Photographs: North Zealand International School
Text: Lyndsay Jensen
Teachers from North Zealand International School draw inspiration from Banksy in teaching, and reassuring their children.
So how do you return to school to teach young impressionable minds during a corona pandemic? The news surrounding corona caused a lot of anxiety throughout the world, and brave teachers and our youngest children across Denmark faced a daunting task of returning to an uncertain future. Zoe Smith, a teacher at North Zealand International School and her colleagues, decided to put a positive spin on the pandemic, and make it fun for the children to return. “All the new rules and regulations for distancing and split classes could also be quite strange and scary for the children coming back, so we took inspiration from Banksy’s famous ‘Game Changer’ artwork.”
Zoe used Banksy’s art (which depicts a child playing with doctor and nurse dolls, with superheroes like Batman behind in a bin), to start a dialogue with the children about what makes someone a hero. “We wanted something positive, so we decided to focus on the real heroes in society – in this case, doctors and nurses. We felt this would help the children to feel safe and positive at a challenging time.” They asked the children to come up with their own ideas to encourage their own thought path, and after the initial idea of heroes began, it soon branched out into other great ideas. One that was suggested was turning themselves into superhero litter-pickers around the local area, fighting for the environment as climate-fighters!
The children were so inspired with this project, that this eventually led to them asking how they could thank their real heroes, and they were so excited to make thank you cards. These beautiful hand-crafted cards were sent to hospitals, a fire station and even the zoo to say thank you for all the hard work and care they do for society. Teacher Zoe had a contact at Hvidovre hospital and got in touch with the children’s ward staff where they sent their cards to.
"We wanted something positive, so we decided to focus on the real heroes in society - in this case, doctors and nurses. We felt this would help the children to feel safe and positive at a challenging time.” Zoe Smith explained.
“It was so important for children to see they can have an impact on others, and to know they are a part of a whole community that is interconnected.”