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Berkeley International School Grade 6

28-2 June 2018

Discovering Kanchanaburi – Settlers stories

Today our school, Baan Lum Pueng School, was visited by a group of students from Berkeley International School, Bangkok. They had come to help make our school beautiful and were armed with brushes and paints in many colours! First of all they worked on our playground, refreshing and renewing the paintwork on our play equipment and tyre boundaries.  Some of the pupils worked with our Thai school children to help them practice their English and played games with them. All the students looked like they had lots of fun and they even learnt some new English words. The students from Berkeley continued their makeover mission and once they had finished painting they headed to our school greenhouse to help plant some new vegetables for our hydroponic garden.

One group of students led by their school art teacher also gave me, a plain old white wall, a makeover!! It was very exciting! After a brief planning session, they started by carefully drawing out a design with chalk to act as a guideline. Then they started to paint which made me very ticklish! After letting the base paints dry they added details in shimmery gold paint including an important proverb in the New Zealand Moari Language  ‘He aha te mea nui? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata! – What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people! This message inspired the students and will always remind us the importance of being part of an international community of global citizens and how we can work together to achieve wonderful things.

After a shared lunch with our pupils, they students told us about what else they had been doing during their visit to Kanchanaburi. They had visited the bridge over the river Kwai to learn more about Kanchanaburi’s role in World War II and how many of different nationalities had come to settle in the area after the war. Many had enjoyed the beauty of Kanchanaburi’s landscape during a long tailed boat ride along the river, where they had considered the human impacts taking place along the river, such as resort development, and how this might affect the watershed and natural environment. A visit to explore Lawa Cave with its amazing geological features and its bat colonies was also a highlight described by many of the group. They even travelled back in time to the ancient Khmer kingdom, visiting Prasat Muang Singh historical park and its Bayon style temples and discovering how the Khmer had once ruled over much of South East Asia. It sounded like the Berkeley students had really enjoyed the trip and had learned a lot about the history of Kanchanaburi and its settlers!

Our school is now more beautiful and I shall wear my special multicultural, international mural with pride, to remind our students of the time Berkeley International School students came to visit, sharing their culture and skills with us and reminding us to be responsible global citizens.

  • A previously white but now proudly painted wall, Baan Lum Pueng School, Kanchanaburi

Grade 6 students begin painting after drawing out the basic design. The bright colours are very cheerful and had been picked by students from Baan Lum Pueng School

These students enjoyed the chance to practice their English with games and songs

After the painting was finished our playground was bright and cheerful again! As good as new!

The Finished mural

Students from Berkeley and Baan Lum Pueng schools enjoy the fruits of their labours.

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