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I do like a sandwich… fresh bread, a variety of tasty fillings, a scattering of potato crisps and a beautiful summer’s day on cut grass for a picnic. But sandwiches come in all shapes and sizes, types and flavors, with a wide variety of ingredients and fillings, no one is perfect but all can be equally delicious.
This is Etienne in New Zealand preparing one half of a very special sandwich.
This is Angel in Spain preparing the other half of the same sandwich.
We call this an Earth sandwich where two slices of bread have been carefully placed in the exact opposite places on the exact opposite sides of our Earth.
So if Angel was able to drill directly through the centre of the Earth from Madrid in a straight line he would come out somewhere in New Zealand with Etienne, probably close to the city of Wellington. There are other places on our Earth, but not too many though, where this unique feat of creating an Earth sandwich can be achieved. You can see all the green shaded areas on the map below and their opposite locations. All the black areas would end up in the oceans or seas and therefore not be possible to make the sandwich.
Being a geographer, I love this concept of an Earth sandwich and the accurate use of latitudes and longitudes to map opposite locations. I especially like this idea of an Earth sandwich when I consider myself as being a global citizen. Myself and the Earth as the pieces of bread and the fillings being all the unique elements that make me the global citizen that I am and want to be.
These fillings are endless… and could be shaped by… our nationalities and heritage, the places we have travelled to and seen, the religions and faiths we may follow, the hobbies and interests that we have, the way we interact and communicate in person and in cyberspace, the languages we speak, and the habits we probably should give up, and the habits we should try and be better at.
They could also be shaped by the global goals for sustainable development… or even the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Even schools (should) help us everyday to become people who care for others and the world around them, that is why I am passionate about global citizenship education.
For me global citizenship is about having a go, being prepared to leave your comfort zone and trying new experiences. But this is not enough. A global citizen is always learning, they focus on the moment and make connections with the people and the environment around them. They reflect on how they were made to feel and how they made others feel, striving to learn more about themselves and other people. A global citizen always wants to learn more and is not afraid to set personal targets for self-improvement and growth.
In a school and throughout a learning community there are an abundance of opportunities for global citizenship education. These opportunities should not be perceived as separate, or an add-on, to a formal education programme, instead they should be fully integrated and encouraged to enhance the overall learning a person is able to achieve inside and outside of school. The whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts. There are many individual parts that make up a sandwich, we may not particularly enjoy the individual parts or choose to eat them by themselves, but together as a whole, lovingly prepared and reflectively put together, these many ingredients and fillings can make a truly amazing and successful (global citizenship) sandwich.
I was in Phuket, Thailand, attending an IB course for geography teachers in November 2003. The course was great, challenging and collaborative, just as you would expect from the IB programme. My priority though was finding a television, one with the right satellite connection, this was our time!
The England rugby team had made it to the final of the Rugby World Cup and were playing their great rivals, Australia (the Wallabies) in the final, right smack-bang in the middle of our IB Geography course! Luckily, our facilitator was a fellow rugby enthusiast and we were able to motor through the agenda and finish in time to find a suitable venue and watch this momentous match. It was a tight game, and at 17 – 17 the match entered extra-time. The England scrum-half, Matt Dawson (number 9) made a darting break through the Wallabies tired defence giving England territorial advantage in the dying seconds. Matt picked himself up, re-positioned himself and spun the ball back to the England fly-half (number 10) Jonny Wilkinson… the rest is history! You can watch it here.
Matt Dawson is now a TV and radio presenter and pundit for the BBC in the UK. One of the shows that he features in is called ´A Question of Sport.´ To raise awareness and to support the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, Matt has been doing as many quizzes as he can, joining people from all over the world, online, to complete a quiz. We were very lucky and honoured that Matt was able to join us for our weekly staff professional development session last Thursday and complete part of our starter quiz. This was Matt´s 108th quiz so far since starting less than two weeks ago. It was a real pleasure to meet Matt and to have the opportunity to reminisce with him about the 2003 final. He was interested in every one of us and how we are successfully adapting our teaching and learning during these testing times. He also answered a number of questions asked by the teachers at the Meet. It was a real highlight of the school week and we would like to thank Matt again for his kindness and sincerity in joining us. #NHSHeroes #StayHomeSaveLives #DawsDoesQuizzes @matt9dawson
Rediscovering books of old
Sporting classics being retold
Rays of sunshine filter in
A joyous time to empty a bin
Lunching together (Spanish time)
Board games, jig-saws, quizzes, mime
Open windows fresh air breathes in
Online meetings (shorts and flip-flops!) let’s begin
Radio podcasts, #BBC
Nothing like a cuppa tea
The patter of rain, rumbles of thunder
Classic films, tears and wonder
International friends in a virtual space
aprendiendo español at my own pace
The distant sounds of cutting grass
Memories, summer days long in the past
Darting swallows busy at dusk
Old San Pedro makes no fuss
Coming together one community claps
The time, the place, the people, perhaps
Paul Crouch, 23.04.2020
Tres Cantos, Madrid
Contributed by Jade Harcourt-Harrison (2nd place, U14 Amnesty International Journalism Competition, Thailand)
In Syria it is not difficult to find victims of felonious detention and torture. The conflict between the rebels and the Assad regime has had a massive impact on the country’s citizens. Thousands upon thousands of victimised people go missing in Syria: activists, opposition fighters, journalists, civilians and humanitarian workers. The government’s security police are persistently submitting innocent, harmless people to egregious detentions. These people are not political terrorists; they are not actively rebelling against the regime; they are simply helping people in this war torn environment. However, because of these selfless acts their lives are destroyed. They all endure inhumane, unacceptable, violations of their human rights. The list of atrocities is shocking.
