What an amazing day. An early start for our Keystage Two classes meant that we were heading for Cardiff by 8am. Arriving in a Cardiff suburb two hours later, we were greeted by our penpals in Albany school's playground.
It was a truly valuable experience for our children to be immersed in such a rich mix of cultures. At first glance we were surrounded by all the differences - the smells, sights, skin tones, costumes and sounds of over ten different nationalities - but within minutes we were wrapped up in playground games played the world over, like football, dancing, catch and 'What's the time Mr Wolf?'. A lot of our differences were only skin deep!
After renewing our friendships at playtime we took part in a range of cultural activities with our penpals:
Tasting food from Pakistan, Morocco and India,
Trying on Indian clothing and having henna tattoos (including Mr.W!),
Learning Welsh songs, numbers and phrases (which member of staff is tri deg saith years old?),
Czech traditional dance, ceramic painting and costumes.
Here are some of our thoughts on the day:
I thought it was really fun because it was lots of different activities that we haven't done before. Their school was really huge. It had fourteen classrooms and 60 people in each year! We returned to England at 15:21! - Cecilia and Lily
The hat dancing was very fast but the good thing was we learned it quickly! - Kyle
I loved the dance especially the fast bits - Ben
I really liked my day but my favourite parts were the henna and seeing my penpal again. She's really nice and fun to be with - Lucy
I really enjoyed the day, especially the Indian food, watching the henna and meeting my penpal again - Alice
I know how to say hello in Welsh now: "Ahoy!" - Tom
It was brilliant and I'd love to go again because it was jam packed with excitement wedged in and we even got to take something away with us (a beautiful, gorgeous and complicated henna tattoo) - Ron and Dan
It was great because we got tattoos on - Fabien
Exhaustingly brilliant! - Ron