International Mindedness

What does being internationally minded mean to you?

Flags, fashion, food, festivals and famous people play a part, but here at St John’s we look deeper. Being internationally minded is something we embed into each of our units of inquiry because it allows the students opportunities to be open minded about the world and people around them.

At St John’s being internationally minded means the following:

  • the ability to be better prepared for the 21st century global challenges
  • understanding ourselves to connect with others
  • awareness that the world is much larger than the community in which we live
  • respect for and understanding of other perspectives, cultures and languages
  • the ability to see oneself as a responsible member of the community and a global citizen

What better way of investigating these five points than holding our very first International Mindedness Day. The morning commenced with a fantastic Lion Dance as we celebrated the Lunar New Year. After morning tea our students travelled to all corners of the world, without even leaving St John’s!   Students ‘travelled’ to Spain, Vietnam, Africa, India, China, Malaysia and even outback Australia as they sampled cultural aspects of these nations.

As an IB World School we uphold the International Baccalaureate Mission Statement: ‘to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.’

With learning experiences such as our International Mindedness Day, we aim to teach all our students to appreciate the range of perspectives, values and traditions that other cultures have, as well as valuing their own personal stories.

One of the activities on the day was a cooking demonstration by two master chefs. Noodle making was demonstrated by Master Chef Sam, from Peking Garden Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong. (Mrs Poon tells us this is one of the best Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong).  It takes a lot of skill to make the noodles with only flour and water and using techniques including threading, pulling, hard hitting, twisting and swinging the dough until the noodles are be formed. The children thought this demonstration was amazing.

Another cooking demonstration was run by Mr Liu who is the father of one of our Year 2 students, Thomas. Mr Liu is a master chef in Beijing.  He prepared and cooked one of the signature dishes from Beijing called Jīdàn básī – egg caramel.  He fried the beaten eggs and cut them into diamond shapes like our pancakes and then deep fried those diamonds. He then combined sugar, oil and water until it turned golden brown and soft. The egg diamonds are put into the caramel straight away and using chopsticks to lift the pancakes out of the soft caramel fine strings of caramel are formed. This is called Jīdàn básī. Delicious!

We thank all the parents and community members involved in our very first International Mindedness Day. Students and teachers thoroughly enjoyed their experiences and we look forward to preparing for our next cultural experience in the future.