Notting Hill & Ealing High School celebrates foreign poetry

World Languages Week at NHEHS had a poetic theme this year

world languages week

Notting Hill & Ealing High School celebrated World Languages Week with a range of activities with a ‘Poetry in NHEHS Motion’ theme, organised by the schools’ Modern Foreign Languages teachers and Sixth Form subject reps.

“The Year 9 German poetry workshop set the bar high”

Year 7 enjoyed an Italian Day at the start of the week, learning the Italian names for different pasta shapes and making Italian gestures. At lunchtime they were invited to compete in a ‘Guess the teacher’ activity – trying to identify the teacher by their own account of their language learning journey. This revealed that many staff at NHEHS are capable of conversing in more than one language.

Spanish Day was celebrated with an energetic Latin American dance workshop for Year 7s at lunchtime, Spanish Kahoot quizzes in class for Year 8 while Year 9 enjoyed poems and concrete poetry. Years 10 and 11 read Pablo Neruda’s Veinte Poemas de Amor y Una Canción Desesperada followed up by writing Agony Aunt-style letters in Spanish. Sixth Formers  got involved, too, with Year 12 acting out their favourite scenes from the Pedro Almodóvar film Volver and Year 13 viewing a TVE production of Federico García Lorca’s Bodas de Sangre. The members of staff also were also delighted to taste Spanish tortilla in the staff room, cooked and wrapped individually by Señora Alonso. ¡Estaba riquísima!

In keeping with the 2020 theme, poetry featured strongly during Wednesday’s German Day. The Year 9 poetry workshop set the bar high and students were amazed to find out more about Bertolt Brecht’s life as portrayed in his poem Vom Glueck des Gebens. Students competed to produce the most capturing and fluent translation and Anna Hogben, has to be commended for her astonishing piece. Year 7, not to be outdone,  enjoyed illustrating and translating Der Panther by Rainer Maria Rilke and produced some delightful readings with a particular mention going to Olivia Bebb for her amazing rendition of the poem itself.

French Day began with an artistic angle; a collaboration with the art department saw Year 7 take part in a Matisse workshop while Years 8-9 discussed Apollinaire poems and created their own caligrammes. Years 10-11 worked on French passport ideas, as they combined their language and Geography skills. Meanwhile, Year 13 had fun coming up with ideas for Le Blog – whereby girls created pretend blog posts from well-known French personalities, including Marie-Antoinette, Louis XIV and President Macron. Year 8 enjoyed watching the film Adele Blanc Sec at lunchtime as well as making up their own speech bubbles in French to match the wildlife photographs. Finally, Mme Spencer shared her own secret crêpes recipe and challenged girls to make their own for their homework.

The Chinese department welcomed pupils into school on Friday with two dragons and fortune cookies at the front gate. Breaktime activities included a Chinese language treasure hunt for Year 7 and a Chinese Writing competition. For the treasure hunt, students had to read clue notes in Chinese and locate the hidden prize. 26 out of 30 prizes were claimed. During lunch break, Mrs Tang organised a traditional Chinese Kungfu Taichi Fan session where Y8 girls’ core strength was tested.

A big merci, grazie, gracias, Danke and Xièxiè to our MFL staff and subject reps for creating such a wide variety of inspirational and educational fun activities.