Students travel to different countries at John Whitgift Academy

European Day of Languages Thursday 26th September 2019

Students travel to different countries at John Whitgift Academy

This year, European Day of Languages at John Whitgift Academy was celebrated across the school and throughout the week.

During the day, teachers greeted their classes in different languages including Polish, Japanese and Greek! In language lessons, students experienced taster classes in Arabic, Spanish and German. Pupils particularly enjoyed learning about Egyptian culture, speaking and writing Arabic! In the morning, students in all year groups took part in a form time quiz which tested their knowledge of different cultures, languages and countries. 

During the afternoon, the department of Modern Foreign Languages organised an International Festival. The East block was decorated in the style of an international market with stalls, flags, signs and costumes from different countries. Students completed a treasure hunt by visiting different countries, answering quiz questions and finding out key facts. They had the opportunity to take part in food tasting, trying on traditional clothing and learning key phrases in other languages.

Activities included:

  • Visiting the French cafe, introducing themselves and ordering brioche, pain au chocolat or croissants in French
  • Tasting cheeses from around the world
  • Learning about Muslim pilgrimage and writing Arabic in Saudi Arabia
  • Completing the chopsticks challenge in China
  • Trying on traditional clothes for a wedding in Pakistan
  • Tasting olives in Greece
  • Ordering ‘churros con chocolate’ in Spanish 

Some of our students from Romania, Spain and Portugal baked traditional snacks and desserts for others to try. They enjoyed teaching others about life in their own countries and sharing their culture and language with other students. 
Our Year 8 students planned, organised and hosted the event as student leaders for languages. They chose a specific country to explore, researched it for homework and created a market stall for that country. They enjoyed teaching their peers key facts and phrases and it was fantastic seeing our students demonstrate excellent communication skills and outstanding leadership skills. 

The Year 10 GCSE French class hosted the French cafe. They taught staff and students how to order food in French with the correct vocabulary and pronunciation. It was great to hear the Year 10 students talking to Key Stage 3 pupils about languages at GCSE, the course and the benefits of learning a language. 

European Day of Languages is an enriching experience for our students as it provides them with an opportunity to explore different cultures. Taking part in the event shows students the importance of learning languages and allows them to use and develop their language skills. 

Overall, both staff and pupils thoroughly enjoyed the variety of activities on offer. The feedback was 100% positive and we cannot wait for the next event at John Whitgift Academy!