Guest blogger Mrs Stay is a KS2 teacher at Claires Court School, Ridgeway in Berkshire. Find out how she runs her Chembakolli day below
"Every year for the past six years, Claires Court School, Ridgeway has held a Year 4 Chembakolli day to support our Year 4 Geography curriculum. This is a day when our children can experience a day in the life of an Adivasi (tribal) child living in Chembakolli village in Southern India.
The day was developed by Mrs Bintcliffe, one of our Geography teachers who has now retired. Mrs Bintcliffe wanted to bring the Chembakolli learning experience to life as she felt the teaching resources available at the time lacked inspiration and contained inaccurate facts.
To make a positive change Mrs Bintcliffe accepted ActionAid’s offer to take teachers to Chembakolli to allow them to learn and understand fully the challenges faced by the Adivasi people, as well as experience their daily life and routines. Before retiring, Mrs Bintcliffe trained me to take over the Chembakolli mantle.
Our day begins with a walk from Chembakolli village through the Chembakolli forest (also known as Maidenhead Thicket!) to the bus stop to catch the Adivasi school bus.
The children are led on the walk by a native guide ‘Malu’ (the lead teacher for the day) who teaches them about the layout of Chembakolli village and how the houses are built amongst the trees. They also learn about the types of crops produced in the forest which help support the Chembakolli economy. During the walk they are on the lookout for wild animals, especially elephants!!
After the walk, the children learn about life in the Vidyodaya School, including the types of lessons the Adivasi children take part in. They listen to traditional Indian stories by Yogesh Joshi and re-create the stories as story boards. After this the pupils learn about the different games played by Indian children and they all join in a game of kho-kho.
We stop for a traditional Indian lunch of rice, meat and bread which we eat out of pots with our hands.
After lunch everyone splits into groups to take part in traditional Indian craft activities such as threading, watercolour painting, printing, sketching and kite making. While the groups undertake their activity they also take it in turns to complete a quiz looking at traditional items brought back from Chembakolli by Mrs Bintcliff.
We end the day by comparing and contrasting our lives with those of the Adivasi children. We look at the craft work produced, taste fruit that grows in India and try on traditional Indian clothing.
The children love taking part in the day and gain a real understanding of life as an Adivasi child, whilst also learning about the geography of India and how it compares to the UK. The day is followed up in lessons using ActionAid’s on-line Chembakolli resources"
For more information about the Chembakolli day please e-mail email@example.com