The 4th Annual Christmas Carol Programme


On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings English Class pupils sang and performed the traditional Christmas story at the Christmas Carol Service for appreciative audiences composed of families, friends and the general public. It was so heartening to see so many former Cygnaeus English Class pupils in the audience, too!

Four years ago a representative from the Lions Club Pori Sofia approached the teachers of the English Classes to ask if we were interested in producing a traditional Christmas Carol Service featuring the children of the English Classes and allowing the general public to sing along as well. The idea was that part of the ticket proceeds would be donated to a local charity benefiting children. Thus began what has turned out to be a very satisfying and enriching tradition.


Every year we strive to make slight changes to the programme. We try to give as many children as is possible an opportunity to play a role. Occasionally some children step outside of their own comfort zones when they volunteer for a part, but since they consider it such an honour to perform, we try to support them as best we can. It is interesting to watch them grow into their parts. In short, there is an awful lot of heart in this Christmas Carol Service.

This year, in particular, there was an enthusiasm and lightheartedness as the children rehearsed for the performances. As they worked on their artwork, crafts and the decorations, children could be heard here and there humming and singing bits of songs that had been learned.  It was simply impossible to ignore the good will in the air!

On Tuesday Evening the English Class kindergarten children sang “Away in a Manger” on stage. Kindergarten pupil Eric enjoyed himself so much that he asked specifically for permission to be allowed to sing again with the first graders on Wednesday evening.  In the video clip above Eric is the second on the left. <3

Two second graders alternated in playing the part of Mary. The video clip above features Sophie singing.

This sweet lullabye is sung by second graders Sophie and Benjamin.

Preparing for Advent and Christmas


In addition to rehearsing Christmas Carols, English Class pupils have been hard at work creating festive displays, artwork and murals for the hallway and classrooms. In the pictures above sixth graders are painting 3-dimensional snow that is half shaving cream and half white pvc glue.


English Class first graders made amazing Christmas baubles from circles cut from paper they had painted red and green. They lay the balls on the paper so as to create a sense of depth. Glamorous glitter frames set the Christmas balls off on the stairwell.  Working together with English Class fourth graders the first graders made accordian fan Christmas trees with painted tp roll trunks. Little pompom bearded elves populate the lovely forest. This has all been put in the corridor vitrine for everyone to admire.


Fourth graders worked industriously to cut and form a forest of white and green spruce trees to set off the wonderful carolers that first and second graders made.


Former English Class pupil, ninth grader Meeri, who has been working at our school for two weeks as part of her work experience, was an invaluable help getting decorations up. Thank you, Meeri!

Spelling Stories

English Class third and fourth graders practice their writing skills by using spelling words in stories that they create. Whenever there is a list of words for revision, the pupils choose at least fifteen words on their list to feature in a story that they write. Below are two stories, one written by third grader, Tiira, and one written by fourth grader, Matthew.

(Click the picture to enlarge it for easier reading.)
tiira_A Gift from the Sea

matthew_spelling story

Successful “Around the World” Sale for Fifth Graders


A lot of planning and preparation paid off for the English Class fifth graders when they held their class fundraising sale on Wednesday of this week. The theme of the sale was “Around the World” so the costumes that the fifth graders wore, along with many of the baked goods carried this global scheme.  The pupils asked their teacher, Ms. Katri, to dress as a polar bear, which she did! (See bottom left pic in photo collage below.)  5EN class member Nicholas proved his prowess with the computer by making invitations and announcements for the sale. John’s mom, Ms. Dina, was an invaluable help with the  baked goods station. Hoop games were organized by Jesse on the A-side of the gym. Fifth grader Max played the part of the DJ perfectly with a nice varied assortment of music.


There was even a photobooth at the sale  where pupils could pose with photo props in front of a map of Scandinavia. Batman appeared to be the first choice of many. Look at some of our English Class pupils posing in the photo collages above. Proceeds from the sale will be used by the pupils themselves for a class trip or perhaps a study camp. This will be decided after Christmas by the pupils and their parents.


The benefits of organizing this kind of fundraising activity are many fold. First and foremost, working toward a common goal binds the  pupils together socially. The effort and coordination that went into the planning and execution are integral parts of entrepreneurship. Yet another important aspect of the sale fundraiser is taking responsibility for cleaning up after the sale. All things considered, the fifth graders did a fine job!

Whimsical Clay Christmas Trees on Fun Monday


It is always fascinating to watch the approach English Class pupils have when they are engaged in a Fun Monday project. The pupils are from different classes and are of different ages spending two hours together working on common goals. This week pupils created clay Christmas trees using the coiled clay building technique.


Our first and second graders were natural talents at making their trees.  It was impossible to differentiate between their completed Christmas trees and the trees of any of the older pupils. Their craftsmanship was amazing!


Now the trees need to air dry before being fired in the school’s ceramic oven. The trees will be ready in good time for Christmas.

First Graders Read to Kindergarten Pupils


Ms. Sylvia and the first graders read  two books, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? written by Bill Martin Jr. and illustrated by Eric Carle. Then the first graders created their own books based on Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?


The first graders carefully coloured the animals according to the text that they read. Then they cut out the pages and assembled the pages by number into small books.


It was a truly moving experience for all involved to listen to the first graders read to the English Class kindergarten children. In addition to reading their Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?  books to the preschoolers, the first graders also read their number books.


Handcrafts Created in Textile Studies Class

textile studies_3_4en_b

Check out these amazing handcrafts created by English Class third and fourth graders in their textile studies classes under the direction of their teacher, Ms. Leena. The felt vases below can also be used as tealight candle holders by inserting a small baby food jar with a tealight in it into the felt vase. (Pure wool is flame resistant and won’t catch fire easily.)

textile studies_3_4en