Engaging in a variety of cultural customs and activities, our Year 10 and 11 students have enjoyed the interactive learning opportunities of their recent three-day school camp at Sindangbarang. Underpinned by problem solving, investigation and the opportunity to try different endeavours, students were encouraged to broaden their own horizons and recognise ways in which their studies are reflected in the outside world.
Students had the opportunity to observe and interact with the local ecosystem and rich biodiversity of Indonesia which interrelated well with their Biology IGCSE course. For many of our students this was their first opportunity to observe many organisms native to Indonesia, allowing them to encounter in a real-life setting that which they had previously only read about in textbooks.
Trekking through an Indonesian village, known as a “kampung”, the surrounding rice fields and mountains illustrated to students how the natural beauty of Indonesia can be promoted on the world tourism stage. Appreciating different types of Indonesian foods has also allowed them to gain insights into the efficient use of local and national agricultural resources.
Emphasising creativity and innovation, students discovered how traditional pursuits, such as designing puppets from coconut leaves or making Gamelan music from instruments of local wood and metals, can generate income for families and small businesses.
Learning challenging new talents such as walking on stilts took perseverance and determination to master, while puppet making involved clear visual and verbal instructions to communicate clearly. Resourcefulness and teamwork were vital for Bakiak running, where students stood back-to-back while trying to move forward. Amid much laughter, patience, and sometimes frustration, students achieved great successes while developing important life-skills.
While camp activities do not traditionally focus on language skills, there was also one clear connection to a topic they are currently studying in IGCSE English as a Second Language - the unit “Wide World vs. Global Village”. This raised questions among the students regarding whether the world is becoming a smaller place due to modern communication technology, or whether the traditional lifestyle they encountered at Sindangbarang demonstrated that not everyone lives in their world. As a result of their experiences, students now recognise that the word ‘village’ still resonates more with many cultures than the word ‘global’ and it helps them to identify the world around them in a variety of ways.
Special thanks to our wonderful teachers, Ms Annie Pickering (Mathematics), Mr. Qasam Wahid (Biology), Mr. Brendan McTiernan (Global Perspectives) and Mr. Dillon Sweales (English) for sharing their insights and stories from camp.