The Royal Harbour Academy students at the upper site have had a taste of Japanese art and culture.
The sports hall, decorated with flags, posters and hanging kimonos, was full of students and staff exploring stands that allowed them to try out traditional Japanese crafts. These included Judo, origami, Japanese art- including Manga/Anime drawing, Japanese badminton, Japanese maths, Japanese language and Japanese puzzles and toys.
There were information stations where students could learn about the Japanese horoscope, etiquette and facts about the country.
One of the activities encouraged students to learn about Buddhism and they were able to create their own mini sculptures of Buddha. Japanese restaurant, Kyoto sushi and grill from Ramsgate, also offered students a chance to taste sushi.
The day was planned and organised by Miki Myers, Japanese teacher at the Royal Harbour Academy and Dane Court Grammar School, alongside Katie Green who is taking the lead for Artsmark at RHA. It was funded by a grant from the Japanese Society which also provided a treasure chest of artefacts for the day for students to handle and discuss.
Miki said: “It was great to see our students experiencing various cultural aspects of Japan and enjoying them. It is very important for them to learn, respect and embrace different cultures as well as their own for the future world. Judy, the owner of ‘Kyoto Sushi & Grill’ commented how nice and helpful our students were and I was very proud to hear that.
Katie added: “This event brought numerous benefits to the school. Aside from being a great part of the process as the school aspires towards Artsmark status and demonstrating to OFSTED that the school is dedicated towards building ‘cultural capital’, the Japan and Art day allowed students to get out of their comfort zones and take on new challenges.
“It is so important to give our young people cultural experiences as it fuels aspiration, acceptance, respect and encourages the enjoyment of learning. Events like this support the school towards its vision of having a ‘Global outlook’. I cannot thank the Japanese Society enough for their advice and support to help us promote and celebrate such a vibrant culture.”
The day provided valuable experience and development of skills for the sixth form students studying the IB programme. Many of the students demonstrated to younger pupils how to engage in the activities. Some of the sixth formers were walking models wearing stunning Kimonos.
Sarah, from Year 13, said: “I’ve helped students with origami and taught myself how to create things by teaching others. My favourite aspect is the Anime, which I enjoyed sketching while watching it playing on the big screen. My experience here is providing great evidence towards my service learning hours for the IB world programme and has given me ideas for my art coursework.”
The event has built key evidence towards Silver Arts Award qualifications and has given key stage 4 students an insight into the Japanese course the school offers post GCSE for the IB. Staff also felt they had gained an opportunity to explore a new and creative approach to collaborative teaching.
The Royal Harbour Academy is now considering future similar events to promote both culture and art to students.