A shared love of languages unites Northampton High with fellow GDST schools

A shared love of languages unites Northampton High with fellow GDST schools

28 March 2023

Northampton High School pupils were delighted to collaborate with students across the country in a nation-wide event dedicated to celebrating languages. Every year, the GDST hosts an annual Languages Festival for students across its family of independent schools and academies to learn together through a programme of tailored activities. The event lends itself entirely to honing students’ ability to understand and communicate in a foreign language, building confidence in the subject and a love for learning. This year’s theme was ‘Languages Create Adventures’ where students were encouraged to enjoy the extraordinary sense of adventure that being able to communicate in other languages brings.

Despite having hoped to attend the festival in person, unexpected weather conditions made it difficult for Northampton High students to travel to Notting Hill and Ealing High School, resulting in the decision to connect virtually. After weeks of preparation, the eighteen students were eager to showcase their learning in Ealing, however, demonstrated maturity and resilience at the adjusted arrangements and remained enthusiastic to take part in the various activities taking place.

The Northamptonshire students began the festival in a spirited fashion, relishing the opportunity to hear from a wonderful keynote speaker, Paula Beegan, who truly embodies the sense of adventure of a well-travelled linguist. Paula shared her love of languages and how they opened the door to many adventures, from studying at Cambridge, UNESCO, international film festivals, to Human Rights Watch and more, pupils were inspired by the opportunities she had enjoyed.

Competing against their GDST peers, Year 7 and Year 8 participated in French, German, Latin and Spanish Spelling Bees, demonstrating dedication and resilience which culminated in excellent performances. Year 8 student, Maysha, was congratulated on her knowledge, winning her year group’s Latin Spelling Bee. Effective teamwork proved to be vital in the next activity, with pupils tasked with solving clues in French, German & Spanish to find the murderer in their Murder Mystery Challenge. An interactive and competitive task resulted in lots of excitement and passion, encouraging pupils to challenge their learning and work collaboratively to problem solve. Members of the school community came together to view 3 minute plays on the theme of ‘Unexpected Encounter’, wonderfully prepared and performed by Year 9 students. Audiences were greatly impressed by the performances and complimented students on their fluency and pronunciation. Year 10 collaborated to create a wonderful mini-movie, re-imagining an extract of ‘The Fox and The Crow’ in Latin, demonstrating fantastic creativity and knowledge.

Reflecting on the Languages Festival, Mrs Black, Head of Languages Faculty at Northampton High School commented, “It was a fabulous opportunity for our pupils to attend this enriching and enjoyable event, devoted to developing the skills and confidence required to become brilliant linguists. Our selected students demonstrated an advanced understanding of French, German, Latin and Spanish throughout the various sessions and were strong participants in the different competitions that took place. We are extremely fortunate to be able to collaborate with our GDST partner schools for these events, challenging and developing learning as a collective and meeting lots of like-minded peers.”

Attending students at Northampton High described the event as ‘truly inspiring’, emphasising their excitement for the wonderful sense of adventure that language may bring them.

Discover Northampton High School at their upcoming Open Morning, Friday 28 April. Book your place today and see how they turn ‘can we?’ into ‘we can!’ northamptonhigh.co.uk/open-days – 01604 765765

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