On May 15, our fifth-graders participated in a unique cultural experience: an authentic cricket match. This spring marks the 21st year that Langley fifth-graders have taken part in this annual tradition first introduced in 1998 by Mark Loach, who was born and raised in England.
Donned in crisp white attire, students split into two teams – Oxford and Cambridge – and played first and second innings throughout the day on the school’s turf field, with enthusiastic parents cheering them on. Students also enjoyed a taste of authentic British cuisine during a morning “elevenses” refreshment break and afternoon tea, completing the typical cricket experience.
Watching Langley’s fifth-graders skillfully bat, politely clap for opponents, and use terms such as “wicket” and “over,” it was hard to believe that most students had little knowledge of the game prior to this spring. For the past month, students patiently learned the terminology, rules, and techniques of this complex sport during their P.E. classes and lunch breaks.
So why has cricket become a fifth-grade tradition at Langley? This unique sport offers an innovative way to expand students’ understanding and perspective of the world, as well as teach them the importance of honesty, teamwork, and sportsmanship. And the traditions and rules of cricket offer the perfect learning opportunity.
“Through the unique experience of cricket, children learn to celebrate the achievements of others and reach new heights in Langley’s core values: respect, citizenship, trust, honesty, and kindness,” says Mr. Loach. “Cricket offers an even playing field where children are all learning something new. Since honesty and respect for one’s opponent are integral parts of the game, we stress that while winning is important, it is surpassed by the manner in which you play.”