Year 8 Set 1 have been involved in an ICT based project aimed at developing cultural awareness and understanding of France. Students were asked to chose a location on the French map and then undertake IT based research on the geographical, historical and regional information to give an insight into the variety of France as a country.
Students were buzzing with enthusiasm to create fantastic power points that will be used within the French department to show other students what a fascinating country France truly is. Madame Rose was impressed by their IT and research skills and this work will form a legacy for others to enjoy.
A very successful MAAT session was held in the French department at the end of the summer term. Twelve talented linguists from Year 8 were invited to take part in a fun session of vocabulary challenge. The Year 12 Language Ambassadors played an active role in encouraging the younger students to develop their communication skills in a fun and competitive way.
Activities included a speed test translation challenge between the groups. Each team managed to gain points and win actual body Dragon body parts to begin the building task. This new body language was drilled and tested with a quick game of ‘Jacques a dit’. The ultimate challenge was to create a story and personality for the dragon, which was then recorded. Year 12 were a great help in guiding the students to create an extended and original text. A fantastic fun day with lots of language skills in use, and a creative buzz in the room. Bravo!
What a lovely way to end the term. Madame Rose and Mademoiselle O’Keefe were joined by the Year 12 French group on a fantastic trip to Paris. We stayed in a great hostel in Montmartre which had fantastic views of the Sacré Coeur.
The plan was to pack in as many things as possible, which started with a Hop on hop off bus tour of the city on the morning of arrival. We were certain the summer heat wasn’t going to slow us down. Many of the famous Parisian landmarks were spotted and photographed. Our first evening was spent at the amazing restaurant Chartiers which dates from 1888 and is steeped in atmosphere. Some of the girls were brave enough to sample snails, and the dessert menu proved very tempting.
Sunday was a day of hunting out the best spot for the Bastille celebrations later. There was an excited buzz as we strolled through the streets taking in the stunning Paris landmarks. We managed to get to the second stage of the Eiffel Tower and take in the amazing views of the Parisian skyline. After a pizza supper close to the Eiffel Tower we joined the crowds of 100,000 partygoers to be dazzled by an extravaganza of music and fireworks. It was a great experience that lasted into the early hours of the morning.
On Monday we wandered the streets of Montmartre, visiting the beautiful Sacré Coeur church and marvelling at the talent of the artists on the Place du Tertre. Our chosen film at A Level is ‘Amelie’ and it was our mission to hunt out the famous Café de Deux Moulins as featured in the film. We were lucky enough to grab a table and sample some tarte tatin there. We also discovered the greengrocers shop and its famous gnomes from the film. Our final day was just for the young at heart, a full day at Disney. By now the 6th form were experts on the metro system and eager to lead the way around the city. All in all, a great cultural experience.
It’s been an unbelievably hectic few weeks what with snow, floods and utility failures! Thanks to everyone for their patience and understanding; normal service has been resumed and let’s hope that the winter has no more surprises in store…
Normal service includes, of course, reporting to parents about their children’s progress. It was great to see so many Year 7 parents last Thursday at the Parents Evening. Attendance was nearly 80% on a cold January evening, testament to the support that our pupils receive from their parents. Although I couldn’t attend the Year 9 Options Evening the previous night, my colleagues told me that turnout was excellent there also. This week, look out for Progress Reports for Years 7-10 and Full Reports for Years 11-13.
Staff and pupils leave this Friday on their way to Austria for a week’s skiing. The snow report looks fantastic and I’d just like to wish them all the very best …no broken bones please…
Congratulations to Will Taylor in Year 11 who has been offered an apprenticeship with Cardiff City FC. What an achievement and so very well deserved. Good luck, Will…it looks as if you’ll be learning your trade with a Premiership outfit next year (…and let’s hope that I haven’t jinxed the Bluebirds there!)
I’d like to give a bit of a plug to our French Department; lots of interesting things happening there, what with Lunchtime Clubs and Pen Pal programmes. I’m particularly grateful to my colleagues in that department for their commitment and hope that plenty of pupils take the opportunities presented to them.
We welcomed two new colleagues to the school in recent weeks and said a sad goodbye to a much respected colleague. Mr Alex McShane joined the Maths Department to cover Miss Sally Owen’s maternity leave while Miss Natalie Pugh joined the Learning Support Department to cover Mrs Naomi Butler’s maternity leave. We said goodbye last week to Mrs Colleen Evans who has worked as an LSA in the school for four years. She will be greatly missed and we wish her all the best for the future.
I hope everyone thoroughly enjoys their half-term holiday.
The French Department is offering Booster French sessions for the students in 9X1 and 9Y1 who have recently started French as their second language.
The sessions are targeted at those pupils in Year 9 who would like to carry their French into KS4. We will be using the Michel Thomas “C’est possible” course which aims to fast track language skills and help boost pupils’ conversational French.
If you are interested or have any additional questions, please come up to the department.
The first session will be Friday 11th January in Room 18 at 1.25. Bring your lunch and a friend!
Yet another successful Languages Day bonanza. Year 7 were invited to a sumptuous continental feast with entertainment provided by the mega talented Sarah Pugh, Jordan Bryan & Rebecca Davies. The year 8 French group performed a crazy action song which was a real crowd pleaser! The Languages staff and 6th Form were merrily dressed in their European costumes and FiFi the pink poodle made another appearance.
Year 7 poster winners were Regan Lewis, Jack Murlis and Caitlin Wilson. Thanks to all who came and supported this annual linguistic extravaganza.
One of our former French A Level students Charlotte Smith is currently out on her year out working in a french school as an assistant. We have made contact to organise a penpal exchange with our Year 8 pupils studying French. Year 8 understandably are very excited to receive news from a real Frenchie in the near future!!!
It will be great to talk to them about the region and it’s culture. Year 12 are also asking to be involved. When the letters arrive via snail mail I’ll be distributing them amongst the year group. There will be a club to help the weaker students with their letters.
The Year 13 French group returned in July from a very successful trip to Avignon in Provence. Whilst there, the group researched the area as part of their Oral presentation for the A level exam with the visiting examiner.
During July Avignon is buzzing with its annual Theatre Festival, and the streets are alive with street entertainers and actors advertising their shows. We opted to see a classic French comedy by Molière-‘La maladie imaginaire’ and the entire group enjoyed the atmosphere of the theatre and the show.
The group also enjoyed the palatial splendour of the Palais des Papes which is an impressive landmark on the Avignon skyline. Not forgetting the famous bridge –le pont d’Avignon which is a definite must see.
On Wednesday we travelled to Arles and its Roman Amphitheatre and Arena. We were lucky enough to see some gladiator fighting in the bullring which added to the atmosphere. Van Gogh also spent time in Arles and we took a stroll to the café named after him which has been renovated to that era.
The weather on the whole was very hot but the presence of the Mistral wind made the sightseeing more pleasant. Our Bastille festivities were slightly spoilt by the cancellation of the fireworks due to the strong wind, but the party atmosphere in town made up for the change of plans.
Our hotel on the outskirts of Avignon boasted a superb restaurant and all the students were encouraged to try the varied dishes of rabbit, duck, sea snails and aubergines. We all enjoyed the leisurely meals on the restaurant’s ‘terrasse’ soaking up the French atmosphere. Leisure time was spent recharging our batteries at the pool, with the more energetic of the group frolicking in the pool.
Mrs Davies and Mrs Rose were thrilled with the company of the students, and their positive attitude in discovering the region in preparation for their Year 13 work.
A very successful trip with some fantastic memories.