Digitalization makes the life of the Russian-speaking community in the UK brighter and more interesting

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The third week of quarantine in the UK showed that the digitalization of all areas of life helps members of the Russian-speaking community to develop new forms of interaction and events.


The main theme of the last days was the preparation for the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory. In honor of the memorable date, the Rossotrudnichestvo Representation in the United Kingdom or with its support launched a number of projects: online film screenings of films about the Great Patriotic War, digitized by the State Film Fund of Russia , contests of children's drawings and video messages from children to veterans . In early April, no less important and interesting competition of family projects "Heroes of War in My Family. Tell and Draw" and the online music competition "Songs of Victory" were added to these events.

As part of an online meeting of the Council of the Russian-speaking community of Great Britain , a new format for the People’s Immortal Regiment project was discussed. The festive concert by May 9, traditionally held at the best venues in London, is planned to be held this year remotely with the possibility of viewing it by everyone from any corner of the planet.

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Compatriots on forced self-isolation continue to be interested in the possibilities of obtaining new knowledge and developing personal skills. The number of readers of the Liters electronic library has increased significantly. The rich program created by Russian museums, theaters, concert halls and other cultural organizations is very popular. Information about cultural events is collected on the website of the Rossotrudnichestvo representative office and is constantly updated.

Entries for the " #StayARThome " competition are received , in which authors who create works of art during the quarantine period are invited to participate. Based on the results of the competition, a digital project will be created on Instagram @rsgovuk, as well as a group exhibition in the Rossotrudnichestvo Gallery in London from works selected by the curatorial group.

Director of the P. Tchaikovsky Russian School of Music, laureate of many competitions, pianist Julia Chaplina was invited to participate in the Outside In Online festival . The 6-day festival is an initiative that brings together musicians performing classical works. 45 performers will play 30-minute concerts each from their home. The goal of this initiative is to help combat this pandemic by informing society about the need to stay home.

The Eurasian Creative Guild , which regularly organizes meetings and events in collaboration with the Rossotrudnichestvo representative office in London, held its first online meeting. It is symbolic that the theme of the meeting was the work of the great philosopher and poet Omar Khayyam. The guests of the virtual hall read poetry, finding new meanings and parallels with the current situation. Guild management presented a number of online projects to support creative people from the former Soviet Union.

The MacDougall's auction house, the only auction house in London specializing exclusively in Russian art, has opened an online gallery where connoisseurs and art lovers of Russian artists can see rare paintings that have not previously been exhibited to the general public.

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An online meeting of the leaders and teachers of Russian schools and schools of further education in the UK and Northern Ireland took place, in which more than 30 specialists took part. The webinar on distance learning was organized by the Council of the Russian-speaking community of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Expert Consultant on Bilingual Education and Senior Lecturer at the Department of RCT, Russian State Pedagogical University named after A.I. Herzen Elena Geddis noted that the online form of teaching the Russian language can be a component, but not the only one, since Russian-speaking children have an emotional need for personal communication, which is a national value. Julia Plyaukshta, trustee of the Council of the Russian-speaking community and director of the Russian Heritage in the United Kingdom Society, announced a new project - inclusion of a children's page in the Russian Heritage magazine, as well as the development of a pedagogical and parental section where issues of teaching the Russian language and history will be raised young compatriots. During the meeting, the participants shared their experience in online teaching, discussed the difficulties of this format and possible solutions. Teacher and musician Julia Northridge made a presentation on distance learning of the creative disciplines that are present in every school. The representative office of Rossotrudnichestvo provided participants with information on online teaching practices of Russian educational institutions, ways to support Russian schools and ongoing programs and projects for compatriots, including those held in a remote format.

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Total digitalization fundamentally changes the landscape of teaching around the world. For the second week , the Cherry Orchard Saturday school is going online. Parents offered to continue classes on vacation. “Now we are having a camp,“ Fixics go to the rescue. ”The task was not easy, because in the camp we played many games and relay races in teams and groups. This is not in the Internet space, the contact is not so close, and the attention is scattered among children quickly "Nevertheless, we conduct speech classes, quizzes, dances, art lessons and even a choir!" - the founder of the school Tatyana Henderson-Stuart shares his impressions.

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Svetlana Randall, director of the Russian school in Kingston, says: “At present, our school has switched to online work. It was not easy, it was necessary to train all teachers in new technologies, rebuild the learning process, learn new approaches and new forms of teaching. Given the suddenly collapsed difficulties, we believe that we succeeded, analyzing the rapid transformation, it is already clear that in these conditions there are many advantages of working in online communication with children. In the same way as teachers, they acquire (albeit forced) new knowledge, skills and abilities. They even concentrate on certain types of classes better than offline, as they use new technological tools. At the moment, it’s important to choose interesting educational material and use the right types of tasks and exercises. All this requires a lot of effort and time. The training is in the format of video tutorials, the children are in a virtual room where they see their friends and teacher. Given that they now live in a limited space and communication with peers is minimized, for them it is like a "breath of fresh air." Some parents even ask teachers to give children the opportunity to chat with each other after a lesson in an informal setting, which can also be a motivation to continue studying Russian in the classroom. Along with conducting classes online, children receive material for independent work during the week, followed by monitoring the completion of all tasks and exercises. Despite the fact that children and teachers have acquired and develop new skills, we all understand that these are forced measures, and we look forward to returning to the real situation of our school, where you can see each other, communicate, play, stage theaters, and hold concerts . "

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Traditionally, the Rossotrudnichestvo office in London supports the holding of the Gagarin lesson dedicated to Cosmonautics Day in Russian schools in the UK. In 2020, it is dedicated to significant space dates and will be held remotely by schools.

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