The aim of the day was to celebrate the different languages being taught at the school and the multi-cultural nature of our community. The theme focussed particularly on revolutions around the world. The whole school took a break from their examinations to immerse themselves in linguistic and cultural activities which allow the girls to express themselves in different ways.
In a variety of workshops, the girls learned about Spartacus, the Roman slave and gladiator, the French and Chinese Revolutions plus songs and dances from around the world including the French national anthem, La Marseillaise.
Several primary schools from the local area were invited along to enjoy the day including St Jude’s, St Swithun’s, Arundel Court, Highbury and Newbridge primary schools.
‘This has been an outstanding day,’ said Miss Stephenson, Year 4 teacher at Arundel Court Primary School. ‘Our girls have been absorbed by the ethos of the school and surrounded by the High School girls who are keen to learn. They have all had so much fun and made new friends.’
Taleigha Collins, 9, from Arundel Court added ‘We’ve learned about Spartacus and how he defended the Romans and we have sung in different languages and been taught dances.’
Ella Paterson, 10, from Portsmouth High School, added ‘It has been an exciting day for us all. We’ve heard about the Chinese and the French Revolutions and had lots of fun.’
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.
Headmaster of the Junior School, Mr Paul Marshallsay, said ‘It is great to see the girls from our school and visiting schools getting so involved in all the different cultures and languages on offer today.’
Mrs Jane Arthers, French Teacher at Portsmouth High School added ‘At Portsmouth High School we recognise that we are living in an ever shrinking world and many of our girls will have the opportunity to work abroad. 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 snippets of all the workshops they had attended during the day to a packed audience of parents in an afternoon assembly. The whole school also sang the French national anthem, La Marseillaise and I Dreamed a Dream from Les Misérables.