Penpal update

Our first batch of letters of this academic year are all written and ready to send to our penpals at Collège Lėon Blum, Wavrin, France!

Our French students in Years 8, 9 and 10 have been busy writing a reply to their penpal’s first letter of the year, either sharing all their news since our Immersion Day in June or, for some pupils, introducing themselves to their new penpal for the first time.

It is exciting to see the friendships between our two schools continue to grow.

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French Immersion Day

Years 7 to 10 enjoyed a fabulously French time meeting their penpals when they visited from Collège Lėon Blum, Wavrin, France today!

Following a punt along the Cam, our guests arrived late morning for a tour of the Prep School with Mrs Haskell during which they learnt about the history of Sancton Wood…

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…before moving on to meet their Sancton Wood penpals for the first time and enjoy a picnic together in the sunshine at Parkers Piece…

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Any initial shyness soon gave way to lots of questions, in both languages, about each other’s school, free time and interests. Having broken the ice, it was time for the 90 students to move begin the afternoon’s carousel of activities…

 

… and visit the Fitzwiliam museum’s Egyptology collection, compete in outdoor games and have structured French and English conversation time. It was great to see everyone finding out more about each other’s culture and, of course, increasing their language skills at the same time!

Our enormous thanks go to Elisabeth Oosterlinck and her colleagues at Collège Lėon Blum for all their hard work to make the afternoon possible. It was so great to meet you all and we wish you a wonderful rest of your visit to England. We look forward to staying in touch!

Mrs Tall

French fun at the Europa Centre!

Year 7 & 8 French Europa Centre Trip

On the 24th of April 2018, Years 7 and and 8 went on a trip to the Europa Centre where they all had the opportunity to use the French they had learnt in class outside of school.

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When we arrived, we first had our lunch in the café and then we were taken to the ‘arrival lounge’ where we were introduced to all of the staff members and we were talked through the different activities planned for us to do.

We were asked questions, like what our names were and if we had ever been to France, in French and we replied in French too, which helped strengthen our French vocabulary.


We were also given booklets where we wrote down what we ‘bought’ and the ‘special offers’ in the shops, and some information about the ‘town.’ The town was called Haricot Ville and at the ‘tourist office’ there was a poster with facts about the town which we wrote down.

The centre is designed to look like an indoor French village with cute shops and a café. The two classes were split up into small groups and they walked around the ‘village’ visiting the shops and ‘buying goods.’ They were given credit cards to buy something from one of the shops- for example, if someone wanted to buy baguette from the boulangerie (bakery), the group leader would ask you, in French, the same things as in any shop in Britain and you would answer (also in French).

The groups were called in, one-by-one, to the café where we could buy un croissant, ou un pain au chocolat, une crêpe, une madeleine, ou du jus d’orange ou de l’eau.

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Near the end of the visit, the ‘thief’ stole some things and we had to describe what she stole and what she looked like in French. We wrote the information down in our booklets and the ‘thief’ was ‘arrested.’

Just before we left the Europa Centre, we were taken into the ‘departure lounge’ and we told everyone which activities we had done during the course of the day, like what we bought from l’épicerie or if we had visited la gare.


I think this was a wonderful opportunity to apply our French skills in the real world, outside of the classroom, and it was really helpful because many of us learnt some new vocabulary at the Europa Centre. It was a great trip and I definitely would recommend going there if you haven’t already been!

By Sanika Kale, Year 8

Upper Prep visits to Europa Centre in April 2018

I am delighted to announce an exciting enrichment opportunity. Following the success of last year’s visits, we are again running Upper Prep visits to the Europa Centre in Hornchurch, Essex. These visits will provide students with an invaluable opportunity to practise and enhance their French and Spanish language skills in an intensive and fun way with native speakers. 

