Pupils Celebrate Diversity with European Day of Languages
There was an international feel at King’s recently as the school community celebrated the European Day of Languages.
The celebrations started in Chapel, where Fourth Form pupil Mercedes Martinez read the Gospel in Spanish. Upper Sixth pupil Edward Hayden-Briffett then led the congregation into prayer in French, alongside Marcus Dennis and Mikhail Vtornikov, who spoke in German, giving thanks for all the languages spoken here at King’s.
The Chapel was buzzing with excitement and laughter as everyone joined in a language quiz, trying to guess which sounds animals made in different languages.
Did you know that frogs go “kva kva” in Russian and ducks “hap hap” in Hungarian?
We were also given the opportunity to discuss some of the weird and wonderful idioms used around our world. It does not ‘rain cats and dogs’ in every sky apparently! In France, they have ropes coming out clouds!
The solemnity of the service was restored as Father Mark introduced the Eucharist in both French and German, followed by a beautiful rendition of Cantique de Jean Racine by Faure, as the choir, led by Mr Albery, embraced the day by singing in French.
Following the service, the pupils continued the festivities in their classrooms, where teachers introduced aspects of a foreign language into their lessons. Dr Snell’s pupils worked out how to say the number three in ten different languages, while Mr Smith read Baudelaire's Recueillement, before his class looked at the qualities of the different translations.
They also listened to the Debussy setting, which one member of the class described as “five minutes of bliss!” Miss Parker also altered her literature class and included the work of Albert Camus with her Sixth Formers, leading to a heated debate on the theory of the absurd.
At break time, Mr Lewsey took his accordion for a walk around the school, much to the surprise and delight of the pupils who gathered around, listening to him play some continental folkloric ballades.
Meanwhile, Fourth Formers Louis Benneyworth and Matt Osborne provided an authentic musical background to our mobile photo booth, as they played a selection of French and Austrian numbers on the trumpet and clarinet.
To round off the occasion, at lunchtime, everyone was treated to a range of continental food, including French onion soup with cheesy croutons, spinach, potato and onion tortilla and bratwurst sausages with sauerkraut and dill pickles. There were options for everyone to taste something a little different and to share in someone else’s culture.