In this exchange, students from Bringelly and Tempe Public schools share their Australian stories in an exchange of friendship and interests.
Bringelly Public School is situated in south western Sydney in a semi rural community where most students live on five acres or more. Tempe Public School, by contrast, is an inner city school with a diverse student population including students from Aboriginal, Chinese, Greek, German and Croatian backgrounds.
This program began with students from Bringelly Public School making initial contact with Tempe Public School students via email. The aim of the activity was for students to establish buddy relationships. A few technical problems meant that not all students were able to communicate with their buddies through email, but nevertheless students from Bringelly eagerly set off to meet their Tempe buddies in person in June 2008. The entire Bringelly school population of some 100 students travelled by bus to the inner city, not really sure what to expect when they arrived at Tempe.
On arrival at Tempe Public School, they were met by the Principal, Jenny Liessmann, who welcomed the Bringelly students to the school. After a brief introduction, students were taken on a tour by three Year 6 Tempe students. Bringelly students were then introduced to their buddy classes where they were matched with Tempe students according to years or stages. After the introductions, it was time for lunch when students and staff had the chance to become acquainted in a more relaxed environment.
After lunch, the buddies spent time together in class and then all students were entertained by several Tempe classes performing a range of multicultural items at assembly. One class’ performance told an Australian migration story from the viewpoint of a community member. It depicted their entry to Australia and experiences in the years that followed. Another class presented various dances and the choir performed a song in Chinese. The highlight of the assembly was a performance of the “Haka”. Each Tempe class had made a keepsake for their buddy class and these keepsakes were presented during the assembly. Tempe SRC students facilitated the proceedings. Students from Bringelly Public School were then presented with books for the school library as a gift for them to remember their visit.
Back in rural Bringelly, students reported feeling overwhelmed by the hospitality that was shown to them by Tempe Public School and agreed that an enjoyable day was had by all. After the visit, Bringelly students were keen to continue emailing their buddies in what was to become a meaningful communication process.
The students and teachers at both schools look forward to the reciprocal visit from Tempe Public School in Term 3, 2008.