Portsmouth High Junior School held its annual Languages Day today.
The aim of the day is to celebrate the different languages being taught at the school and the multi-cultural nature of our community. The whole school takes a break from their examinations to immerse themselves in linguistic and cultural activities which allow the students to express themselves in different ways. In Greek the children worked in groups to perform a play and in Italian they learnt the names of wild animals and used this knowledge to create their own imaginary creatures. In art they were encouraged to select a country which interests them and express their feelings and ideas through the use of colour. A new workshop enabled the students to explore the question “What makes a language?” after which they designed their own language and taught it to other students with very interesting results.
Several junior schools from the local area were invited along to enjoy the day including St Jude’s, St Swithun’s, Mengham, Hart Plain and Stamshaw.
‘It has been a great day,’ said Lily Edlrid, 8, from St Jude’s Primary School. ‘We’ve learnt the names of different animals in Italian; bear is orso and lion is leone. We have also made up and performed Greek plays and found out about different food and drink in Spain.’
Portsmouth High Junior School recognises the importance of learning different languages and developing cultural awareness from an early age. French is taught from nursery through to Year 6,
Latin is taught from Year 5 and students in Year 6 are introduced to Mandarin. Year 6 also travel to France in the summer term for a linguistic and cultural residential trip to Normandy.
‘At Portsmouth High School we recognise that we are living in an ever shrinking world and many of our students will have the opportunity to work abroad,’ said Mrs Jane Arthers, French Teacher at Portsmouth High School. ‘Being able to communicate with people in their native tongue is such an advantage and breaks down many barriers.’
Frankie McBride, a Year 9 student and gifted linguist, spoke inspirationally in the assembly at the end of the day about her passion for languages and why she considers them to be so important.
‘Languages may seem hard to learn, but in fact many are quite similar. You just have to immerse yourself in the language and embrace it,’ said Frankie. ‘Learning other languages helps us further understand other people’s cultures, as well as creating career opportunities.’
The nursery had some very exciting news recently when 3 chicks successfully hatched having been cared for by staff and pupils. Inspired by this event, all the students learnt the French song “Alouette” which they sung with gusto in the concluding assembly.