year 2011





After the February vacation, we embarked on reading a beautiful Czech book called Garden by Jiří Trnka. The Garden is tale of a group of boys and classmates who discovered a wonderful garden. Since the whole book has been beautifully recorded by our leading actors, this was a great opportunity for the children not only to read, but also to listen to these adventures. Every chapter was accompanied by a relevant art project. For example the chapter "How we almost missed our class" was supplemented by making our own wall clocks and talking about time. Together we had the opportunity to experience some amazing adventures with the boys from Trnka’s Garden.


Immediatelly after Christmas holidays we launched a new project called "My house, my castle". The aim of the project was to gain a closer understanding of life in bilingual families, showing the details and nuances of cultures through the eyes of children who were born into such enviroments and are therefore used to a life in between two cultures. Together with their parents they drew, painted and took photos of their homes, they wrote about their experiences as a family and what makes their home unique. The project gave a very interesting social insight into bilingual issues.

A special flipbook workshop introduced children to the art of traditional animation techniques. Our flipbooks were shown as part of the exhibition during the Anifest 2011 in Zlín.

A project called Flying Líza. During one school year Líza managed to visit all Czech schools in the world. In February she left Paris and her first stop was London… She travelled with a diary in which school children from all schools wrote a short presentation about their school, including information about schoolmates, teachers, what they like and enjoy and also about the city where their school is located. 


A project Living Museums was organized in some of the most amazing museums in London. Workshops are open to children of all ages. We paint, draw and create, but most importantly we talk about everything in Czech and in this very natural way we improve children’s vocabulary. We explored the British Museum, where we learnt a lot about Egypt, Japan, Greece, Mexico, India. The last spring period was dedicated to visits to the Victoria & Albert Museum, followed by a few sessions in the Science Museum. The last museum that we visited was the Natural History Museum, where we met friendly dinosaurs.


On the 23rd of October 2011 Czech School without Borders organized an all-day workshop for children and their parents called War Through Children’s Eyes and Meeting Czech Veterans. The purpose of the project was not only to provide our pupils with an insight into an integral part of our history, but also to introduce them to dayto-day life during the Second World War era.

The first part started in the morning at the Imperial War Museum, where twenty-four pupils met with their hero of the morning, Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Pavel Bečák. All the children were in immediate awe of his uniform and learned about his war service and the awards he received. CWO Bečák also explained the significance of each ribbon and medal on his uniform and talked to the children about the uniforms that were worn in the Second World War. The children then took up the chance to ask the CWO many interesting questions. The next task was to draw the CWO’s uniform, detailing all the awards he received. The morning session was concluded by The Children’s War exhibition which looks at the Second World through the eyes of children providing a unique insight. Our pupils could enter the lifesize 1940s house in the heart of the exhibition, see where children and parents used to take shelter during bombing raids and learn about the use of gas masks. The children were also encouraged to imagine how families used to eat in the war era and how children used to play.

After a lunch break, all groups transferred to the Embassy of the Czech Republic in London where the second part of the project commenced. The children and their parents met with Czech veteran Lieutenant-Colonel Arnošt Polák whose narration captivated equally the children and adults in the audience. The pupils were keen to hear details about the life of pilots during WWII, where pilots slept and what they ate. They were very curious about the model of the plane Lt Col Polák brought with him. Whilst parents chatted away with Lt Col Polák, children dived into the last part of the afternoon where they could use their creative minds. Some worked on painting planes others painted parts of a plane model, the assembly of which marked the end of an exciting day.


The traditional Czech fairytale movie ‘Stick, Start Beating!’ (Obušku, z pytle ven!; Jaromír Pleskot, 1955) was screened at the Riverside Studios in November 2011. The screening was a part of the annual film festival Made in Prague organised by the Czech Centre London. The Czech School without Borders prepared an exciting programme for children of all ages. After watching the fairytale about a poor musician who is deceived by a greedy innkeeper, about thirty children took part in the art workshop and competitions. Children created magical napkins, sticks a featured in the fairytale, and very authentic sausages! Our contestants showed what they remembered from the story, and how they would deal with the situations that the kind-hearted hero faced. As happens in every fairytale the children were also rewarded for their efforts, in this case with chocolate coins. Veronika and Ladislav Prokop accompanied the event by singing and playing the violin.


CZECH TABLE  [24 March]

International Evening at Yerbury School in Islington


In spring 2011 we took part in a project called A Night with Andersen organised by schools and libraries in the Czech Republic. We spent an unforgettable evening at the Czech Centre in London in the company of Andersen’s fairy tales (The Snow Queen, The Ugly Duckling, The Princess and the Pea). Reading was followed by an art competition, various games and lots of chatting.



April culminated with a first weekend camp in Windsor with a magical programme. The usual Saturday lessons were followed by a mixture of art and sport activities. Children had the opportunity not only to draw and paint, learn about nature in the spring, create pressed herbs and flowers, but also to try out typical summer-camp adventures, such as finding a route following color signs, walking along a scary night pathway, different sports and games. Boys impressed with their energy by playing ping-pong or football and girls amazed everyone with their tiny forest houses, adorned with flowerbeds, balconies, airy duvets and gardens with swings. Thanks to the great location of this historical house we could spend most of the time in the adjacent playground and could walk to the surrounding countryside. We can’t forget the art competition in which some truly amazing paintings received awards. To keep us all in a good mood, children prepared a potion of happiness that we drank in case of sudden gloom or tiredness.


Babette Rust and Max Dušek enjoyed an experience of a lifetime, performing on the stage of the world famous Barbican Theatre with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of the Czech conductor Jiří Bělohlávek. The orchestra was performing Janáček’s lively comic opera, ‘The Bartered Bride’ in its original Czech language, using renowned singers from Czech Republic and Slovakia. However, the opera requires two young children as part of the cast, and the BBC contacted CSBH asking for help in finding two young performers who could cope with the demands of such a production.

Babette and Max, both students in CSBH, were selected, and after learning their lines, they joined the singers and orchestra for rehearsals at the BBC studios in Maida Vale, and then on the Barbican main stage itself for the dress rehearsals. 

The final performance took place in front of a packed theatre, and was simultaneously broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, so there was no room for slip ups or missed cues! Both children did themselves proud, and the whole production went very smoothly from the opening bars, right through to Babette and Max joining the stars and conductor on stage at the end for the applause and bows during the final curtain calls.

“I was nervous right up to the last minute,” said Babette afterwards, “but when it was my turn to go stage, it was like I was really there in the story, and I ran across, calling out my lines as loud as I could – just like we were told. It was great. I’d love to do it again. Everyone was so kind to us, and meeting the conductor and talking to him afterwards was good to – he was really proud of us.”

The live performance was also recorded, and is due to be released as a CD in early 2012. Babette and Max will be happy to sign copies on request!


The entire summer programme 2011 was concluded with our traditional summer party at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in London. This year’s theme was number seven like the number of days in a week. We had seven sport-art-fun activities, competitions, an auction of children drawings, a bouncy castle, great refreshments and, most importantly, two amazing theatre performances: Seven tiny houses by pre-school children and "The Story of Violet" by school children. Visitors could admire an exhibition of the fabulous results of the project “My house, my castle”. The programme was complemented by a display of the successful project based on the legends of the city of Telč.