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Junior Languages Olympics

St Gabriel's and Park House MFL departments collaborated to organise a day of fun and challenging linguistic activities to coincide with the week of the European Day of Languages 2016. Activities including: a "Disney Jungle Book Eurovision" where the children were taught a song from the film, in French, German or Spanish, and then performed it for their peers - Colonel Hathi’s march in Italian won the day! Other activities included an independent learning task - to count from 1 to 10 in Mandarin Chinese, the Cognate Buzzer Quiz and an African language challenge. Language medals and certificates were presented to all participants, who also gained Bronze, Silver or Gold star stamps on their Olympic Record Card as they completed each activity. 


To facilitate an opportunity for collaborative learning for pupils from a number of local Primary schools in a secondary setting;
To engage pupils in foreign language-based activities designed to promote language awareness;
To raise the profile and usefulness of acquiring MFL skills amongst young learners;
To initiate a link between our two secondary school MFL departments with the aim of developing this in the future for the mutual benefit of our teachers and pupils.


A new post of Director of Education Partnerships was recently created at St Gabriel's and the postholder (an ex-HoD MFL) has extensive experience of teaching MFLs to children from a young age. The HoDs of MFL at Park House and St Gabriel's are also highly successful and experienced practitioners at teaching MFL to children of all ages, so we decided to join forces to spread our enthusiasm and expertise to our local feeder school community.


The project required teachers from both secondary schools (specialists in German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish) - five teachers in total. Visiting schools sent along a responsible adult with their children. Children worked in the St Gabriel's MFL department classrooms including our two computer suites (to teach themselves Mandarin Chinese numbers using a You Tube clip - assisted by the Mandarin Chinese teachers). No financial contribution required by participants. Small cost involved for medals, certificate printing and goody-bag items the children took home at the end of the day (MFL stickers, pens, rulers, erasers). Transport was facilitated for those schools who would otherwise be unable to attend.


The Director of Education Partnerships and Head of Department of Modern Foreign Languages at Park House visited the primary schools two weeks later, to gather feedback from the children. The children were very enthusiastic and said they enjoyed all the activities, meeting and working with new people and learning new languages. Mandarin Chinese was their outright favourite and all pupils were able to remember how to count from 1-10, so the activity worked!  

Pupil Involvement

Year 5: 8 girls from St Gabriel's (independent).

Year 5: 24 girls and boys in total from: Falkland Primary School, Woolton Hill Junior School, St Finian's Catholic Primary School and John Rankin Junior School.


We aim for this to become an annual event.