On November 7, our primary school was a lively and interesting place to visit. The Royal Mail began its work in the gymnasia; the foundation of this initiative was laid by the gymnasia principal in the spring at the royal ball.
Specially for this purpose, real postage stamps with the image of the acting Gymnasia Queen and envelopes with our school symbols were made. All primary school students were invited to the opening ceremony, at which the gymnasia principal Serhiy Ivanovych Sayenko addressed everyone with a welcome speech and presented them with a teddy bear toy named Paddington. The Gymnasia Queen Daria Khmelnitska also spoke to the juniors, solemnly cut the red ribbon, received a stamp with her own image from the hands of the Student President of the gymnasia, and invited everyone to have personal correspondence with her majesty. In her speech, she emphasized on the ancient and magical tradition of correspondence with the queen and encouraged everyone to actively participate in this new school tradition.
On October 21, Mr. Cap Hensley, a teacher from the United States of America and a PhD from Liverpool University, began his work at the gymnasia. He has lived, taught and traveled all over the US, but for the past several years he has been living and working in America and Ukraine equally. Mr. Hensley will work with the high school students, run the English Club and help most prominent gymnasia students prepare for the Olympiads. His help is completely on a volunteer basis.
Between October 8 and October 20, 2019, a group of five educators from our region are participating in the Open World programhttp://www.americancouncils.org.ua/en/pages/13, administered by the American Councils in Ukraine and the Rotary Movement. Our teacher of Computer Study E. A. Kovalenko, his colleague from Kaniv high school T. L. Mision as well as three other young scientists from Bohdan Khmelnitsky National University (S. V. Babenko, V. A. Diduk, and V. A. Litvin) have already spent a week in Washington, where they were welcomed by the American Councils, and since October 14, the project participants have moved to Kansas, where they are now hosted by the local Rotary Club Hutchinson https://hutchrotary.org.
On September 16, a new vice principal working in the realm of educational activity was appointed by the order of the gymnasia principal. This position is now occupied by Olena Naumenko (email@example.com), who until recently worked as a teacher of English in school # 31. She is the teacher-methodologist who has the highest qualification category, is the ambassador of the international program E-twinning-plus, and the manager of the program Generation Global among numerous other achievements. She has replaced at this challenging post Nadia Ananieva, an honorary vice principal of our school, who has devoted to the gymnasium 38 years of her life and lifted the educational establishment to a whole new level in terms of teaching and learning foreign languages.
The Kamikawa English School principal from the city of Kogušima, Sakio Kamikawa, visited the gymnasia on July 24. The goal of his arrival in Cherkassy was signing the cooperation agreement with our school. The agreement of this kind was the twentieth such cooperation treaty for this Japanese school and the fifteenth for our gymnasia.
The International Gymnasia Theater involving the students of grades 1-4 and 6 as actors invited their classmates, parents, friends, and teachers as viewers to the incredible performances on May 29, 2019. Among the teachers who prepared the plays with their students were Y. K. Rabenko, L. M. Erdman, A. O. Kalieva, and O. M. Omelyanenko. Especially exciting was the staging of "Alice in Wonderland" prepared by O. M. Omelianenko teaching in grades 4-A and 4-B. Young actors played with pleasure. They not only learnt all the words extremely well, but also paid significant attention to English pronunciation and intonation. Actors skillfully danced the cattery, which envoked the burst of applause among the audience that was particularly impressed by the performance of Little Bug - SKIBIDI. As for the students of 2A and 2B grades who this year participated in the staging of the English folk tale "The Gadfly's Palace" for the first time, for them the performance on the stage of the gymnasia became a sort of dedication to the life of our school theater and brought tons of happy moments and experiences. It wasn't only the students of 1, 3, and 6-B grades taught by Erdman L. M. who readily joined the preparation of "Three Little Kittens", and "Peggy the Pintsize Pirate". Their parents, just as those of all other groups, helped with creating props, decorating the stage and finding costumes for the little characters of the plays. Teacher Y. K. Rabenko with her 4th grades staged "The Chronicles of Narnia", the work of K. S. Lewis, equally popular with children and parents. Children's costumes were simply impressive. They also spoke English with pleasure trying to maintain proper intonation and showed excellent acting skills. So, the gymnasia community definitely enjoys and supports the tradition of such performances in English and Spanish. Hopefully, in the next academic year we will be able to see the performances of this kind and quality in German and French as well.
