IT IS an opportunity to discover a whole new world, making it one of the most popular events in the school calendar – children at King’s Ely Acremont heard tales from all over the globe when international students paid them a visit during the school’s annual Book Week.

Ten students from King’s Ely International, which provides intensive academic courses for around 55 international students each year, enthralled Year 2 children with stories and fairy tales spoken in their native language, including Korean, Spanish, Chinese, Kazakh, German and Taiwanese.

With the use of mime and objects, including an exquisite traditional dress from Korea, the children were fully engaged and eager to learn more about the countries the international students came from. They posed a wide range of questions and there was sheer amazement that money in China was made from plastic, making it impossible to rip!

The aim of the annual event is twofold: to help the international students integrate into the local community and to promote the cultural understanding and skills that young people today need to live and work as global citizens.

“Book Week at Acremont is always a marvellous opportunity to celebrate King’s Ely International’s rich cultural diversity,” commented Sarah Bellotti, Director of King’s Ely International.

“Both our international and younger pupils are enriched by the experience, which highlights not only what is different in language but, more surprisingly for some, what is also very similar in culture: the Three Little Pigs, for instance, is a story told all over the world.”

Principal, Sue Freestone, added: “One of the strengths of King’s Ely is the opportunity for integration across what may be perceived as barriers in other contexts. Students from all over the world have an opportunity to realise that the shared experiences of life that bind communities far outweigh the perceived differences that divide them. The birth of that understanding cannot happen early enough and the value of the work our King’s Ely International students do with the children in King’s Ely Acremont is incalculable for all concerned.”

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