Pupils at King Edward’s Witley celebrated European Day of Languages on Wednesday 26th September with a fully packed schedule of activities designed to promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe.
The focused day underlined the School’s strong European and also international ethos. King Edwards’ pupil community is representative of 45 different countries, which includes 22 European countries, underpinning the School’s thinking, ‘Life is more global at King Edward’s’.
Participating in the initiative alongside schools across Europe, all King Edwards’ pupils took part in the day which started in the School Chapel with singing “How Great Thou Art’ in six different languages (Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Russian and English). Guest speaker, Mr Alex Pickering, from the Goethe-Institut London, delivered a presentation to Years 8, 9, 10 and 11 on the growing importance of a foreign language in today’s business world. His presentations to Years 8 and 9 included ‘Why Languages’ and ‘Why German’.
Ron Wallace, IGCSE Trainer gave a lecture to pupils in Years 10 and 11 learning Spanish and French on ‘How to boost your grades – speaking and writing in Spanish and French’.
The special activities continued with language-based cooking in the Food Science workshop where pupils from Years 7 and 8 demonstrated their culinary skills by cooking French crepes and German pancakes working from recipes in the respective language. The day concluded with a Cinema Evening inviting pupils from Year 11 and the Lower / Upper Sixth Form to watch a film in a foreign language Ne Le Dis à Personne (Tell No-One – in French), Intacto (Intact – in Spanish) and Lola Rennt (Run Lola Run – in German).
Andrew Baynes, Head of Modern Foreign Languages at the School, who heads up a team of 9 modern language teachers and who organized the day’s activities, said, “In many ways, King Edward’s is a microcosm of Europe, welcoming pupils from so many European countries and representing a truly global community. We aim to give pupils an insight into learning languages which equips them with the knowledge and skills to unlock an additional tier of work opportunities and to take advantage of the myriad career choices available to young people today. The European Day of Languages provides a chance to encourage children of all ages to get excited about learning a language, whether for study purposes, to equip them with the necessary skills to access a particular professional role, to facilitate the option to work abroad, or simply to enhance communication when travelling overseas.”
The European Day of Languages was established by the European Commission and the Council of Europe, which represents 800 million Europeans from 47 countries. Many language and cultural institutes, associations, universities and, in particular, schools take part. Established in 2001 with the European Year of Languages, the Day of Languages has been celebrated every year since then.