Ole! Children learn some Spanish steps

Flamenco teacher Beth Loughan visiting Grange View First School in Widdrington Station to teach as part of their Spanish Day, the funding provided from Europe. Georgina Liddell dressed up and ready to go.
Flamenco teacher Beth Loughan visiting Grange View First School in Widdrington Station to teach as part of their Spanish Day, the funding provided from Europe. Georgina Liddell dressed up and ready to go.
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CHILDREN put on their dancing shoes at Grange View First School to learn the art of the flamenco.

And there was no time for a siesta, as this was one of many fun activities they did to celebrate all things Spain.

The Widdrington Station school decided to organise a day of special events relating to a particular European country to mark European Languages Day.

Pupils chose Spain because many of them go there on holiday and so they wanted to learn some useful words and phrases and about its culture.

As well as the more traditional methods of language teaching, staff played them a few animated and interactive fairytales in Spanish — including Goldilocks and the Three Bears — from the Northumberland Grid for Learning website.

A parent came in to help the children put together their own Spanish restaurant menus and they tried a chorizo sausage.

There was a quiz about what they had learned during the day and pupils also had a go at hitting the pinata. Many of them got in the spirit of the occasion by wearing red and yellow.

The school’s Modern Foreign Languages Co-ordinator, Lauren Chapman, said: “Our children thoroughly enjoyed the day and they’re already asking if we can have another one soon.

“As well as having lots of fun, they gained plenty of knowledge about Spain and its culture.”

Schools doing a range of activities on European Languages Day received a grant of £75 from the Europe Direct organisation.

Grange View’s funding helped to pay for professional dancer Beth Loughran, whose language studies took her to Santander in northern Spain where she trained in ballet and flamenco. She taught pupils various aspects of the flamenco dance, including sevillanas and rhumbas.

“I thought the pupils picked up the dance style extremely well in a short space of time and their fabulous costumes made their dancing look even better,” she said.

“There were certainly individuals, both boys and girls, who stood out as having a real flare for flamenco and dance in general.”

The school’s Early Years group also joined in with the fun, as they did some ‘Dora the Explorer’ activities and listened to Spanish music.