A 544-mile long nativity cracker
I like this from BBC Scotland. We forget just how near to Norway the North of Scotland and the Islands of Orkney and Shetland are.
Children on a small Orkney island have shared their annual festive concert with a school 544 miles across the North Sea in Norway. The 26-pupil Shapinsay Community School has been working on the joint Christmas show with a school in Grinder. They performed alternate scenes which were beamed by broadband across the North Sea to screens at both schools. The aim was to allow traditional music and theatre from Scotland and Norway to be shared in a community setting.
The viewing of the 90-minute show was in doubt because the Orkney school had a standard broadband line which resulted in a loss of quality in the pictures at the Norwegian end. BT Scotland stepped in with an early Christmas gift for the Orcadians - funding an upgrade to super-fast broadband for a year, bringing the Shapinsay schoolchildren's show into sharp focus in Scandinavia.
The show's finale featured the Norwegians singing Away In A Manger in English while the Orcadians respond with En Stjerne Skinner I Natt in Norwegian. It was seen as a much tougher task for the Shapinsay children as their Norwegian counterparts are taught English from the age of six.
The link up has caused considerable interest in Norway, and the Norwegian Minister for education attended the show in Grinder. Sweyn Hunter, (another Norwegian connection there in his very name) Orkney Islands Council's information services development manager, said: "It has been a delight to assist Shapinsay Community School. It is particularly satisfying that this link is simultaneously sustaining Orkney's historic links with Norway, and also forming part of our testing of something new and exciting for education in Scotland."
The two schools have been in touch since last year when one of the Norwegian teachers spotted a photograph on the Shapinsay School's web site of the King of Norway's personal musician visiting the school. They made contact and since then the children have exchanged letters and cards.
Posted on 12/15/2006 2:54 PM by Esmerelda WEatherwax