Sri Lankan Pen Pal Programme for Year 8

Year 8 Geography students and their pen-pals from Sri Lanka have been sharing experiences of life at secondary school. Here, the students from St. Thomas’ Boys College in Matara give us a glimpse into a typical day at school…

From Sasika

Hi Erin,

My name is Sasika Preshan. I live in Matara, Sri Lanka. I am 13 years old and I am in year 8. I really enjoy high school.

My school, St. Thomas’ boys college is very big and has nearly 3000 boys in it with 175 teachers to teach different subjects. We have 8 lessons a day which are 40 minutes long. It has 10 buildings with 2 or 3 floors in each.   There are grades from 1-13 and each grade has 6-7 parallel classes. We have to wear a school uniform that is a white shirt with blue short and black shoes.

Here is my school timetable:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Time
Religious observances 7.30-7.50
English English English English English 7.50-8.30
 Marking of attendance register 8.30-8.35
Science Maths Tamil Maths History 8.35-9.05
Music History Maths Sinhala Maths 9.05-9.45
Tamil Life Skills Religion Sinhala Life Skills 9.45-10.20
INTERVAL 10.20-1.50
Religion H&P.E. Science Geography Music 10.50-1.30
Maths Tamil Sinhala Science Music 11.30-12.10
Maths Science Geography Sinhala Science 12.10.12.50
P.T.S. Library P.T.S. Citizenship Science 12.25-1.30

After school I have more activities go to. Some of them are sports clubs such as swimming, cricket, football, volleyball….We are free to join or not. My hobbies are riding my bike and playing cricket.

I am waiting to hear from you,  but I know I have to wait for next year as we finish this academic year tomorrow and we have holidays till January and we are in grade 9 next year.

Thank you for reading my letter. Lot of wishes for Christmas.

From Manuja

Hi Lucy,

I’m Manuja Sasanka. I go to St. Thomas’ Boys’ College.  It is a large school with over 3000 student population. I am in grade 8 and from next January I will be in grade 9. I am 13 years old.

We start our lessons at 7.50am and there are four periods of 40 minutes before the tea break. From 10.20am-10.50am we have our tea break. Then there are 4 periods before the end of school. We go to our houses at 1.30pm. We too have to wear a uniform and it consists of a white shirt and a blue shorts. We wear a badge on our pocket. We start our next academic year in January 2014. Then I am in grade 9.

As you heard from your geography teacher sometimes we take our lessons on to the beach by our school. We enjoy sun very much. We are lucky to have favourable weather throughout the year. We have most of our lessons in a classroom

My favourite subject is English.

I hope you like my letter. Bye for now.

Hope to hear from you soon.

From Anju

Hello Olivia,

My name is Anju Mnaweera. I am 13 years old. I too like you. Thanks much for your long letter. I too think there are so many differences between us.

This is how I spend a day at my school. We start our day at school at 7.30 a.m. and finish at 1.30p.m. We study 12 subjects.

During the interval we can have our meals. We can bring our meals from home or buy something from the school canteen. After having meals we can play with our friends in the school play ground. As our school is situated in the heart of the town. We do not have a very large play ground but we use the public play ground for our sports activities.

We do not have clearly defined seasons as you. But in December it is colder than the other months. We are very lucky to have climatic changes within short time. For example we live in Matara, this area has a mild climate and within 4 hours we can travel to Nuwara Eliya (a city situated in central hills of Sri Lanka) which has a very cold climate throughout the year. The people live there experience the snow very often (as you). You can see all these things via Google.

My school web page is www.stcmatara.sch.lk.

Thanks a lot for your letter and hope to hear from you soon.

Wishing you merry Christmas and happy New Year!!!

Bye for now.

From Tiwanka

A nice day of a Thomian…

Hi Emma,

My name is Tiwanka Dilshan.

I am a Thomian and I am in grade 8. My school is situated very close to the sea beach and we smell sea breath very often.

We learn 12 subjects for our grade 8 syllabus and only 8 subjects from them a day. Our school day is from 7.30-1.30p.m. It is divided into 8 periods of 40 minutes. We start the day with religious observances and then with the school song. Then we learn for 4 periods and get 30 minutes of interval when we enjoy our meals with our friends.

