The first week of December at the Convent’s school Ichthys was dedicated to the celebration of the great works of Russian literature. The students of Grades 5 and 6 focused on the life and works of the Russian author Alexander Pushkin. As a part of the celebration, the students and their teacher, Svetlana Shpakovskaya, organised a reading club session to reconstruct the experience of the school years of Alexander Pushkin, his friendships and the literary works inspired by them.
The session took place in a classroom decorated with thematic pictures and drawings. Accompanied by the music of Liszt and Strauss, the students read parts of Pushkin’s biography related to the period of his life when he was a student at the lyceum school in Tsarskoye Selo near St. Petersburg. The school became the poet’s home for many years.
The texts described Pushkin’s friendships that survived and grew beyond his school years and throughout his lifetime. In his poetry, he referred to them as ‘the blessed union’.
The students recited Pushkin’s poems written in Russian and French.
The sketch “My friends from school” featured the young Alexander Pushkin and some of his classmates. This was an opportunity for all to experience the strong and sincere friendships among the students of the lyceum school.
These friendships were not just about sharing the fun moments of school and the joy of life, but also an important stage in the young people’s spiritual growth and maturation.
The final item of the programme was a waltz danced by the students for the spectators of the event.
In preparation, the students practised the parts of the programme separately, but these were joined together seamlessly under the leadership of their teacher. The students’ engagement and interest were obvious throughout the event. This reaction was fully shared by the viewers who rewarded the students with a round of applause.
The Saint Elisabeth Belarusian Orthodox Convent runs and maintains the Ichthys Christian Orthodox School. It has been active since 2015. The education offered to students is grounded in God’s truth and has great transformative power.