried beef and noodles.
The afternoon was filled with fun activities, from trying on kimonos, creating heart shaped origami, writing in calligraphy and falling over on left foot yellow in Japanese twister.
In September, 12 students from Year 8 who have shown strong interest and are passionate about the Japanese language will embark on a 10 day trip to Wakayama.
Teacher, Catherine Strachan said, “the exchange program is an opportunity for students to learn Japanese in an authentic environment.
“The students will learn that we are all citizens of a global community and that tolerance and understanding start by accepting and learning about other's language and culture. I hope this exchange will encourage students to see the value in learning languages and meeting people from a diverse background.”