School’s taste of the Mediterranean

Dancing lessons were on the agenda during the languages day celebration at Grange View First School. Picture by Jane Coltman.
Dancing lessons were on the agenda during the languages day celebration at Grange View First School. Picture by Jane Coltman.
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Pupils and teachers got a touch of la dolce vita when their school turned Italian for a day.

Grange View First School in Widdrington Station celebrates the European Day of Languages every year by focusing activities on a particular country.

Italy was chosen for its 2015 fun workshops, which took place on Monday. Staff and pupils were asked to dress in red, white or green, or a combination of these colours.

Once again it received a £75 grant from Europe Direct North East. This allowed the school to bring in Beth Loughran to teach pupils the traditional tarantella folk dance.

With support from staff, the youngest children had a go at pizza making, Years 1 and 2 made some bolognese from scratch and Years 3 and 4 put together some antipasto dishes – these included Parma ham, sun-dried tomatoes, Gorgonzola cheese and olives.

Crafts activities such as making flags, decorating masks, making their own Leaning Towers of Pisa out of kitchen roll tubes and pipe cleaners and Mona Lisa artwork took place and year groups were mixed up for a quiz about Italy’s facts and culture.

Modern foreign languages subject leader Lauren Chapman said: “Our children absolutely love the languages day, which takes place in late September, and at the start of each school year, they ask us to tell them some of the activities that we’re organising for it.

“We’ve done it on Germany, Spain and Ireland, among other countries, in previous years. The wide range of food options was the main reason why the pupils chose Italy for this year.

“They enjoyed all the activities and as it involves the whole school, it’s nice that the pupils can share what they have done with each other at the end of the day.

“Our older children also find it useful because they can compare what they have learned about foreign cultures to their own British values.”

Grange View has the International School Award accreditation. The award is managed by the British Council.