These victims are…
Snatched from society
Dragged into the depths of prisons
Thrown into rotting cells, darkness swallowing them, concealing them
Shackled to the floor, like animals
Tortured, tortured and tortured
Beaten, whipped, sexually harassed
Pushed into water, no air, burning in their chests
Hung from the ceiling by their hands and legs
Finally, they speak … lies… but answers. They will say anything, to stop the unbearable pain.
An example of these horrific crimes against humanity is an anonymous victim who reported to the BBC about her terrible experience in Syria. She was at a peaceful protest when the army started to open fire; which led to a bloody massacre. She bravely stayed to treat the injured protestors and later fled the city. During her escape the regime’s security police captured her.
“I was subjected to torture, atrocities, insults… They were focusing on the psychological element – insults, humiliation – as a punishment because of what I had done.”
Her ordeal was far from over…
“I was subjected to beatings, whippings, electric shocks. I was detained in a single cell, it was a horrible place under the ground. There were three floors – and I was kept there for one and a half months.”
After these horrendous actions had taken place, she was confirmed innocent in a trial in the country’s terrorism court. She then managed to escape to Lebanon to a refugee camp, continuing to endure hardship and suffering. She applied for a resettlement in England and luckily, this was granted.
However, masses of Syrians are not as fortunate, despite the continued efforts to resolve the conflict and eradicate these crimes against humanity.
We must continue to support humanitarian organizations that are working tirelessly to help these victims of torture. We must not let these abhorrent regimes camouflage their guilt in deceptions and denials. We must ensure that the plight of these people doesn’t leave the media spotlight. As the old Chinese proverb states: “it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”
St. Andrews International School – Green Valley, Thailand
Today me and jonah loot at sum bugs to put in ar log piyul mowstlee we loot undneef the bricks becus we fort that los of bugs will liv udneef thum for sayfdee so we lift thoom up but befor we evun think abat it so I said we need a buckit in cays there ar poysun bugs so we got a buckit naw we can get sum bugs in ar buckis then we went to find some bugs I fawd some bugs so put thum in the howtel I will thas wot I said naw jonah has fa wd some jonah said Im gowing to put it in the howtel.
Today me and Jonah looked at some bugs to put in our log pile. Mostly we looked underneath the bricks because we thought that lots of bugs will live underneath them for safety. So we lifted them up but before we even thought about it so i said we need a bucket in case there are poisonous bugs so we got a bucket.
Now we can get some bugs in our buckets. Then we went to find some bugs. I found some bugs so put them in the (bug) hotel I will. That’s what I said. Now Jonah has found some. Jonahs said I’m going to put it in the hotel.
Giving Nature a Home: @natures_voice www.rspb.org.uk
“Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.”
By William Martin
The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents
On the 20th March 2015, staff and students at my current school gathered on the spacious sports fields to observe the first solar eclipse in this country since 1999. This was an excellent opportunity to bring students of all ages together to share their knowledge and the experience, from our 5 year olds in Reception to our oldest A Level students in the Upper Sixth Form. The school provided solar glasses for the students courtesy of Jonathan and Sarah Higginson, who kindly donated the glasses, in memory of their 10 year old son, who died in a traffic accident in 2009. George, was science mad, and especially loved astronomy. Consequently, his parents are raising money to purchase a telescope which will be placed in Williamson Park, Lancaster, for everyone to enjoy. The school collected monetary donations for the solar glasses which raised over 200 pounds towards the funding of the George Higginson Telescope.
This was a fantastic learning opportunity for the whole school, with most teachers just as keen as the students to be outside and observing the scientific phenomenon. It is important to encourage authentic learning at every opportunity. The students in the Junior School engaged in a great deal of research during the week in their science lessons about solar eclipses and a number of classes even made their own pin-hole cameras. Other classes decided to use colanders or telescopes to cast the shadow of the eclipse onto white paper. Senior school students wrote about solar eclipses in their English lessons after learning about how they have been perceived in literature throughout history. Meanwhile Physics lessons involved looking at the science behind the process of an eclipse and why they occur in different places around the Earth at different times.
Although the weather was not favourable on the morning, the school did manage to glimpse the eclipse at different stages through small breaks in the clouds in the build-up to 9.31am. There was a great deal of excitement and dialogue taking place about what was happening amongst the student community. This was made more impressive and poignant as Senior School students facilitated learning as they buddied up and mentored the younger students from the Junior School to provide further explicit explanations. It was a successful and important coming together of the school community with everyone being positive and optimistic despite the disappointing cloud cover. You can see the impact a whole school community event like this can have here.