At St Ives we believe that learning languages is a life skill that enriches the curriculum in many ways.
As well as creating an awareness of a different culture, the knowledge gained by studying another language makes a significant contribution to the development of children’s oracy, literacy and understanding of their own culture.
At St Ives, French is taught from Nursery to Year 6 and Spanish is taught from Year 2 to Year 6.. All lessons are taught by subject specialists who use games, songs, dance, rhymes, story-telling and role-playing to make learning a language fun and engaging. In Pre-Prep, language learning is mostly oral, and we focus on listening and speaking skills. From Year 3 onwards, pupils begin to develop their reading skills and more focus in placed on the written form of the language, developing an understanding of grammar.
French partner school
Children in Years 5 and 6 have write regularly to their penpals at our partner school in Nantes, France. They will be making a video to send and hope to organise a live Zoom meeting soon.
International Trips, Events and Projects
To enhance the language curriculum further Year 5 and Year 6 pupils have the opportunity to spend a week in France, taking part in a wide range of exciting activities designed to help them to practise the language, gain a deeper cultural understanding and, most importantly, have fun!
A French theatre group visits the school to perform an interactive, amusing play where the children become part of the show.
The French festival La Fête des Rois (Festival of the Kings for Epiphany) is celebrated every January when the children eat a special cake (galette) and whoever finds the hidden charm becomes king or queen for the day.
Year 2 children host a French breakfast where they invite parents to school, take their orders and serve them a typical French breakfast, all in the medium of French. Year 5 children host a Spanish breakfast for their parents, taking orders and serving delicious churros, coffee and hot chocolate.
Children in the senior school take part in the French Reading Challenge, selecting a French reader to enjoy in their free time which promotes their love of languages and accelerates their vocabulary development.
In history, children take part in and Ancient Greek workshop and in geography they learn about the cultural differences in other countries.
Music lessons feature international songs and instruments from around the world.
Special Days this year feature International Kindness Day in November, linking in with other nations, a Story-Telling afternoon in January with folk tales from around the world and World Music Day in June.
We recently held a 3 day Languages Festival, where German, Italian, Welsh, the whistling language of the La Gomera in the Canary Islands, bird song, animal communication were just some of the things the children learnt. The objective of the festival was to explore language in its widest context and give the children a brief introduction to other languages in addition to French and Spanish that they study as part of the curriculum.
Children were given their "Citizen of St Ives and the World" passport and "travelled" to countries as far afield as Australia, Canada, China, Italy, Japan, Kenya and Mexico on a fact-finding mission to discover details such as capital city, language(s) spoken, typical food, and famous landmarks and people.
As well as looking at language and culture, the children also enjoyed a variety of arts and craft sessions from around the world such as Japanese art and origami, Native American dream catchers, Aboriginal boomerangs, Spanish fans, and bookmarks decorated with "hello" in different languages.
The fun didn't stop there as the children honed their singing skills and performed a rendition of a foreign language song in the "Ivovision Song Contest" and donned their dancing shoes for an international dance workshop and competition. They also enjoyed a game of French Boules!
With such busy days, the children worked up a healthy appetite and enjoyed tasty international meals from countries such as China and Greece. A special thank you goes to Richard and the catering staff for all of their effort in putting together such delicious meals. As well as tasty lunches, the children also enjoyed sweet treats such as French crêpes, Spanish magdalenas, and pastries and goodies from the French Cafe that was expertly set up and run by Years 3 to 6.
A fun-filled and fabulous three days were had by all and it was a perfect end to the half term! ¡Fantastico!
Our menus feature a rich variety of international dishes from all over the world.