“Jambo!” “Hola!” “Привет!”
Walking through the corridors of our 11-16 all-inclusive school in Somerset, you could hear the sounds of dozens of languages, with excited primary students hanging on every word of the secondary student who was teaching them. As the bell rang, the students moved on to their next activity, ready to learn a new language.
“Which language are we doing next? I hope it’s Russian… or I want to try Mandarin…. That one sounds fun, Swahili!”. The pure joy of the 210 primary students when they moved onto their next activity was incredible to see, with the anticipation of which language they could give a try next evident.
In order to celebrate European Day of Languages 2018, Robert Blake Science College had invited over 200 Year 5 students from their main feeder schools to spend the morning learning different languages.
This annual event had become bigger than ever, with a grand total of eighteen languages being taught by students from Robert Blake. The school has recently been awarded with the full Accreditation level of the British Council’s International School Award and is proud to celebrate the diversity of its students. Many of the students were teaching their native language which really demonstrated the cultural inclusivity of the school, with students teaching Mandarin, Bulgarian, Russian and Afrikaans amongst many others. These pupils had full autonomy over their lessons, choosing which topic they wanted to share in their native language and preparing their own resources, which really helped to develop the independence of these learners.
The primary students started the day with a French buffet, ordering their breakfast in French and being presented a croissant, pain au chocolat or brioche by RBSC’s ‘waiters’. They then completed a carousel of activities, which included games, songs and puzzles. The atmosphere was incredible, watching just how excited these young learners were.
The event was also attended by Diogo Rodrigues, the current Mayor of Bridgwater, who engaged the primary students with stories of his childhood, growing up in England with having Portuguese as his native language. He inspired our EAL students and the primary students and showed them the fantastic opportunities and benefits there are to being bilingual.
Robert Blake Science College’s Primary Languages Day was an incredible success and we look forward to hopefully making it even bigger next year, with the addition of several different languages that are present in our ever-growing international community.
Georgina Dorr, ALL West of England branch, Teacher at Robert Blake Science College, Bridgwater.
Remember the EDoL competition from ALLNE, open for entries from across the country.