Languages in the limelight

Senior School language students have enjoyed two competitions and a number of trips and visits this term to help boost their linguistic skills.

Girls from Year 7 to 10 took part in the GDST MFL competition with great success.  The Year 9 Spanish team won the competition for their sketch in Spanish, while the French and German sketches were thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.  Year 7 worked hard for the French Spelling Bee and put in a creditable performance, as did the Year 8 team who answered questions on French, Spanish and German culture.  Six Year 10 girls also took part in the poetry reciting competition.

Back on home turf, the MFL department created their very own Languages in the Limelight event for Year 10.  Representatives from each class recited a poem in French, German, Italian or Spanish, and Year 12 linguists provided very professional adjudication.  Highlights included Annabelle Simmonds reciting her own Italian poem; various musical items ably put together by Jade Lucas, and a dance interpretation of a song by Pablo Casals by Ellen Wyllie.

Years 8 -11 also enjoyed a visit from the Onatti Theatre Company who performed ‘Les Garçons’.  True to past form, the cast delivered a clever and very funny play which helped to boost students’ aural skills.

Year 10 and 11 had two MFL trips during the February half term: a Spanish trip to Barcelona and a French trip to the Loire Valley.  Both visits gave the students a chance to practise their languages and to get a taste of the country.  In France the girls stayed with families in Descartes, a small town between Poitiers and Tours, famous as the birthplace of the philosopher of the same name.  They had some French tuition and visits to local attractions, including the château at Chenonceau and Leonardo da Vinci’s house in Amboise.  The highlight of the trip was the one day visit to Futuroscope, concluding with a fantastic evening light show.

In Barcelona, students had the opportunity to learn Spanish in lessons and then explore this glamorous city and its surroundings. Pupils found out about the origins of Barcelona, the uniqueness of Antoni Gaudi’s work and Catalan Modernism while wandering though the alleys of the Gothic quarter, strolling down Paseo de Gracia or walking on a Mediterranean beach in the fishing town of Sitges. They also exercised their inner food critic, experiencing the traditional “chocolate con churros” and other Spanish delicacies. The trip culminated in a visit to the amazing Sagrada Familia church, designed by Gaudi, where students were impressed with the light and colour of its interior.  It was a truly memorable experience for both students and teachers.