What a busy first term it has been here in the MFL department! As the term draws to a close, I would like to thank all our students for working so hard in their French and German lessons and giving their all. Despite not being able to do all our usual group, paired and extra-curricular activities all of the time, we have still managed to keep the lessons busy, fun and engaging. A huge well done to Year 11 for working through a really busy term, pushing towards our goals next year and taking on the new challenges. A big cheer for our Year 10 students embarking on their first term of GCSE French and German and producing some outstanding results in their recent Module 1 assessments alongside a brilliant attitude. Well done, girls!
European Day of Languages
Our first half term kicked off with all our students celebrating the European Day of Languages and what a celebration that was! Every year on the 26th September, the European day of Languages is celebrated. This is a day where people in Europe can celebrate all the diverse languages and cultures across the world. It is a day to celebrate all the languages that we can learn and to enjoy listening to and speaking them. As well as a quiz, we learnt new ways to greet people, played some games to celebrate our different cultures and languages and launched our cultural poster competition which proved to be highly popular. We divided the winners into year groups and our winners and runners up enjoyed receiving their goody boxes of prizes. A huge thank you to everyone that entered, the standard was very high.
Tag der Deutschen Einheit
We celebrated ‘Tag der Deutschen Einheit’ on the 3rd October and this year, we joined our German friends in celebrating by learning about what the day entails and why it is so important to Germany. KS3 spent the day learning about the events that led to the Berlin wall being built, what effect this had on the nation, how the East Germans felt and what life was like behind the Berlin Wall. We watched films and short video clips and we particularly enjoyed learning about all the ways that the East Germans tried to escape over the Berlin wall. We acted out the scenarios in our classroom, as our teachers divided us up into West and East Berlin and imagined how the German citizens would have felt. As a school, we designed our posters in the form of handprints on blue and yellow paper to depict the artist’s impression after the Berlin wall came down. We filled our handprints with famous quotes and German vocabulary to depict the freedom they felt – die Freiheit, die Toleranz, die Gleicheit und die Mauer. Here are some of the wonderful Berlin walls that we drew with our handprints to signify freedom.
During this half term Year 9 have enjoyed the “French Pâtisserie” challenge: to follow a step-by-step recipe in French to create a delicious typical French dessert. The girls had 5 recipes to choose from but the 3 recipes they favoured were “Tarte aux pommes”, “Truffes au chocolat” and “Mousse au chocolat”. I think the word “chocolat” might have caught their eye! We look forward to lots more cooking and baking challenges in the new year to sample some French and German delicacies.
The MFL team have embarked on a very special adventure this last few weeks, led by Madame Raine and we are taking our first steps into eTwinning. This is a fantastic online project that
enables schools in Europe to participate and work together on projects within a secure platform. The MFL department is developing links with various schools in France and Germany. The aim is for our girls to use their language skills for “real” and of course enrich their cultural awareness and make friends along the way.
Year 7 German
Last week, Year 7 German were very busy making Christmas cards for Year 7 students from Landstuhl, Germany. Our students wrote Christmas greetings and about themselves in German. They also helped our German pen pals develop their reading skills by writing in English about Christmas celebrations here. We are very excited as we have sent 155 cards to their school that are now on their way to Germany! Take a look at their website and you will see PGHS got a mention: https://sickingengymnasium.de/home/archiv/2020/christmas-cards
We are also very excited to be receiving their Christmas cards before we break up for our own festivities. Year 7 German cannot wait to open them!
We were also contacted by a Year 5 school teacher in Emmendingen, near the Black Forest looking for pen pals. We were inundated with volunteers from our Year 7 classes and the Year 5 students in the German school will also get a Christmas card from us. We are aiming to impress them with our posters about pets too.
We have also partnered with a school in Lille, in the North East of France and joined a project called “Let’s share Christmas joy”. Year 9 students studying French have been practising their letter writing skills and have prepared cards to be sent to students from “Collège Saint-Pierre”. Our girls wrote in French about Christmas celebrations (Madame Raine even managed to find a way to get them to practise their future tense!) and are also helping our French pen pals develop their reading skills by sending them authentic Christmas dessert recipes.
We are hoping to foster these links further so watch this space for future projects!
French and German Christmas Cards
In our final week of term, we have learnt about how our French and German friends celebrate the Christmas festive period and that kicks off a little earlier in Germany with Nikolaustag on the 6th December. We learnt about how the German children leave their boots out for St Nikolaus to come and hopefully leave us treats, if we are good enough! We are looking forward to recreating our own Christmas markets, given we cannot visit them ourselves this year and sampling some Christmas delicacies.
Hopefully in the spring term, we will have the opportunity to launch our French and German breakfasts and have the chance to start our film club to enjoy some French and German films. We have lots planned over the next year and despite certain things having to be put on hold, there are still lots of activities and events that can take place that we can all enjoy together to share our love of languages and their cultures. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know all my new students over the last term and I am excited to see all the superb work that they can produce over this coming year.
We wish you all a wonderful, safe and relaxing Christmas and look forward to sharing our language joy in the new year and further out links with our new German and French schools.
Mrs K Gill
Curriculum Leader for MFL