In the Classroom: Portsmouth High Junior School

Children from schools across Portsmouth took part in a languages festival at Portsmouth High School in Southsea.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150962-4)
Children from schools across Portsmouth took part in a languages festival at Portsmouth High School in Southsea.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150962-4)
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Portsmouth High Junior School held its annual Languages Day.

Languages teacher Jane Arthers said the aim of the day is to celebrate the different languages taught at the school and the multicultural nature of the community.

The whole school takes a break from exams to immerse themselves in linguistic and cultural activities that allow the students to express themselves in different ways.

In Greek the children work in groups to perform a play and in Italian they learn the names of wild animals and use this knowledge to create their own imaginary creatures.

In art they are encouraged to select a country that interests them and express their feelings and ideas through the use of colour.

A new and popular workshop enabled the students to explore the question “What makes a language?”, after which they designed their own and taught it to other students with very interesting results.

Several junior schools from the area were invited to enjoy the day. They had a wonderful time and integrated well into the different classes, joining in confidently.

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.

Year 6 also travel to France in the summer term for a linguistic and cultural residential trip to Normandy.

Final preparations are currently being made and the students are all excited.

Portsmouth High School recognise that we are living in an ever-shrinking world and many students 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.

Frankie McBride, a Year 9 student and gifted linguist spoke in the assembly at the end of the day about her passion for languages and why she considers them to be so important.

The nursery had some very exciting news recently when three chicks successfully hatched having been cared for by staff and pupils.

Inspired by this event, all the students learnt the French song Alouette which they sung in the final assembly.

A great day was had by all and the school looks forward to Languages Day 2016.

What the pupils say...

Annice Riggott, 10, (Year 5, Portsmouth High School)

‘We had a lesson on what makes a good language and decided that it was when everyone understands how to pronounce words and be understood. We have also designed a doll using the colours of the Italian flag: red, white and green.’

Jasmine Green, six, (Year 2, Portsmouth High School)

‘I’ve learnt Spanish, French and Greek.

‘We learnt about gods in Greek and in Spanish we found out about different foods and drink; un pastel is a cake in Spanish. The day has been so much fun and we have learnt lots.’

Ceciley Buckley, six, (Year 1, Portsmouth High School)

‘We’ve learnt French and Greek and in Greek we found out about goddesses.

‘One was very clever, one was very beautiful called Aphrodite, one loved laughing, and one had a very beautiful voice. It’s been a fun day.’

Millie Burns, seven, (Year 3, Mengham Junior School)

‘At the start we learnt a French song and then had a lesson on what is a language. I think it is about how people talk to each other in different countries and it is important which order you should put the words in for someone to understand you.’

Lily Eldrid, eight, (Year 3, St Jude’s Primary School)

‘It has been a great day.

‘We’ve learnt the names of different animals in Italian; bear is orso and lion is leone.

‘We have also made up and performed Greek plays and found out about different food and drink in Spain.’