The Europa Centre is unique as the UK’s only European Learning Village. Within the centre is an indoor ‘town’ with shops, a post office, café and, most importantly, native speakers who are the ‘townspeople’. On arrival, our students will be welcomed in the ‘arrival lounge’ where the visit’s activities are explained. The students then enter the ‘Spanish’ town where they interact with the native speaking shopkeepers, using their language skills to complete a mystery-solving challenge and a range of language activities, including a visit to the café.

Sancton Wood will have exclusive use of the venue giving our students plenty of opportunity to interact with native speakers and boost their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, tackling real-life scenarios in the foreign language in a tailor-made environment.

We look forward to reporting back to you in April with all our news from the visits!

Europa centre market stall

French penpal news

We are delighted to announce that the penpal programme for Year 9 students studying French is now well underway. Our students were excited to receive an introductory letter from their penpal and discover common interests. Their replies, written in French to a very high standard, were sent off before Christmas and were received, I’ve been told, with great delight by the French students in Wavrin, northern France.

Next, both sides of the programme are working on filming a video tour of their school. In the meantime however, we are busy planning for a visit from our French penpals to Cambridge on Tuesday 5th June when all students will meet each other face to face for the first time. They will take part in outdoor games, share a picnic lunch and visit the Fitzwilliam Museum together. Further details about this exciting event will be given nearer the time, but for now the students can look forward to meeting in person the penpal they will be getting to know over the coming months.

Mrs Tall

European Day of Languages 2017

French EDL readingOn the 26th of September there was a special celebration called the European Day of Languages and it was extremely fun. If we spoke a different language we got a house point (paper flag token). I got five and was very happy. We all had a lovely day and we enjoyed our special European lunch. There was also a story written by Quentin Blake, read to us in French by Vladimir’s mother. We thought it was great, especially the fact that we got to keep it!

Finlay Searle, Kowhai Class

French Club

Coming soon…

Les Petits Frenchies

Les Petits Frenchies for Years 3, 4 and 5. With a focus on fun, practical communication that will inspire a love of French language and culture, this is an introduction to French for pupils who have little or basic knowledge.

Les Petits Frenchies for Years 6, 7 and 8. With a focus on fun, practical communication that will inspire a love of French language and culture, this club aims to enrich pupils’ knowledge and understanding of French language and culture whilst increasing their confidence in their language skills.

Look out for further details!

 

Spanish clubs

Coming soon…

A fun, relaxing time after school for you to chat with friends and do lots of different activities in Spanish.

Four clubs are planned to start in the Summer term, each with fun, communicative and engaging activities so pupils can practise and develop their skills as much as possible. All the sessions will work the different language skills, especially listening and speaking, plus there will be a main project that will be developed throughout the sessions.

Pre-Prep Spanish Club – Years 1 and 2 will support and reinforce the contents of the curriculum and give pupils increased pupils confidence, fluency and extra vocabulary. The activities will be fun, communicative and engaging so that pupils practise as much as possible. They will include songs, storytelling, role-playing as well as some arts and craft by the end of the project.

Prep School Spanish Club – Years 5 and 6 will support and reinforce the contents of the curriculum and give pupils increased pupils confidence, fluency and extra vocabulary. The activities will be fun, communicative and engaging so that pupils practise as much as possible. They will include songs, storytelling, role-playing as well as some arts and craft by the end of the project.

Upper Prep Spanish Club – Years 7 and 8 will support and reinforce the contents of the curriculum and give pupils increased pupils confidence, fluency and extra vocabulary. The activities will be fun, communicative and engaging so that pupils practise as much as possible and include role-playing, word games, short stories and comics.

Spanish Conversation Club will support and reinforce the contents of the curriculum and increase pupils’ confidence, fluency and vocabulary in Spanish. The sessions will focus on developing speaking skills within the topics that are studied as part of GCSE Spanish, plus there will be a main project that will be developed across the sessions.

The activities will be fun, communicative and engaging so that pupils practise as much as possible. These will include role-playing, quiz games, and debates.

Watch this space for further details about all forthcoming Spanish clubs…