12 May 2023
The School’s annual Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) Day was used as a springboard for the competition: rather than focusing on one particular language and culture across the whole school, the Hesketh House Eurovision Song Contest was announced. Languages teacher Miss Eccleshare and Mrs Labbe gave each form group a country that takes part in the Eurovision Song Contest and then used Ukraine, the 2022 winners, as an example of what the girls would do for the competition. They gave a short presentation about the country’s history, geography, language and culture, followed by a performance of the 2022 winning song, ‘Stefania’ by Kalush Orchestra. The girls then used the rest of their MFL Day to research their form’s country and make a start on putting together presentations and singing songs in eight different languages.
After several weeks of learning songs and difficult pronunciations, practising dances and speeches, and tweaking visuals and greenscreen videos, the girls were ready and the hall was buzzing as the whole school gathered for the Grand Final!
Miss Eccleshare welcomed everyone to the hall, including the panel of judges. She noted that all of the girls were wearing pin badges they made on MFL Day in the colours of the Ukrainian flag, and invited everyone to take a moment to remember that the UK is hosting this year’s Eurovision on Ukraine’s behalf due to war.
It was then time for the performances to begin. Each form presented their country to the school with information about major cities, wildlife, food, culture and more. They then sang a song in the language of their country.
First up were 4W as Germany, singing ‘Backe, backe Kuchen’ with actions that made it clear that they were baking a cake. Next, 3C represented Spain and danced a salsa while singing about ‘La Gaita Pajarona’, with every member of the class getting their turn at the front. 5M performed for Estonia: they explained that their song ‘Koit’, which means ‘Dawn’, was written in celebration of the country gaining freedom and its powerful lyrics speak of equality for every human. 6F as Czechia (also known as the Czech Republic) told the story of ‘Holka Modrooká’, warning the ‘blue-eyed girl’ not to sit by the stream. On behalf of France, 3H sang a lovely rendition of ‘Sur le Pont d’Avignon’ while waving French flags. Next on the stage was 6G as Poland, dancing as they sung the catchy tune ‘Mopsik klopsik’ – or pug meatball in English! 5J, singing for the Netherlands, transported everyone down to the farm with their animal costumes and cardboard props as they asked, ‘Boer, Wat Zeg Je Van Mijn Kippen’. Last but not least, 4B took on the role of Italy and wowed everyone with ‘Giro Giro Tondo’: the girls not only sang and danced, but also provided their own accompaniment on keyboard and saxophone!
Head of Primary Division Mrs Faulkner, Primary Division Governor Mrs Bailey and former Girls’ Division Head of MFL Mrs Shafiq had the difficult task of judging the girls’ efforts on the afternoon. After a short break to give them time to deliberate, everyone reconvened for the announcement of the winners.
Mrs Faulkner, in her role as head judge, thanked the girls for their hard work and led everyone in a round of applause for the teachers. She then gave individual feedback to each of the groups which reflected just how high the standard was throughout the competition: all eight forms received very positive comments! Mrs Faulkner said, ‘You have all made a great effort and you all should be proud.’
She then announced the prize winners. In third place, 6G as Poland and in second, 3C as Spain. However, taking first place for their superb communication and storytelling were 6F as Czechia!
6F returned to the stage, just as in the Eurovision Song Contest, to give a second performance of ‘Holka Modrooká’ and bring the competition to a close.