International Links

Bringing the world into DHSB

Welcome to the DHSB International Links Newsletter- a place to catch up on all the brilliant global activities happening across the school!

Mexican Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos

Today the Global Links Team put together a workshop to celebrate the Mexican Day of the Dead and to look at how different cultures view death. It was a very enjoyable session of painting, mask making, nibbles and learning new facts and about different viewpoints.

Two sixth formers, Lewis Wollington and Harry Futcher, led this event and this is what Lewis had to say about the festival:

"The Day of the Dead is a holiday in Mexico for remembering those who have passed. Believe it or not, the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos as it’s known in Mexico, is a festive and joyous time of celebration. It’s a loving ritual full of joy and remembrance in which people can honour their deceased ones. The Day of the Dead allows the dead to ‘live again’. During this time it is believed that the deceased return to their earthly homes to visit and rejoice with their loved ones. It’s celebrated as a way of retaining connections with the unseen world – a world, so the Mexican’s believe, we will all return to one day.

The most common ways of celebrating Day of the Dead in Mexico include: setting up an altar with offerings; cleaning and decorating graves; and making sugar skulls and skull masks. Day of the Dead masks resemble skeletons and can take many forms, but all of them are whimsical and joyful – never sad or scary".

Well done to Lewis and Harry for putting on such an interesting event!

Nepalese Festivities

Our Nepalese partners, Shining Stars, have recently celebrated a special school holiday in honour of “Tihar”. This is a five day long Hindu festival that signifies the festival of lights, where diyas are lit both inside and outside the houses to make it illuminate at night. Tihar is considered to be of great importance as it shows reverence to not just the Gods, but also to the animals that have a significant part in our lives.

Over the five days different animals and deities are worshipped; crows to symbolise sadness and grief to avoid death coming to their door; dogs to symbolise messengers of Lord Yamaraj, the God of Death; celebration of gratuity towards the cow for all their gifts of milk; the Goddess of Wealth, Laxmi, to thank for benefits and to welcome prosperity; oxen to symbolise and celebtrate hard work; and brothers and sisters to ensure long life and protection. During these festivities gifts of food and garlands of flowers are given alongside lighting oil lamps and candles in doorways and windows. People can also make patterns on the floor outside of their house using coloured rice, dry flour, coloured sand or flower petals called "Rangoli" which is meant to be sacred welcoming areas for the Hindu deities.

We hope that our partner staff and students have all had an enjoyable Tihar.

European Day of Languages

To celebrate the European Day of Languages in September, DHSB staged a number of events and activities throughout the school. Language quizzes and challenges were played in tutorial time and the day culminated in a celebration of European language, food and music on the colonnade. Students had the opportunity to sample a variety of goodies from around the continent and beyond, courtesy of generous students and staff. Whilst sampling these tasty treats we got to enjoy the dulcet tones of a Swedish ‘Frozen’ soundtrack amongst other auditory delights!

International Links Assembly

I recently gave an assembly to introduce the work of the International Links team at DHSB. One of the main messages was that it is actually very difficult to not be a part of the global network unless you actively seek to opt out. It is a rather enlightening experience to start to look at where our goods actually come from.

Whilst researching I discovered that the average IPhone may have travelled over 38,000km before even reaching your pocket due to the components being developed, manufactured and assembled in various locations. With the blossoming of international app development this pushes the average phone’s ‘airmiles’ up even further. I also realised that the coffee I was drinking had probably travelled around 8000km, that my clothes were from Egypt, Taiwan, London and Cambodia and all of this international influence had previously gone unnoticed!

Upcoming Events and Things To Do

Israeli Youth Delegation

On Tuesday November the 18th, we will once again have the Israeli Youth Delegation visiting the school. They will be in the Edgcumbe Theatre at lunchtime to answer any questions you may have about the situation in Israel, their points of view, and anything else that you may be curious about! It will be a great opportunity to explore issues from a different perspective so please come along at 1pm.

UN International Day for Tolerance

On the 16th of November every year the UN promotes this international event to encourage respect, dialogue and cooperation among different cultures, civilizations and peoples.

It is also the day Mr Huq shaves his beard into a delightful moustache that we must all tolerate for the next two weeks to raise money for Movember and Prostate Cancer...

Illuminate - Mayflower's 400th Anniversary

On the 20th of November there will be a very special 'Illuminate' event at the Barbican and the Hoe. This is to celebrate the 'Special Relationship' between Plymouth, UK and Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA.

This unique event will start the countdown to 2020, which will be the 400th anniversary of when the Pilgrim Fathers sailed from Plymouth on a ship called the Mayflower, heading for the New World to set up new lives and communities.

The evening's events start at 6pm when a single candle will be lit at the Mayflower Steps, followed by the lighting of 1,000 candles up on Plymouth Hoe. There will be a similar event in Plymouth, MA, on November the 21st.

The Monkey Sanctuary

The Global Links team recently attended an excellent talk from Paul Reynolds of the Monkey Sanctuary on all of the conservation and sustainability activities they undertake. If you fancy having a go at making monkey toys from recycled goods I recommend you visit and see what you can do! As an extra incentive, a new Woolley Monkey has also been born and there will soon be a competition to name her...

International School Reaccreditation

We have just finished reapplying for the International School Award, as our current Gold Standard Award expires in 2015. This has provided an excellent view of all the brilliant international activities that are happening in DHSB on a daily basis!

We have trips in curriculum enrichment week to Italy, Switzerland, Spain and France; ski trips to America; field trips around the UK; and student exchanges with Germany as well as student visitors from China. A team of upper school students are also currently planning and fundraising for their World Challenge expedition to Malawi and Zambia next summer, following the successful 2013 expedition to Kenya and Uganda. But its not just the students getting involved - we also have teacher exchanges and visits to Sweden, Israel, Nepal, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

In addition to these large events and exchanges we also have numerous projects running in the school including a literacy project called 'A Day in the Life Of' and an art project called 'Out of the Window', where students from DHSB and Shining Stars, Nepal, are sharing stories about their daily lives, and the views they commonly see.

Since the assembly, all tutor groups have been looking at Globalisation and the wider impact in our lives, such as diversity, sustainability and crime. A select number of students are also starting to research into 'Superstitions in our Society', so I look forward to passing on some bizarre facts to you all from their findings! Please click on the Google Form link below to let us know which British superstition you think is the strangest.

DHSB are also in the process of setting up a Science project with Zimasa and Chaplin High Schools in South Africa and Zimbabwe looking at electricity sources and solar panels which will be up and running in the next month. This will look at the growing energy crises that affect all aspects of society and daily life - including businesses, pollution and growing crime rates due to the regular 'black outs',

If you are planning any events, trips or projects with a Global link either in or out of school, please let me know!

Superstitions in Our Society - Please click on the link below to tell us about any strange superstitions you are aware of

Miss Ball - International Coordinator

Please get in touch if you have any ideas for projects, events, general suggestions or if you want to get involved.