In September we celebrated ‘European Day of Languages’. This is an event which is held across Europe to celebrate and encourage language learning. All classes engaged in activities where pupils learnt about different languages and how they have spread across continents, influencing one another. This year we embraced languages from across the world and it was remarkable to learn how many languages are interlinked.
In Reception Martin’s Mummy very kindly came in and played games in German with the children. We learnt that animals make different sounds in German and played a game where we had to say “Hallo! Ich bin….” adding in your name. In class we also looked at colours in German and Croatian.
The children enjoyed a visit from a Year 1 parent who taught them a German song about animals. They learnt the German name of the animal and the sound it made. The class also enjoyed an animal story in German.
We were lucky enough to have a Year Two parent who speaks Japanese come into school and we learnt a wealth of songs and words in Japanese. In particular we learnt to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and “Heads and Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” all in Japanese! The children were able to recall the different sounds and words of this language really well and their teachers were very impressed! The class also learnt key words such as, “hello”, “Good Bye” and many more. A great experience!
We were contacted by Advay’s Mum who was keen for us to share her Gujarat heritage. We started the lesson by looking at the location of Gujarat in North India and discussed where India is in relation to the UK. We talked about Divali – the festival of light and India’s New Year. We discovered that Rangoli patterns are used to welcome people on the doorstep of every house. Advay talked about the Divali celebrations at his house with nine days of dancing and delicious food. We then practised simple phrases in Gujarati whilst Advay and Sayan helped us with the pronunciation!
With the help of Mrs Buckley, Mrs Anderson and of course Jakub, Year 4 learnt ‘Head Shoulders Knees and Toes’ in German, along with the numbers 1-8. We tried to use our new knowledge to play ‘Jakub sagt’ (the equivalent of Simon Says!) but unfortunately Jakub’s German was a little too advanced for us!
Year 5 looked at the origins of the Maori culture and in particular the ‘Haka’ – they also learnt the words and actions from the first part of the ‘Ka Mate Haka’ and discussed the meaning of the words from the chant.
In Year 6 Mrs Hawthorn (Soraya’s mum) gave up her time to come in and share her knowledge and experience of Malaysia. The children learnt so much about the influence different languages have on each other and how important it is to celebrate our cultural differences.
In the afternoon, the children celebrated the day with a whole school assembly and as usual Madame led us enthusiastically in French song with 2 French Québécois songs. Mr Balson also led us with Spanish songs and role play. An amazing assembly was enjoyed by all!