On May 31, the Last Bell Ceremony for all participants in the educational process of the First City Gymnasia was conducted. Traditionally, it took place in the Friendship of Peoples Palace of Culture. The keynote of this year's celebration was the 25th anniversary of the newspaper 'Gymnasist'. During a quarter of the century the newspaper 'Gymnasist' has become a kind of the chronicle of the greatest achievements of our students, teachers, and alumni. The gymnasia newspaper is one of the oldest printed school publications of the Cherkassy region. The first issue of the newspaper came out of print in 1994. Also during the event, everyone present was able to remember the brightest moments of the 2018-2019 academic year. It really was full of bright celebrations, holidays, competitions, contests, projects, victories and travels. The traditional part included the walk of our leaders, the inauguration of the newly elected president of the gymnasia, the greetings of the elementary and high school alumni, the 4th and 11th grades respectively. Within the 1.5 hours of the event, the participants and guests, who filled the festival hall of the palace up, turned over hundreds of pages of the passing year.
The All-Ukrainian tournament of young philosophers and religious scholars was being conducted in the village of Zarvanitsa, Terebovlyan district of the Ternopil region between May 13 and 17. Our team consisting of Katerina Velko, Maria Bichenko and Katerina Duda, led by their teacher V. A. Silenko, won the second degree diploma at this complicated competition. 15 teams from different corners of Ukraine participated in the tournament. Last year, our team received the third degree diploma, which means that we are advancing our skills in such disciplines as Philosophy and Religious Studies.
When the father of the First City Gymnasia’s American volunteer came to Cherkasy this week, he got a chance not only to visit FCG, but also to work with several of the English classes that his daughter co-teaches.
Barry Scherr, the father of Peace Corps Response Volunteer Sonia Scherr, spoke to three sixth form classes and two ninth form classes. He also was a guest speaker at FCG’s English Club for middle school students. Mr. Scherr, a retired professor from the state of Vermont, talked to the sixth formers about language learning in America and his own experience learning Russian and studying and traveling in Eastern Europe — including Ukraine — in 1969-70. With the ninth formers he discussed the American education system, from primary school through university. During his presentations, students listened attentively and asked sophisticated questions that made clear their ability to express themselves in English.“The students in both the sixth and ninth forms at FCG showed a very strong knowledge of English for their grade level,” he said. “And I was very impressed to learn that all were studying at least one additional language as well.”
On April 17, 2019 the 14 school winners of the Write On! creative writing competition received books featuring their stories. Compiled by Peace Corps Response Volunteer Sonia Scherr and Vice Principal Nadiya Ananieva, the book examines the role of creative writing in helping students become more proficient users of English. Sonia, who served as a local coordinator for Write On!, presented students with copies of the book, titled Language Learning through Creative Writing at School, at an assembly on Friday. Here is Sonia’s speech at the ceremony in the Assembly Hall:
I’m thrilled to present copies of a book featuring the winning stories from the Write On! competition at Cherkasy First City Gymnasia. First, though, I want to thank the many people who made the book possible.
Diana Shypovych, a student at Cherkasy First City Gymnasia, has been named an international winner in the Write On! creative writing competition. Diana was awarded second place among eighth graders for her story “Taste Talks.” Her story was selected from submissions representing 13 countries around the world. “We’re thrilled that Diana’s story got the recognition it deserves,” said Sonia Scherr, who hosted the local Write On! competition at FCG. “It’s a terrific story that exemplifies what Write On! is all about: creativity and imagination.”
In the period from April 6 to April 13, 2019, our debaters Kirill Mironenko, Maria Prilipko, Anastasia Shpak and their coach Yulia Pais were in Israel where they participated in the first International English-language Debating Tournament organized by the Rotary movement of this country. They won the second prize, losing only to the Czech debaters, whom we sincerely congratulate as their victory was deserved.
All the participants of the tournament were able to visit some of Israel's most famous places during their stay, such as the cities of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa among other beautiful locations of this small but culturally rich country.
First City Gymnasia student Diana Shypovych has received first place at the national level in the Write On! creative writing competition. Diana was awarded the top prize among Ukrainian eighth graders for her story “Taste Talks,” about a pastry chef whose ingredients talk to him and help him invent delicious recipes. “It’s an amusing and clever tale, but it also goes deeper,” said Peace Corps Response Volunteer Sonia Scherr, a local coordinator for Write On! “By exploring how one gains or loses the ability to hear food talk, the story has meaning for all of us who pursue a creative passion.”
