‘Where is Matt?’ week

Well, life would be a tad dull and boring if we didn’t shake things up a little every so often, so I’m very excited to share our plans with you for next week – a week we are calling ‘Where is Matt?’ week.

Each and every day of next week we will be learning and creating together across the school, inspired by a man called Matt Harding and his fantastic films of dancing around the world (which have now been viewed an astonishing 87 million times…). Specifically, we will be focussing on his 2012 film which is now available for you to just above this writing and on our Facebook page. This magical film is rich in content and is a mine of thought provoking images and information. It includes able and disabled people, famous landmarks and obscure locations, people at work and people whose life is work, warzones and beauty spots, freely creative venues and people who have to hide for their own safety, national dresses, uniforms and local costumes.

It is a film that we believe celebrates our uniqueness and our similarities on a global scale and we are taking the values of communication, creativity, expression, team work and enthusiasm to build a week of wonderful opportunities. It is our intention that the culmination of the week will be a new film to celebrate our school community. We can’t wait!!

Children will be working in class groups for part of the week, using ‘Philosophy4Children’ to explore age appropriate questions and their perceptions of the world. They will also spend two days working in mixed age groups including children from every year. Over these two days they will be completing tasks based around communication skills, team building and international sports. They will reflect on how their new team develops, how they support each other and use strengths for the benefit of all. We hope they will learn a great deal about the power of working together and develop bonds of friendship over the two days.

During the week, every child will also weave an individual panel of artwork that Mrs Wessely is going to combine into a very large and special mosaic that emphasises the whole ‘everyone contributes to the bigger picture’ theme.

On Tuesday, Hilary and Jackie will be leading workshops with children exploring the themes of individuality and togetherness with year groups across the school, and as a part of this we would like Tuesday to be an ‘odd sock’ day. We would love everyone to come in socks that very obviously are not part of a pair – the more hideous and clashing the better! If you have any of those rogue odd socks lying around at home without a matching pair, we will be asking children to donate those socks for another special project we will be undertaking – socks will not be returned, however, so please make sure they are not one of a pair!

On Wednesday morning one of the highlights of the week is set to be a whole school FaceTime conversation live with actual Matt Harding from the other side of the world. He will be answering questions from our children and doing a little bad dancing just for us! In order for this to work he is staying up until 1am to make the call, we have everything crossed that it will all run smoothly!

To end the week on Friday, we are going to be wrapping the whole week up with some reflections and dancing all together. We would like Friday to be a ‘National Dress Day’. We are aware that there are many members of our community who have ties to other parts of the world and we would like to celebrate that by encouraging children to come to school in any form of national costume, traditional clothing or iconic cultural outfit. If this is not possible for you for logistical reasons then we will be encouraging the children to choose a national flag and dress in the colours of that flag.

Mrs Riley and the kitchen staff have agreed to support the week by producing taster pots of food for every child so that they can also experience food cultures from around the world. We will be offering all children the opportunity to taste Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Italian and Lebanese food, one country for each day of the week. Children will be allowed to try the food if they wish, however those with specific medical dietary requirements will be given an alternative in accordance with their needs.

Of course, we will be doing lots of dancing and we are delighted to say we are welcoming Nikila back to school to help with this. Nikila was the lady who led our dancing during the Festival of Sport last year and she has some great plans for us!

The final element in this week of creative craziness is you…. We intend to film every part of our community to ensure we have as broad a collection of people as possible in our film. That means that we need YOU as well!! I would be delighted if you would be able to give us 15 minutes of your time after school on Friday to join in a large ‘parents and children’ dance. It will not be strenuous and there will be very simple moves involved, but once you have watched the film you will see the kind of thing I am talking about. We would like everyone to join in so we have a full screen for the film. Please collect your child as normal after school and then make your way to the back of school where we will be filming, weather permitting, by the two ‘Corfe Castle’ mounds in the back field. Now come on, don’t be shy – think of the children!

It’s going to be a bonkers and magnificent week that I hope fills your children with excitement and new ways of looking at the world. I can’t wait to see you all come together for our final bit of dancing on the last day, and I think we will end up with a very special film to celebrate our school with into the future. Thank you for all of your support and enthusiasm, as always.

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