International schools come in many different shapes and sizes and the term itself includes a variety of school systems encompassing a wide variety of formats and curricula, with some being more international than others. How does Matthews Hall fit into this continuum of schools that focus on a truly international perspective?
In order to be considered an actual international school, it is widely agreed that a school must generally follow a national or international curriculum different from that used in the country at large and that an emphasis must be placed on international education and global citizenship. While our small independent school in London, Ontario, is not a bona fide international school, we still strive to reflect a diverse and pluralistic program to our local community. By formal and informal means, our students and teachers work, learn, and play in a setting that welcomes and reflects our truly diverse Canadian family. We celebrated this unique dimension of our school with families this week.
At Matthews Hall, International Day is the result of exciting preparations that culminate in the hosting of our annual multicultural fair and assembly. With a little help (and cooking!) from our students’ dedicated parents, many of our students proudly share their heritage and family stories with one another by setting up small “pavilions” or stalls in our gymnasium. Each student is given a passport and “travels” around the world collecting stickers and knowledge as they go…visiting places far and near, from Pakistan and the Philippines to Greece, Croatia, and Ireland, along with our local First Nations territories (…among many others!).
Our perennial theme of “sharing our similarities, while celebrating our differences” conveys unity amidst our diversity. The day broadens our students’ horizons and affords opportunities for them to learn more about their classmates’ cultures, food and languages while fostering a greater understanding of their place in the wider community.
International Day at Matthews Hall always includes a special exhibition at which students have the opportunity to share the musical culture and dress of the world’s peoples by dancing and singing and having fun at a whole-school assembly.
At Matthews Hall, International Day is every day! Understanding the roots and values of our students provide opportunities for us to grow as learners and as Canadians. Thank you for supporting our efforts and helping us celebrate our unique MH family.
As we embark on the March Break this weekend, many of our students will be visiting places around the world. Whether you will be enjoying an adventure to places unknown or reveling in a restful stay-cation closer to home, we hope you will be safe and sound until we meet again for the spring term.
Best wishes from the whole school team!
Ric Anderson, Head of School