Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Kazakhstan - The first school race

October 17-21

In a nutshell, I ran around the school in a rasta hat. All will be revealed…

After this weekend we only had one more week of school before half-term. For those who didn’t have this joyous occasion when they were smaller, let me quickly explain. Inbetween each term or semester you get a week off for holiday. There. Explained. If you didn’t have this when you were in school, you’re probably now also jealous.

We spent our final week jumping between student assessments and watching Oliver Twist, so it was a relatively relaxing week for us. Extra-curricular activities – in addition to the additional lessons taken after school – dominated our week. Musical and sporting excellence is a feature of our school, and it was time to show this to a wider audience.

On Monday our school football team played against the American school in Astana, QSI. What started as a bright and warm afternoon soon turned bitterly cold and windy, yet the weather failed to crush the spirit nor the talent of our young soccer stars. Our school won the first match 2-0 before losing the second by a single goal. I had more fun interviewing those involved after the match on behalf of the school magazine. It’s funny how many of the kids thought that they were the player of the match.

This happened after school on Monday, but on the Thursday our classes were interrupted by our ‘Olympic Trial’ – a lap around the school to see who were the fastest kids, and arguably more importantly teachers, in the school. We decided this would be a golden fancy dress opportunity, so out came the hats. Two things of note. One: The fastest child is in Year 3, so is only eight years old. Two: I’m apparently the fastest person in our school, cruising to victory in the teachers’ race in a time of 2’33’’. I do run a lot anyway, so I had a bit of an advantage.

 Kazakh fun fact: I'm not quite as quick as Olga Shishigina, the Kazakh 100m hurdler who won Gold at the Sydney Olympics of 2000 in a time of 12.65 seconds. I'll starting training...

The final act of half-term was to watch our children perform a musical concert for their parents. Many of my class performed on the piano, before one of them performed a street dance on stage. Surely the first time N-Dubz has been played to a large crowd in Kazakhstan. The piece de resistance was the two Year 6 classes joining together to sing a song called ‘Cool Cat’, which impressed the parents enormously. I spoke to many of them afterwards and they all seemed very happy with their child’s progress at our school.

So that’s the first half-term finished at Haileybury Astana. I could fill page after page with what has happened, what hasn’t happened, and what will happen. All I will say is that I have found myself a dream job that, at this moment, I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

Love you all


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