Portsmouth languages festival a big success

Portsmouth High School student Sayeed Nur teaches Bengali to younger pupils from Hart Plain Junior School, Skye Johnson, left and Madeleine Fry. Picture: Paul Jacobs (150118-1)

Portsmouth High School student Sayeed Nur teaches Bengali to younger pupils from Hart Plain Junior School, Skye Johnson, left and Madeleine Fry. Picture: Paul Jacobs (150118-1)

Henry VIII themed events over half-term in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

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THE world came to the classroom as youngsters explored their linguistic talents at a festival of languages.

Portsmouth High School played host to 10 primaries for the annual festival.

It is an opportunity for the languages department at the school to share its passion and celebrate some of the different languages spoken by pupils in the school.

Senior pupils joined languages teachers in leading the lessons.

There were 10 taster lessons including Japanese, Hindi, German, Bengali, Farsi, Mandarin, Greek and Italian.

Susie Humphreys is head of languages at the school.

She said: ‘This event provided many opportunities for our pupils to get a chance to share their love of languages, for other schools to hear different languages spoken and an opportunity to showcase the joy of languages around the world.’

The event was aimed at pupils in Years 5 and 6 and the morning was designed to ignite a love of words and to celebrate the rich diversity of languages spoken by pupils in schools across the county.

Research shows that the best age to start learning a language is seven and this can help the brain to grow and develop.

‘I’ve been so impressed by how quickly the girls have picked up Russian,’ said Zarina Robson, a pupil from Portsmouth High School.

The 18-year-old, who gave taster lessons, has just been offered a place at Oxford to study Russian.

Asia Pietluch, nine, from Wimborne Junior School, said she really enjoyed Greek.

Lucy Rogers, nine, from St Jude’s Primary added: ‘I’ve realised how difficult it can be to learn different languages but lots of fun too.’

Julia Roberts is the assistant headteacher at Hart Plain Junior School in Cowplain. Children from there have attended the festival every year so far.

She said: ‘It’s giving them experience of different cultures as well as different languages.

‘If you understand other languages, it helps you to understand your own.

‘It’s good getting out and working with other children in other areas as well.

‘It develops their wider understanding of the community. They loved it. They had a fantastic time. They always do.

‘We go every year and they come back fired up and ready to study French which is the language we study in school.’

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