Again we learn for another 4 periods with another 4 teachers and we finish our lessons at 1.30p.m.

We have 3 terms for a year. From January to April our first term and we have our annual sports meet during this term. Our second term is from May to July and we get one month holiday.

From September to end of November we have our third term and again we have one month holiday with a promotion to another academic year. We are in grade 9 in 2014.

We have a lot of extra curricular activities in our school. Some of them are swimming clubs, football, volleyball, scouting, nature club and so on. We are lucky to have favourable weather throughout the year and we enjoy sun and rain equally. I don’t have a pet as my mother doesn’t like to keep animals at home.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Greetings from Sri Lanka!

From Sanidu

Hello Annie,

I am Sanidu Ushara, a boy of grade 8 in the St. Thomas’ college Matara, Sri Lanka.

We start our day at school at 7.30a.m and finish at 1.30p.m. We study 12 subjects at 40 periods per week, and periods of 40 minutes a day.

During the interval we can have our meals. Some of us bring our meals from home or buy something from the school canteen. After having meals we can play with our friends in the school play ground. As our school is situated in the heart of the town we do not have a very large playground but we use the public playground for our sports activities.

There are so many after school clubs such as swimming, cricket, football, rugby, philately and so on……..Hope to hear from you soon.

From Chamod

Hello Abbie,

My name is Chamod and I go to St. Thomas’ Boys College. I am 13 years old and I live with my mother, my father.

In high schools in the Sri Lanka too, we change the teacher for each lesson, and we have a timetable to show us what lesson we have next. But we stay at our own classroom for most lessons. We go out to the play ground for physical education lessons and we go to the music room or dancing room or art room or computer lab or to the library for relevant lessons. We have 8 lessons a day with break time and lunchtime in between some of them. We have our holidays in April, in August and in December. During the year we have 3 term tests before each holiday.

We too have extra-curricular clubs that pupils can after school. Some examples of these clubs are: Swimming, Volleyball, football, philately and many more. There are many more extra activities throughout the year.

The weather in Sri Lanka is very favourable for almost all the time. We have bright sun shine for 12 hours a day and 12 hours night time. We do not have clearly defined seasons as you. WE have only two seasons; that is wet season and dry season.

I am very glad to be your pen friend and I hope you can write back to us soon!

From Dulitha Harasara

Hi Milly.

My name is Dulitha

I am a student of St. Thomas’ College, Matara.

My school is a boys’ school. My school is situated very close to the sea beach. We sometimes have some of our lessons in the beach. So swimming is a very enjoyable hobby for our boys. I am 13 years. I live in Matara with my mother, father and my little brother Chamika. My favourite colour is blue. My hobby is collecting stamps.

We start our lessons at 7.50am and there are four periods of 40 minutes before the tea break. From 10.20am-10.50am we have our tea break. Then there are 4 periods before the end of school. We go to our houses at 1.30p.m. We too have to wear a uniform and it consists of a white shirt and a blue shorts. We wear a badge on our pocket. We start our next academic year in January 2014. Then I am in grade 9. Hope to hear from you soon.

Many greetings for merry Christmas.

From Kavindu

Hello Ayva,

I am Kavindu Sandaruwan, a boy of grade 8 in the St. Thomas’ college Matara, Sri Lanka. My hobby is collecting stamps. Geography and English are my favourites. I am very glad to be your pen friend.

This is how I spend a day at my school. We start our day at school at 7.30 am and finish at 1.30pm. We study 12 subjects.

English, Science, Maths, Tamil, History, Life Skills, Religion, Sinhala, H&PE, Music, PTS and Citizenship

During the interval we can have our meals. We can bring our meals from home or buy something from the school canteen. After having meals we can play with our friends in the school play ground. As our school is situated in the heart of the town we do not have a very large play ground but we use the public play ground for our sports activities.

There are so many after school clubs such as swimming, cricket, football, rugby, philately and so on……..Hope to hear from you soon.

Greetings