Celebrating languages

Every September it's time to celebrate European Day of Languages, and our Modern Foreign Languages Department likes to do this with a bang!  Mrs Coldwell, Head of MFL, had already introduced the programme for the day during an assembly earlier in the week including entertaining video clips depicting how it’s possible to feel like ‘an alien abroad’ if you don’t speak another language! The day itself started with our Spanish visitors sharing experiences of their hometown Zaragoza with our Prep School, finishing off with a fun game.  Later, at lunchtime, the dining hall was decorated with an international theme and there were plenty of interesting facts about the cuisine in other countries for our pupils and staff to digest as they ate their lunch.

Pupils were excited to take part in a new Escape Room activity which included pupils from across the School as well as our Year 7 and Year 8 with the chance to win house points for the successful teams.  You will be glad to know that our pupils were not actually locked in!  The task was simple:

“Hello agents. We have been informed that super villain Mr X has hidden a box on Warminster School campus. This box contains a virus that will erase all modern foreign language knowledge from Warminster pupils and staff if it gets out! Your mission today: You have to stop him by finding the code to the box and destroying the virus.”  By solving various puzzles and cracking the codes, several groups made it out of the room and metaphorically saved the Warminster School community, phew!

The three quickest groups were:

1. DENYS: Archie Best, Will Gray, Sol Martinez De La Riva, Izzy Byass in 30:24 minutes

2. ARNOLD: Ella Morgan-Nash, Bronwen Rogers, Adam Thomas, Conrad Andersen in 33:11 minutes

3. ARNOLD: Ellie Gurung, Maisie Slack, Millie Watts, Tilly Reynolds 34:18 minutes

Whilst our Spanish World in Wiltshire pupils had an excellent time attending lessons at Warminster School and living the “English lifestyle” for 10 days, our French Y10 linguists prepared themselves for their exchange trip to Cognac. Mrs Coldwell and Miss Jouhet took fourteen pupils out to France to stay with their French exchange partners and host families who they already knew from various collaborative projects such as our pen pal programme. No classroom experience can quite replicate what it is like to spend a whole week in another country practising the language and experiencing the culture, and this trip was no exception. The group had an amazing time attending lessons, touring the town, making scones together, and spending the weekend with their families.

Our next trip is our German exchange to “Internat Solling” in Holzminden from 6-12 December 2019 German exchange.

Barbara Mitterrutzner​, Housemistress Stratton House, German Teacher