Languages and Cultures Week 2024 at Norwich High School for Girls

Posted on 9th February 2024

Languages and Cultures Week 2024

During February, Norwich High School for Girls celebrated the third ‘Languages and Cultures Week’ in the Senior School and Sixth Form. Organised by the Modern Languages Department and the Diversity and Inclusion group, the week aimed to celebrate the rich diversity of languages and cultures within the school community.

“Languages and Cultures Week is important because it helps people from different backgrounds understand and appreciate each other. By celebrating linguistic diversity and cultural richness, we build connections, promote inclusivity, and encourage a tolerant, interconnected school community that values diversity as a strength. Engaging in the sharing and expression of our cultural identities throughout this week promotes unity, respect, and a heightened appreciation for each individual’s unique heritage—an essential and positive endeavour.”

Hannah, Year 12 student at Norwich High School for Girls

On Monday, we started the day with an assembly from students and staff sharing their mother tongue languages and why they are important to them. It was amazing to hear that 19 different languages are spoken in our school community.

The lunchtime language tasters were really popular, with students trying out new languages in fun activities led by students and a few staff. They were each given a language passport to collect stamps from each language taster they visited. Well done to Mischa in Year 9 who visited the most, getting six stamps.

“I think my culture and mother tongue always reminds me that I’m part of a community and part of something bigger.”

Year 8 student at Norwich High School for Girls

On Wednesday, our Languages Assistants ran a pancake stall to raise money for La Soupe Saint Eustache, a soup kitchen that our Sixth Formers will visit on their Paris trip during half term. There were lots of delicious toppings on offer and students had to order in French. Thank you to our languages assistants, Fanny, Elvira and Judith!

“To celebrate the French culture during the Languages and Cultures week, we decided to organise a sale of crepes, which is a French tradition for la Chandeleur. It was especially important for me, Fanny, the French assistant who works in a creperie during summer and really sees crepes as part of my Breton culture. It was a pleasure for us to organise it and experience how much everyone seemed to have enjoyed it!”

Elvira, Judith and Fanny, Language Assistants at Norwich High School for Girls

On Thursday morning, three finalists from each Year 8 French class competed in a French Grammar Bee Kahoot competition designed to practise using the present, past, future and conditional tenses. We were very impressed not only with the standard but also with the lovely way in which the students supported each other on the day. Finalists received language commendation badges and prizes. Well done to Nyah, Tara and Juno who claimed first, second and third place respectively.

Also on Thursday, thank you to our alumnae Marisa, Elizabeth, and Olivia who joined us online to tell us about the courses they have taken using their languages and about how they are using languages in their careers.

Friday was Cultures Day, and a non uniform day to allow students to express themselves. A playlist curated by students meant a song played at the start of every lesson during the day helped the school community celebrate music from around the world.

As part of our Lunar New Year celebrations and in recognition of Children’s Mental Health Week, students exchanged a variation of traditional Chinese bright red envelopes filled with messages of encouragement and positive affirmations.

At breaktime, there was a delicious food market with a variety of foods from different cultures to sample. The catering team also did an amazing job in serving up a proper fish and chips ‘chippy lunch’ – a british classic.

“I believe culture week is important so that people can broaden their understanding of the world around them without attaching the stereotypes that the internet provides. In addition it gives those away from their home countries a chance to reconnect and show their love for their cultures.”

Valentina, Year 12 student at Norwich High School for Girls

Thank you to Lucy from Year 13 and Anusha in Year 12 who drew beautiful henna designs during break and lunch throughout the week. Other activities during the week included a Meditation taster session so students and staff could try meditation and improve their mindfulness.

“I think language and culture this week was important because people will have a strong sense and know who we really are.”

Shailey, Year 7 student at Norwich High School for Girls