Portsmouth High Junior School held its annual Languages Day this week. The aim of the day was to celebrate the different languages being taught at the school and the multi-cultural nature of the local community. The theme for the day was ‘our world’, focusing particularly on the environment. The whole school took a break from normal lessons to immerse themselves in linguistic and cultural activities which allowed the students to express themselves in different ways. In an art class, the girls designed their ideal garden and labelled it with all the French objects they could see. They learned about sanitation in Ancient Greek, numbers in Mandarin, the weather in French and were taught to Salsa in a Spanish themed dance class.
Several junior schools from the local area were invited along to enjoy the day including St Jude’s, Fernhurst, Court Lane, St Albans and Wimborne.
‘There have been so many different subjects covered with a language theme,’ said Mrs Best, French teacher at St Jude’s Primary School. ‘The girls have had a fantastic time and the High School girls have made them feel very welcome.’
Catie Robertson, aged 8 from St Albans, said: ‘I loved the Spanish singing and really enjoyed learning.' Beth Sparkes, 11, from Portsmouth High School, added: ‘It has been an exciting day for us all. We’ve learned about the environment and even been taught about sanitation in ancient Greece.’
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.
‘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. We also recognise the power of song when learning a language and the girls have risen to the challenge today.’
The girls sang and performed to a packed audience of parents at the end of day assembly including the whole school singing ‘Quiero Vivir Mejor’ in Spanish and the Reception Class singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ in Greek.