Weston Village Primary School >
Info From Finland
Day One
 

As day dawned on Sunday morning, 14 hugely excited children and three teachers congregated in the school car park resplendent in their sapphire blue 
Comenius hoodies. This was the start of an intriguing venture into northern Europe; Finland to be exact; to be even more exact our day's journey would end at our ultimate destination: Jamsa.
A short minibus ride to Manchester airport was followed by a three hour flight to Helsinki, the capital of Finland. Talking to locals on the plane and in the airport, it was clear the Finnish people are excellent speakers of English (which is a good job because Finnish is a tricky language to master! At least Mr Cutts had an app full of useful phrases so we could try to learn some basic niceties!)
Armed with sat navs, we loaded up a couple of cars and made the two hour drive from Helsinki, north to Jamsa in central Finland. The drive took us through the most beautiful scenery. Finland is decorated with clear blue lakes and delightful woodland, which we were constantly amazed by as the miles rolled by (or kilometres as distances are measured in over here as in most of Europe). We stopped on the way to marvel at the sight and take some photos before continuing to our villas.
The villas we are staying in are set in equally idyllic surrounding but I'm sure the children will tell you more about them in tomorrow's post. As we are two hours ahead, it is almost midnight now and we have an early start tomorrow, in order to head into our Comenius partner school right here, in Jamsa.
There'll be plenty to tell you about tomorrow, so for now...

Hyvää yötä!


 
Dear Mr Cutts
Yellow class enjoyed your Blog - but sadly, we can't see the photographs! 
Mrs Bradley


Day Two
 
Today was our fist day; we had loads of fun.
We got to the school around 9:00 and were queuing up for dinner by 11:00! We watched a play by the 6th grade - it was funny! Fortunately we had a translation though...We went to their music lesson they were extremely good! Then we went out side again and had fun on the equipment; one piece of it made us DIZZZZZY! All of us thought the best thing of the day was going in the sport hall - it is huge! We got into teams with the Finnish children and we played 4 games such as:hockey, handball and frisbee;best of all, was the trampolining area. We could either jump from the trampoline into a foam pit, or climb up something and grab bar and hang, then let go and drop into the foam pit! Now we are going to have pizza. What a great day! Jenny and Sarah
 


Hello Folks!
Yellow class are very jealous - can we have a trampoline and foam pit please?!
Mrs Bradley

Day Two Continued

Yesterday we arrived at Kalliola and Jukola (the names of the two villas we are staying at in Hiidenmaki in Jamsa). They. Are. Awesome! We have: a swinging bench, a BBQ hut, a jacuzzi bath and a sauna in each villa (we are hoping to try the sauna out later - every house in Finland is supposed to have one pretty much!) We want to have a go in the Viking hot tub tomorrow too! There is plenty of other stuff to do here too, when we aren't in school like: relax, watch Finnish TV and watch the beautiful nature outside. You can also talk to your friend and tell ghost stories! Scary! While we were all huddled up on the sofa, we drank beautifully crafted hot chocolate. This is Tabbi and Amy filling you in on where we are staying. Bye!


We still can't see the photo - but thanks for keeping us all up-to-date Tabbi and Amy.  'Beautifully crafted hot chocolate' - any chance you can bring some of that back for your lovely Deputy Head? :-)


Day Three
 
Today was an exciting day. First we arrived at Vitikkalan Koulou. After we were welcomed and had taken our shoes off (they just wear socks or slippers in school), we were sung to by the Finnish children (we had play after). We played football with some Finnish children and I even managed to score a goal! The Finnish children, who all joined in at the end, heard us shout some English banter. "How wide do you want the goal, how wide do you want the goal how wide?" When play was over we had lunch at 11:00 a bit early for me considering I had breakfast two hours and a half ago. At 12:00 (10:00 English time when the whole school was in assembly) we shared our culture box stuff with the 6th graders, who are 12 and 13 years old; it was very funny what some people said. We told them all about what we get up to in England and about the things we enjoy doing. In some ways we are very similar and in some ways we are different. Mrs. Mitchell taught the Finnish children how to say and what "ace" means. We went back to Villa Hiidenmaki, which is very posh (sorry if that made you jealous because I didn't mean to). All in all the day was great. We are going to have a party with some Finnish children at 18:00 and that is all I can say about today.
By Max
 
Hi Max
Sounds like you are all still having fun :-)  Don't worry about making us jealous - that happened on Wednesday.  When you come home you'll find we are all a little greener than when you left us!
Hurry home soon - the Torch is on it's way.
Mrs Bradley   


Day Three Continued
 
This evening was very special. After doing some souvenir shopping and visiting a local supermarket for provisions, we returned to our villas to pack our bags (we are very organised) and prepare for some visitors.
At about quarter to six amid beautiful early summer weather, lots of the staff from our partner school, Vitikkala, and even more pupils, started showing up to spend the evening with us. We were delighted to see them. They took us to the barbecue hut and made pancakes for everyone. They must have made 100 pancakes! A barbecue hut is common in many Finnish homes as it is shelter from Finnish mosquitos which tend to be abundant during the warmer months. The pancakes were delicious; we ate them with jam, sugar or squirty cream. Yum! We also ate crisps, chips, pizza and plenty of salad...
Whilst we ate, we chatted and played games with our new Finnish friends. This is one of the main reasons we came to Finland and also one of the best. The other children were so lovely and loved to play with us. They taught us some Finnish words which we hope to teach everyone back at Weston. We rode their bikes with them, explored the woods together and then played a great game of football. England V Finland quickly turned into mixed teams as we worked together (and laughed together).
Before the staff left, they called us all together and presented us all with two gifts: a keying of the man mascot that represents Jamsa and a felt leaf or butterfly. We were very touched. The staff gave us hugs and said their goodbyes. We will see them briefly tomorrow morning but this was a lovely way to wish them thanks for their hospitality and say goodbye.
After the staff left, many of the children stayed behind and continued to play lots of games including lots more football (one of the Finnish staff went out specially earlier on to buy the ball. She said we could keep it and bring it back to Weston with us!) When the time came for us to finally hug and wave them goodbye, we exchanged email addresses and reflected on what was a memorable evening. Magic!
Tomorrow is our final day but we will mainly be travelling: a two hour drive south through the pretty Finnish scenery and a three hour flight back to Manchester. We don't really want to leave so soon but can't wait to come into school on Thursday and share our experiences with you all. Good bye!  


 
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