27 October 2011
One School One Country 2011 was a great success!
By Chidi Okolo, WorldSkills London 2011
On 4 October, almost 1000 Delegates and Competitors took part in One School One Country, and event that the Competitors look forward to each year. One School One Country paired Competitors and Delegates with a primary school within one of the London Boroughs. These Boroughs were chosen as they are host to two international events - the first was WorldSkills London 2011 and soon, these Boroughs will be hosting the Olympics in 2012.
The purpose of the visit was for Delegates and Competitors to meet and share their experiences with pupils and teachers at a primary school and for pupils to find out about skills and professions from different countries/regions.
The day began with the allocation of teams to the many coaches that woudl take the Competitors and Delegates to meet their new student friends. It was quite an emotional scene to see the range of nationalities filing across the pontoon bridge to board their coach! Once the teams arrived at their schools, stories were shared, new friendships were made and our world felt a little smaller and a lot better connected.
Notwithstanding some logistical issues on the day, the feedback from those who attended the visit and their host was very positive. Some of the responses from participants are detailed below:
‘It was a privilege to host the Belgium team in our school. All children responded very well to the visitors and vice versa. Pupils were excited to learn that the team spoke French as they themselves have been exposed to different European languages during our European languages week on the week beginning 26/0911. The team responded well with the children and seemed to be very impressed with the enthusiasm and behaviour of the children. After the visit from the team, 2 children came to me and said "Miss, _________is a web designer and that's what I’m going to be when I grow up. This alone tells me that the visit was a success.’
‘I just wanted to thank you for all your help in organizing the One School One Country program. The kids were adorable. They sang songs, clapped their hands, cheered and asked questions. Our Competitors have been very touched by the kids’ performance. One of the Competitors even had tears in his eyes...’
‘Just wanted to let you know that Sandringham Primary School have had an amazing time participating in the WorldSkills One School One Country. Thank you for allowing us to participate in this international event. We were really pleased with the outcome. If you have any more opportunities like these please contact me and let me know.’
‘On behalf of St Edwards we would like to thank you for the opportunity to participate. Fortunately we have managed to get an article in our local paper already (the Newham Recorder). Please keep in touch with all forthcoming events.’
‘Wow we had a wonderful morning with the WorldSkills USA team -what good fun we had.’
We hope that all took part in the One School One Country initiative found the experience both stimulating and motivating.
We have produced a series of resources for primary schools to further support and enhance the One School One Country initiative and these are available from the education portal of WorldSkills London 2011 (www.worldskillslondon2011.com/education).
Thank you to all who took part in One School One Country!