Cultural Links

Cultural Links
At Ellwood, we recognise the importance of making cultural links and plan for these through the design of our curriculum, particularly when studying RE, history and geography.
We strive make local community links and links further away. We also have contact with a school in St Hilaire de Riez, a town in France twinned with Coleford. We write to them, as Pen Pals, and share our life experiences with them and they also share their life with us. 
We go on lots of visits to help us with our cultural development such as: Gloucester City, where we visit the city, Mosque and the Cathedral. 
St Hilaire de Riez 
As a result of the community twinning between the towns of Coleford and St Hilaire de Riez, we have built a link with Henry Simon school. The children in Willow and Sycamore classes exchange letters with children in the same year groups from the French school, which gives them the opportunity to practice their French language skills and learn more about France and the French culture. They are looking forward to a visit from their penpals in March 2020.
Visit to Coalway Methodist Chapel
Chestnut and Beech had a lovely time visiting Rev Michelle at Coalway Methodist Chapel. It was great to be able to look at the features of the building. We learnt about the key characters in the nativity. We were very lucky as Rev Michelle also gave each child a nativity Christmas tree decoration. Thank you Rev Michelle.
Autumn Term
Chestnut class have been learning about Africa. The children have identified Africa and Kenya on maps and have found out what it is like to live in Kenya. The children have looked at photos of villages, towns and compared  the photos to what our villages and towns look like. We have looked at African tribes and watched videos of the 'jumping competition'. The children then made beautiful necklaces and practised jumping to see who could jump the highest! 
Chestnut have also learnt the story Handa's Surprise. The children tasted some of the fruit that was in Handa's basket and made fruit smoothies. Well done to the children for trying new fruits.
Black History Month
During Black History month the children learnt about the following people and their achievements, Bob Marley, Nathan Bryon, Mary Seacole, Marcus Rashford and Alma Thomas. 
Spring Term
This term the children are learning an African dance in PE with Miss Yee Yee this term. The children have enjoyed listening and dancing to different types of music. 
Links through the Curriculum 
Chestnut and Beech classes look at the similarities and differences between life here and that of a traditional rural African village.

South and North America
Sycamore and Willow learn about life in the two Americas with a particular focus on human and physical geography. They also learn about food and music from these continents and study the work of American artists. 
WW1 and WW2
Sycamore and Willow learn about the events which led to the start of the World Wars and focus, in particular, on life in the trenches in the First World War and on life on the Home Front during the Second World War, including rationing, evacuation, air raid shelters and the role of women during wartime Britain. They have visited the Steam Museum in Swindon dressed as evacuees and learnt what it was like to leave home and live with another family and how children coped with time in the air raid shelters.

The school has previously had a link with a school in India which was very successful. It was a chance for both schools to learn about the similarities and differences between our cultures. Teachers from Ellwood had the opportunity to visit India and we then hosted teachers from India in return.
Local History
We are keen for the children to learn more about their local area and plan activities and visits to local places of interest. We have a wealth of historic sites on our doorstep and use these to learn about the past and present way of life in the Forest of Dean.
Clearwell Caves and New Fancy View
Chestnut and Beech visited local significant historical sites. They learnt about iron ore and coal and how this provided the local communities with employment. The iron ore was used nationwide to provide railways that linked Britain and shaped our nation.
Remembrance Day 
At Ellwood, we hold an annual service of Remembrance in our hall where the Roll of Honour for both World Wars has pride of place. The children hold a two minute silence and write poems and prayers which are read out. In 2019 Willow class took part in a tree planting ceremony to mark both Remembrance Day and the centenary of the Forestry Commission. Oak Class explored the lives of soldiers and painted a poppy to show their respect.
Visiting places of Worship
As part of our RE curriculum, we have planned visits to a range of places of worship. These have presented an opportunity for the children to have an enlightening first hand experience of how and where people of other cultures and religions worship.
Hindu Temple
Chestnut and Beech classes visited the Hindu Temple in Cardiff and learnt about the Hindu culture.
Mosque and Gloucester Cathedral
Beech, Willow and Sycamore classes visited a Mosque in Gloucester and Gloucester Cathedral. They focused on the similarities and differences between the two religious places of worship. 
Home and Away
During our Geography-based topic, 'Home and Away', children in Willow class welcomed a lovely German lady, called Bonnie, along with her husband, into their class.  Bonnie was born - and brought up - in Germany and she lives there were her British husband, Jake.
The children discovered that Bonnie teaches English to children in Germany and Jake is a translator for adults.  It was fascinating to hear Bonnie speaking in German and the pupils were enthralled as Jake translated everything that she said.
Together, they taught Willow all about Germany, its environment, its people and its culture - and the children learnt lots of interesting things that inspired their interest in our topic.  Bonnie also helped the children to learn simple greetings in German - and by the end of the session, lots of short German conversations filled the air in Willow.  Wow!
The children were very proud of themselves and Jake and Bonnie were really impressed with Willow's superb behaviour and impressive listening skills.
The children were very sad to wave goodbye to their lovely visitors but we are all delighted that they have agreed to continue to help our school to develop our knowledge and understanding of Germany with the use of Skype!  How exciting!
Danke, Bonnie and Jake.  Auf wiedersehen (for now)!