Reading Boy’s School – Japan Day
KDUK has a commitment to working positively with our local community, with a focus on education, so we were delighted when Reading School – literally round the corner from our HQ – invited us to be their partner for a Japan Day.
There was an impressive variety of activities laid on for the boys, exploring the arts, culture, food and language of Japan. Most of the activities focused on the Learning Resources Centre (known as the library during my schooldays!) where posters, maps and displays of books encouraged the boys to learn and explore for themselves. As well as the manga and anime with which many of the boys were already familiar, there were novels and memoirs available to borrow. KDUK added to the literary selection by donating a copy of the latest book from Dr Kazuo Inamori, the founder of Kyocera, whose management philosophy is taught in business schools and who is regarded as an exemplary leader in Japan.
Visiting Japanese teachers held classroom sessions where the boys learned simple Japanese phrases, were taught about the three different character sets used for writing and enjoyed a multiple choice quiz. Boys who wished to could also try Judo in place of their regular PE activities.
During morning and lunchtime breaks, the boys were able to try origami and calligraphy and to test their chopstick skills in a challenge that involved transferring sweets from one bowl to another – initially fairly easy using Haribo gums but moving on to shiny, round Skittles that posed much more of a challenge. The most popular activity by far was sushi-making sessions, led by Japanese parents of pupils, at which the boys were surprisingly proficient – producing (and then consuming) authentic looking nori rolls and remarkably little mess.
The cafeteria staff excelled themselves, with a choice of 3 Japanese main courses plus delicious green tea ice cream, all produced within the normal catering budget. The staff had clearly planned and executed the day with great attention to detail and I really appreciated the opportunity to be involved in a day that was both educational and fun. In fact, I’m really hoping they invite us to be their Japan Day partners again next year!