The XIS secondary school recently completed its 4th annual Global Awareness Day celebration, this year’s focus, “Happiness”. The day is the culmination of four, unique, all day Secondary House events that the school puts on each year. Through the House System, which is made up of four unique groups, Red Roosters, Yellow Tigers, Green Monkeys and Blue Dragons, students are able to experience a wide range of activities that they might not normally get to see in an everyday classroom environment. This year’s theme for the Global Awareness day celebration diverged from past themes such as pollution, gender stereotypes in order to enable students to take on different perspectives.
The planning for GAD started about eight weeks ago as a collaboration between eight student delegates and four teachers, ‘House Heads.’ After much deliberation a consensus was met and students were organized into four different events. These events centered around the concept of, “What makes us happy?” During the weeks leading up to the actual day the students went about a guided inquiry into the topic of Happiness. Activities included making a personal happiness list, watching the movie “Happy,” directed by Roko Belic, and participating in a cultural art project which was led by the student house captains.
The GAD first event titled, ‘Wall Painting,’ took on the challenge of prepping, designing and painting the entire south stairwell from the ground floor up the Gymnasium on the 3rd floor. The event had over 50 student participants and was one of the most physically intense activities of the day. The end product was a beautiful mural that will promote the idea if happiness at XIS for years to come.
The second event titled, ‘Humans of Xiamen,’ took the students on a walking excursion of the Xinglin neighborhood. The idea was to allow students, in small groups, to interact with various members of the community and to take pictures of their journey. During this activity the students interviewed locals that they came in contact with about what makes them happy. As a culmination each group created a large poster that will now be displayed at the secondary school entrance.
A third event titled, “Video Biography of a Stranger,” partnered like minded students together in an attempt to have them tell the life story of a person that they might normally not interact with. These students spent time learning the concept of video storytelling and the fine art of interviews. As a culminating product students created a video that they can take with them as a snap shot of their current life.
The last event was a continuation of the cultural art projects that students started on the the previous week as part of the preparatory work. Various groups included those representing South Korea, The United States, China and Norway. These groups created paintings, totem poles and one group even made colored smoke bombs in attempt to recreate a fourth of July, tradition in the United States.
For many students there was also an opportunity to take part in a Yoga/Mindfulness session in the afternoon. This session was led by our very own secondary Counsellor Patrick Daly. The session was challenging and relaxing for all those involved.
Overall, the Global Awareness Day was a total success as was the expansion of student understanding in terms of happiness from a personal, community and global perspective. Many students came to the conclusion that XIS is a very happy community that they love to be a part of.
GAD的计划大概在八个星期前开始，由八位学生代表和四位老师“House Heads”组成，经过多次审议，达成共识，并将学生组织成四个不同的活动。这些活动围绕着“什么让我们开心？”的概念为中心。在庆祝日到来前的日子里，学生们进行了关于幸福主题的指导性探究。活动包括制作个人幸福名单，观看Roko Belic导演的电影“幸福”，并参加由学生House领导的文化艺术项目。