Redeemer Lutheran school year 5 students saw how COVID-19 influences cultures in different ways recently in their regular video-link with sister school, Yasuda Elementary in Hiroshima. Redeemer year 5 students were greeted by a classroom full of mask-wearing children on their Skype call.

“Whilst mask-wearing is a common practice in Japan, current COVID-19 regulations at Yasuda require all teachers and students to wear a face mask all day during lessons and at play,” Redeemer’s Japanese teacher Jasmine Huepauff explained, “During our video chat the Yasuda students only removed their mask when their turn came to talk to their Redeemer exchange partner. Every year our Year 5 students participate in a letter exchange and Skype sharing with Grade 5 Yasuda students. Redeemer students write their letter in Japanese, Yasuda students write a letter back to us in English. On the video, Redeemer students speak in Japanese, Yasuda students speak in English. In a later session with their exchange partner, students can ask about life in Australia / Japan, popular food / sports et cetera.”

“Every year a large group of 10 & 11-year-old students from Yasuda visit Redeemer. Unfortunately, this has been unable to happen this year, so it is great we still have the opportunity to interact and share online. Our Yasuda exchange program builds upon Redeemer student’s international awareness, broadening their appreciation of another culture and language and observing similarities and differences.”

Redeemer is an International Baccalaureate school and is in its 7th official year as a Sister School partnership with Yasuda, with the connection going back over 10 years ago.