Harborough district schools find out more about Japanese culture

Teacher Kaon Stansall during the japanese lesson in the Hanbury centre at Church Langton.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Teacher Kaon Stansall during the japanese lesson in the Hanbury centre at Church Langton. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

It’s the third largest economy in the world (after the USA and China) and has a culture dating back more than 30,000 years. But many of us know shamefully little about Japan.

Pupils from six Harborough district schools aim to start putting that right, after taking part in a Japanese education day recently.

Children are taught to write in japanese.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Children are taught to write in japanese. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

The day, organised by Fleckney Primary School teacher Ali Galpin with The Japan Foundation, involved Years 5 and 6 pupils from Billesdon, Church Langton, Foxton, Fleckney, Great Glen and Hallaton.

It took place at the Hanbury Centre in Church Langton.

The children tackled four Japanese skills - calligraphy, soroban (the Japanese abacus), origami and the Japanese language.

They all told The Mail they loved the day. “I really, really enjoyed it,” said one pupil from Foxton.

Deep concentration.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Deep concentration. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“I’d definitely like to do this again,” agreed another, from Great Glen.

Organiser Ali Galpin, who used to live and work in Japan, said she was a fan both of Japanese culture and collaborative learning.

“And also as a language co-ordinator, I want to inspire children into language learning,” she added.

Josephine Austin of The Japan Foundation explained: “We have a grant programme, so I quite often get to visit schools.

Rebecca Hipkin and Petra Marriott of Fleckney during the japanese day.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Rebecca Hipkin and Petra Marriott of Fleckney during the japanese day. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“It’s the best part of my job, because the kids always really, really enjoy the day with us.”

Writing skills...teacher Lo Hanai during the japanese day.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Writing skills...teacher Lo Hanai during the japanese day. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER