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Surval’s Languages & Cultures Week

18 June 2021

Our first ever Languages and Cultures Week, bursting with pride, discovery and colour, brought our international Family even closer together. This was the brainchild of our Modern Language Teachers, Mme Hily and Mrs Spigarelli and was a joy to see these plans become reality. The whole week was a huge success.

The united nations of our Surval community span 23 countries. In celebration of this and to showcase some of the wonders of this year’s diverse, culture-rich Surval, we have all enjoyed delighting in exploring each other’s origins, similarities and differences, and really getting to know and understand where each of us has come from.

Starting with Monday’s Flag parade, we enjoyed a morning of the most sensational International Fair with each nationality hosting a stand and exhibiting national costume, food, music, images and the ever-important map! Lunches each day were themed with “Name the origin of the Dish!” In line with the ethos of our Surval Education, the week evolved further with student-led sessions of introducing and teaching Arabic, Hindi, Russian and Spanish; cooking up home country delights; giving talks on native countries, traditions, travel discoveries and, on our sunny terraces and tennis court, the girls split into teams, created their own team shirts, got face painting and threw themselves into the Surval Football World Cup! The week concluded with an international art workshop and, the cherry on the cake, an international MasterchefMasterclass!

A real win amongst girls and staff alike, Languages and Cultures Week was a fun and thought-provoking reminder of how much cultural depth and wonder resides under our roof here at Surval.

Julia (grade 11, Italy) enthused “Languages and Cultures Week was an incredible experience and an opportunity to learn more about other countries; different languages and different types of food from different countries.  I enjoyed most the International Fair because from the food you can really see the culture of the country.  I found the Week really interesting and well done.”

Mrs Spigarelli commented afterwards
“The event was fun, engaging, and effective in terms of promoting the appreciation of multilingualism as well as offering to our pupils growing opportunities for cultural dialogue and exchange.  The experience was remarkable not only for students but also for staff! We created a largely student-led learning journey that allowed us to connect beyond the walls of the classroom, to truly embrace the values of a pluralistic and just democratic society that supports respect, dialogue, and peace.

Students gained a deeper understanding and awareness of the significance of multiculturalism while taking pride in sharing with their peers their native language and national traditions.  Girls found themselves immersed in practical activities including team building tasks, student-led seminars and lessons, sports sessions, international art and cookery workshops, and virtual trips. For me, the highlights were the short language lessons led by students in Hindi, Russian, Spanish, and Arabic because they planned and practised basic verbal expressions through games, songs, and presentations, and successfully managed to catch their peers' interest. It was so special to see how students were excited to attend their next lessons and thanked their "teachers" in the target language after each session!

I am so grateful for the support this event had across the whole school community... and I am absolutely looking forward to the second edition next year!”

Mme Hily said,
"Seeing our girls so enthusiastic and happy to share their own cultures with their friends, teachers and staff, was wonderful. We learnt so much from each other. What a glorious week! I am very proud of our girls; we are Surval!"