The past few days have been filled with exciting activities to celebrate Languages Week at SCEGGS!
We started the week with the secondary school Assembly, which featured activities and announcements in a number of different languages.
Students in Assembly were greeted by a rousing version of the Spanish song ‘Despacito’. Two Year 12 girls, Shae-Lee Trindall and Amber Boyden, then read an Acknowledgement of Country in Spanish.
The Bible reading, taken from the letter of Paul to the Corinthians, was read in Latin by Year 12 students Louise Godhard and Cindy Purvis, and the Lord’s Prayer was recited in Japanese by Year 12 girls Eloise Loewy and Christine Wong.
Information about Languages Week was given to students at Assembly in French by Year 12 students Olivia Kibble and Mia Hasson, and details of the Mondovision song contest were provided in Chinese by Year 11 students Aisha Imtarnasan and Emma Senkevics. Translations of these announcements were on the large screens, so that everyone could follow them.
We are proud that so many languages are spoken by SCEGGS students, and the girls in Assembly were treated to a video of dozens of students giving a short greeting in languages such as Greek, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Maori, Marathi, Russian and German.
The next item in Assembly was a report on the wonderful Japan trip, organised by Yamaguchi Sensei in the April school holidays. Year 11 students Catriona Denholm and Mia Slater recounted some of their amazing experiences and introduced the slide show of fascinating photos.
Ms Allum then presented the International Latin Examination medals and awards to Latin students in Years 9-12. Every girl who sat for the examination achieved a score substantially above the international average; our girls won nine Gold Medals and four Silver Medals. Three girls – Orania Varvaris (Year 9), Alice Wong (Year 10) and Miranda Woodcroft (Year 10) achieved a perfect score – an outstanding feat!
Special thanks to Ms Boyes and Senorita Storrie for organising a wonderful Assembly, showcasing so many aspects of language study and background at SCEGGS.
The next exciting event in the busy Languages Week calendar was the Mondovision Song Contest. Groups of students from Years 7 to 12 had been rehearsing songs performed in French, Latin and Mandarin, and they came on Monday to audition for a place in the Highlights Concert. It was amazing to see the time and effort the girls had devoted to their songs!
Six groups were chosen to participate in the Highlights concert at lunchtime on Thursday. The Great Hall was filled with hundreds of enthusiastic girls, eager to watch the performances. Two Year 12 girls, Madeleine Kowalenko and Teya Phillips, did a superb job as MCs, keeping the crowd entertained and interested.
There were groups from Year 11 French, Year 10 French, Year 10 Latin, two groups from Year 8 Latin, and a mixed group of Years 10-11 Mandarin students. The Year 12 French students made a guest appearance, providing additional entertainment for the audience while the judges were deliberating.
The three judges, Dr Melissa Saxton, Dr Joseph Guss and Mr Keith Stevenson, were very impressed by the standard of all six groups. The final results were very close, with first place being awarded to the Year 10 Latin students, with a superb performance of the Spice Girls favourite ‘Wannabe’, with a special rap highlight!
It was a fantastic highlights concert, and it was wonderful to see so many students using languages they are studying at SCEGGS, challenging themselves and, most of all, having fun!
Staff mystery language competition
Another popular activity of Languages Week was the competition to identify the voices of ten members of staff and the language each was speaking. The staff were drawn from the across the school, from the primary, secondary, administration and IT areas:
1. Ms Lale Arbabzadah - Farsi
2. Mrs Eva Stepasiuk - Polish
3. Mr David Scott - Spanish
4. Dr Joseph Guss - Finnish
5. Ms Susan Zipfinger - German
6. Mr Wayne Zong - Mandarin
7. Mrs Lina Mazzotti - Italian
8. Ms Ngaire Boyes - Maori
9. Ms Katie Treacy - Gaelic
10. Mrs Vickie Kalocsay – Hungarian
Some of these languages are related to each other and have the same origins. Four of the above languages are in this category but belong to two different families. Which languages go together?
Answer: Spanish and Italian are Romance languages. Finnish and Hungarian are Uralic languages.
Thank you to all those who entered the competition – it was great to have staff and students involved. Congratulations to the winning group for identifying all 10 staff and the languages spoken – Jedda Thorley, Elenarose Plaister, Sophie Kuijper, Chloe Zheng and Naina Bhonagiri!
Friday lunchtime activities
The last day of Languages Week saw a flurry of student activities on the lawn and in the old gym at lunchtime. It was a wonderful celebration of the languages taught at SCEGGS.
The French teachers opened a photo booth for students to dress up as famous characters in French history and have their photo taken. Hats, scarves and other accessories transformed the girls into Napoleon Bonaparte, Coco Chanel and other well-known French characters! Students are able to view the photos in their French classes.
Spanish culture was celebrated through an energetic dance-off run by Ms Boyes and Senorita Storrie in the old gym, and all had great fun with this activity.
An origami session and a paper-cutting activity celebrated the Japanese and Chinese cultures, and the girls produced some beautiful works of art.
Years 7 and 8 students had the chance to participate in the Latin Treasure Hunt, running to five locations throughout the school to answer questions on language and culture. Thanks to the Year 11 Latin girls for sitting in their togas at the various stations to check off the younger girls as they ran from place to place. Congratulations to the Year 8 winners of the Treasure Hunt – Georgia McCormack, Natayleah Georgetown, Maggie-Rose Dunlop and Ianna Fatouros!
The Languages staff would like to thank the hundreds of students and teachers who participated in the various activities at school throughout Languages Week. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the many different languages represented in our school community!
Head of Languages
In Week 3, the school will celebrate languages and language learning at SCEGGS.
On Monday, Assembly will be held in Chinese, French, Japanese, Latin and Spanish by senior students (rest assured, there will be subtitles for beginners).
On Thursday, Mondovision Highlights returns with the best six performances (after gruelling auditions) in different languages in the Great Hall at lunchtime. Come and cheer on students from Years 7 to 12 battling it out to win the Mondovision final 2019.
Various languages competitions will be held throughout the week and on Friday at lunchtime, on the lawn – all Secondary Students are invited to take part in fun cultural workshops: a treasure hunt for Years 7 and 8 organised by the Latin senior students, Chinese paper cutting, French Photobooth, Origami and much more.
ともに輝く、 多様な社会へ Vive la différence!
¡Viva la diferencia! Diversitas floreat! 理解万岁!
Head of Languages
These holidays, Audrey Collingwood and Aneka Henshaw from Year 10 will visit their French host-sisters and their families in Lyon as part of the French Exchange. They will live in that beautiful city for six weeks and go to school there as well. This is a wonderful opportunity for both students to practise the French that they have learnt in authentic contexts and to experience French culture first hand.
Bon voyage Audrey et Aneka!
Head of Languages