We finished the half-term on a high with our celebrations for International Mother Language Day, ahead of the official day on Monday 21st February. This is a day which has come about through the UN in a bid to recognise that languages and multilingualism can advance inclusion, and to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity.
Children and staff were able to come dressed in national attire, or clothes that represented a culture or nationality that was important to them. There was a fantastic array of colours and clothes from around the world, from tartan trousers to silk kimonos and it was wonderful to celebrate our differences while supporting our 300th charities through our non-uniform donations.
Our Lower School and Upper School Chapel Assemblies in the morning allowed us to gather together to mark our celebrations. It was an opportunity to showcase our multilingual video which children had volunteered to take part in earlier in the term. We were treated to prayers in French and German, a Chapel Choir anthem in Latin, and were even led in song by Mr Nicklin in Xhosa, a language spoken in South Africa.
Over thirty languages are spoken within The Blue Coat School, and we found out more about those languages during our assembly languages quiz. The most spoken language other than English is Mandarin, followed by Hindi, and then Punjabi, and we also found out about some lesser known languages spoken within our school such as Telugu and Amharic. Indeed, children in Year 3 and 4 have been given optional enrichment homework to complete in half-term to create a bar graph or pie chart of the different languages within our school.
After lunch children were working in their forms to create a class multilingual poem, as well as allowing bilingual children the opportunity to teach the others in the class a little of their own language and culture.
It was a lovely opportunity to celebrate our differences, and what makes us ‘individually strong and unbreakable as one’.