Norwich High School for Girls celebrates Language and Culture Week

Posted on 1st March 2023

Norwich High School for Girls celebrated Language and Culture Week between 20-24th February.

Norwich High celebrated Language and Culture Week between 20-24th February, with a busy schedule of events for everyone to be involved in, bringing together students, staff and alumnae.

Tuesday 21st February was International Mother Language Day and, to celebrate, on Monday some of our multilingual students offered language taster sessions, teaching a few simple words and phrases from their mother tongue to students and staff. There was a fantastic spread of languages on offer, including Persian, Polish, Russian and Arabic.

“It was wonderful to share our languages with the school community during the assembly at the beginning of Language and Culture Week, and I greatly enjoyed being able to share my mother language, Nepali, at the language carousel. Hearing so many languages being spoken at the taster session created a very lively and warm atmosphere.”

Kajol, Year 13 student

In addition to celebrating mother languages, we have also used this week to celebrate the languages that we learn in school. The online alumnae talk on Thursday was an inspiring event, at which we were joined by alumnae at various stages in their studies careers, all talking about how their languages were enhancing their careers. From medics to lawyers to an ambassador at the Foreign Office, it was an uplifting and exciting event.

“It has been a real privilege to see how much the girls have enjoyed sharing their languages and cultures with the school. As a community we are truly enriched by this wonderful diversity.”

Mrs Catherine Gibson, Head of MFL

On Friday we were delighted to welcome alumna Sophie Lau, now a multi-lingual journalist and presenter, who delivered workshops to both Year 9 and 10 about how languages can be used in careers. A charismatic and engaging speaker, this was another inspirational event, which encouraged the students to be ambitious with their careers and to consider how languages could enhance and broaden their chosen pathways. Thank you so much to the NHSA whose grant financed this excellent event.

Language and Culture Week culminated in Culture Day on Friday 24th February. Culture Day was suggested by Norwich High’s Antiracism and Inclusion Group and was a brilliant way for students to take the lead in activities and workshops to raise awareness of different cultures. It is part of the school’s Undivided initiative, where we are dedicated to promoting inclusion, diversity and real change. It was a non-uniform day, with students encouraged to wear something that allows them to express themselves. Any money raised from the non-uniform day went towards the Syria/Turkey earthquake disaster.

Throughout the day, there were a huge range of activities to take part in. At break and lunchtime there were food stalls, henna, Rangoli art and a dance workshop. Students also had the opportunity to see their names written in calligraphy in a different language.

Mr Matthew Bull, Diversity and Inclusion lead, commented: “It was wonderful to see all of our students embrace each other’s cultures. I also loved seeing the pride in which our students celebrated their own cultures – lovingly preparing and selling food in our market, wearing cultural attire and listening to world music, amongst other things. We aim for all students to feel safe, represented and appreciated and I think the whole week successfully expressed this. I can’t wait for Culture Day 2024!”

“I found Language and Culture Week to be a very vibrant and happy occasion and I loved being a part of this experience.”

Kajol, Year 13 student