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Student Story

A farewell to our Saudi students

“The children all cheered for Raghad when she ran the classroom calendar activity, and this was a common occurrence when Raghad and Rema achieved at something. It was great to see the children showing such a high level of empathy and encouragement.”

Earlier this year ACG Sunderland welcomed a cohort of students from Saudi Arabia.

After three terms at the school, they and their families are heading back to their home country, leaving our students and staff richer for the experience.

Last week Year 2 teacher Christiana Fleming held a lunch to farewell the class’s two Saudi Arabian students, Raghad Aljohani and Rema Altulili.

She said the children had taught the class so many things about their culture, and their presence had encouraged empathy and cultural awareness as the class learnt how to support and include students who had no English and how to be sensitive to other religious beliefs and cultures.

She said the Year 2 students had loved teaching English to Raghad and Rema.

“The children all cheered for Raghad when she ran the classroom calendar activity and what is really lovely is that this was a common occurrence when Raghad and Rema achieved at something. It was great to see them showing such a high level of empathy and encouragement.”

Ms Fleming said the class had learnt a lot about Saudi Arabian culture – from special holidays to differences in diet.

Rema brought in chocolate for the children for Eid Alaadha and her mother sent photos of Mecca. The children drew sheep as a symbol of the holiday. During maths week, Rema taught the children how to write and say Arabic numbers.

Learning about the dietary requirements of students from a Muslim background opened the door for the Year Two children to talk about their own cultures and what they like and don’t like to eat.

“All the children now enjoy finding Saudi Arabia on a map, because they know people from there.”

While at the school, Rema and Raghad loved taking part in activities like school trips to the stream bank to plant trees and a trip to MOTAT to learn about robotics.

“The great progress they made in their learning and confidence is a real highlight and encouragement for me as their teacher,” Ms Fleming said.