students playing sports

The Head’s reflections on the week

Posted: 14th June 2024

My message this week is inspired by World Languages Day, which took place on Thursday. Trips Week was a huge success, and the videos of the children’s adventures on the residential trips are now in the editing stage. Year 7 spent the most time away and travelled the longest distance, residing in the splendour of Chateau du Broutel in Picardie. Learning French in the classroom can encompass role play, poems, games, songs, and a wealth of technology, but immersing yourself in a country and its culture is always going to be the best way to learn. Practising in real life, using your language skills to communicate (and indeed buy delicious things!) is always going to be more rewarding than Google Translate when you go abroad.

Year 8 knew that they were approaching their destination for the Leavers’ Trip when the road signs started to feature the Welsh language as well as English. They were incredibly lucky with the weather, and the pictures show the beauty of their location for three days of adventures in and out of the water. There is an exhilarating feeling that comes of stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something you didn’t think you would be brave enough to do. Most of the instructors were Welsh speakers, and the children picked up bore da (good morning) and rather charmingly mochyn daear (earth pig, Welsh for badger!).

Yesterday, some of Year 7 had a visiting speaker from Good News For Everyone, who spoke about their mission to make the New Testament accessible to everyone on the planet, which encompasses approximately 7,000 languages. Languages by their very nature create barriers between people, so learning languages and making texts and other information available to others breaks down these barriers.

The more we can communicate with each other, the more understanding we can have of each other, regardless of culture, religion, or nationality. AI will translate for us but to learn another language is to learn to think in a different way. Thursday’s Language Olympics saw Mme Morgan running sessions featuring Spanish dancing, Roman battle commands, Mandarin conversation, and French songs. See next week’s Newsletter for coverage of this event.

Our filming “wrapped”, as they say in the business, on Thursday. The crew had the challenge of capturing all of the wonderful things at St C’s, and did a fantastic job. They commented on how easy our children were to work with and how polite they were. Expect the finished product by the start of the Michaelmas Term.

Ms Elizabeth Lyle, Head

Categories: Head's Reflections