First City Gymnasia student Diana Shypovych has received first place at the national level in the Write On! creative writing competition. Diana was awarded the top prize among Ukrainian eighth graders for her story “Taste Talks,” about a baker whose ingredients talk to him and help him invent delicious recipes. “It’s an amusing and clever tale, but it also goes deeper,” said Peace Corps Response Volunteer Sonia Scherr, a local coordinator for Write On! “By exploring how one gains or loses the ability to hear food talk, the story has meaning for all of us who pursue a creative passion.”
The creative writing of First City Gymnasia students was celebrated this week at an assembly honoring those who took part in an international writing contest.
Fourteen students won awards for the stories they wrote during the Write On! competition, which encourages creativity and imagination. All 41 contest participants from FCG were recognized at the assembly and received certificates. “Everyone took the contest and their writing seriously, and it showed in the stories you wrote,” said Peace Corps Response Volunteer Sonia Scherr, a local coordinator for Write On!
Write On! is an annual creative writing competition organized by Peace Corps Volunteers around the world. Participants have one hour to respond in English to a writing prompt, without any help from peers, teachers, dictionaries or Google. The contest is open to sixth through 11 th formers, college and university students, and adults who are non-native English speakers.
The International University of LCC (Klaipėda, Lithuania) is the American style educational institution with English as the language of teaching. Since 2004, the International Speaking Contest in English has been held among 10-11 graders. It motivates them to put more effort into learning English, known as the language of international communication, and can be the key to a multitude of future opportunities. The annual speaking contest is paid special attention to in the First City Gymnasia in Cherkasy, on the basis of which the school, city, and regional rounds are conducted. In the academic year 2018-2019, the winner of the regional round was Maria Prylipko, the student of the 11-A grade, presenting the topic "Dare to Think for Yourself" ("Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living"). On February 22, 2019, she was invited to go on an educational and entertainment trip to Kyiv at the expense of the university to participate in the finals, competing with the winners from 7 regions of Ukraine and won the 1st prize. We sincerely congratulate Maria and wish her success in the super finals which will be held at the LCC University where the winners from Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Latvia, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine will try their hand at the ancient art of public speaking!
On January 30, 2019, on the initiative of the International University of LCC (Klaipėda, Lithuania), on the basis of the First City Gymnasium in Cherkassy, a regional public speaking contest in English among the 10th-11th grade students was held. This is an American type linguistic university with English as the language of teaching, which is an official partner of the gymnasium in accordance with the signed agreement. The staff of the university are regular guests at our school. Their speeches and multimedia presentations on the benefits of the university courses and programs testify the high-quality education the institution provides. These have been widely discussed by university representatives and gymnasia students, especially at the meetings of the Discussion club "Dialogue of Cultures". The University initiated an annual Public Speaking Competition in English to enhance students' motivation to learn it as this international language will provide them with many opportunities in the future. Under the terms of the competition, the winner of the regional stage will be able to take part in the finals on the international level, which will take place in the university this summer.
What do a Beatles song, the trailer for an Alfred Hitchcock film, and the reflections of Maine public radio listeners have in common?
They are all examples of “authentic listening materials” — audio (and often video as well) that was not created specifically for English language learners but that can be used effectively in the English language classroom.
In early January, more than 20 foreign language teachers at First City Gymnasia attended a presentation on these materials, which also include recorded interviews, speeches, film clips, short documentaries, radio and television ads, and TV programs. Sonia Scherr, a Peace Corps Response Volunteer at FCG, asked teachers what they see as the advantages of incorporating authentic listening materials into their lessons.
Traditionally, on the last day of the year the edotorial board of the site and our school's admins make the summative analysis of the work done, defining the crucial happenings of the passing year. The year 2018 is not an exception and can boast of the following achievements:
Volodymyr Khandogiy, a famous career diplomat, the gymnasia alumnus and gold medalist, presented us with his book "Diplomatic scripts - the true stories of a career doplomat".
On November 20th Interact-Cherkassy celebrates its 15th anniversary. Interact club in the city of Cherkassy was created in 2003, with its founder being the local Rotary club Cherkasy-Center running the programs of the Rotary movement.
The first Interact club was established on November 5th, 1962 in Florida, the USA. Since then, the clubs have enjoyed turbulent development, with now more than 113,000 of them operating worldwide. Their work is supervised by local Rotary clubs; thus, creating them in the locations where there is no Rotary is quite problematic.