It was an exciting start to Term Three for girls in the Junior School as they welcomed the arrival of students from Fahan’s Sister School in Japan, Tokyo Jogakkan.
From Wednesday 24 July to Monday 29 July, Year 6 students hosted 14 girls and their teachers, as well as Vice Principal, Sensei Eiko Shimoda, who was visiting for the first time.
A special assembly was held on Wednesday morning where the Year 6 students welcomed the visitors, presenting gifts and introducing themselves in Japanese, a gesture that was returned in English by their international guests.
Year 6 teacher, Kathryn Lumsden-Steel, observed the positive outcomes from the girls’ experiences throughout the week. “The activities the girls participated in gave them hands-on cultural experiences such as dressing in kimonos, drinking Japanese tea and learning calligraphy,” remarked Kathryn. The Japanese students enjoyed an Australian BBQ, close encounters with native animals during a visit to the Bonorong Wildlife Park, bushwalking and family life during weekend homestays with the Year 6 girls.
The visit culminated in an emotional farewell with the Japanese students singing traditional songs and playing music before being presented with a certificate from Fahan Principal, Penny Curran-Peters.
“We hold our special relationship with Tokyo Jogokkan School in very high regard and the past week has further strengthened our long-standing partnership. The cultural learning experiences and friendships made has reinforced the importance of the relationships we hold with many international schools. While there are strong cultural differences between the girls, they also share many commonalities, making the visit all the more enjoyable”, said Mrs Penny Curran-Peters.
Some of the highlights the Year 6 girls’ have taken away with them from their exchange:
“I absolutely loved meeting the Tokyo Jogakkan girls. They were all so courteous and kind, and I hope to keep in touch.” Mia Fagan
“I really enjoyed TJKs visit, it was exciting, and fun!! I made so many great memories!!!! I really loved dressing up in Yukatas, the tea ceremony, Japanese games and traditional Japanese dancing. The amount of English they knew was incredible! It was a really great visit!” Mia Stoneman
“I really enjoyed having the TJK girls in our class for the week. It was really fun to do the culture day and learn a bit more about Japan. A memory moment for me was when we fed the kangaroos and how happy the TJK girls looked.” Maggie Steele
“I really enjoyed the T.J.K visit I was so surprised how good there English was they were so polite. I wish they could have stayed longer.” Charlotte Crawford
“I loved having home stay with Momo and Haruka M. My favourite thing I did with them was going to Salamanca Market, going to Richmond or walking the dog with the them on the beach. I really enjoyed it and now I really want to go back to Japan and visit them.” Felicity Barling.
“I didn’t expect them to know that much English! They were so good at it. My favourite memory was when I went to Hannah’s house on Sunday. We played heaps of fun games and I had a great time!” Tess Lawson
“I really love the girls, they were so funny and nice. I was very surprised how much English they knew. I’m really going to miss them.” Penelope Geappen
“They understood a lot of English and they were all really lovely. Once we got to know them they started to relax and be them self a little more. It was an enjoyable experience.” Estella Manson
“Having the TJK students here at Fahan was an amazing experience. I made lots of new friends and it was really sad to say goodbye to them. I loved the Ukatas and the tea ceremony. Overall it was a great time and I hope to see them again one day!” Zara Marino