As part of our on-going initiative highlighting the importance of learning a foreign language from a young age, we were joined last Thursday by Year 5 pupils from St Cuthberts Primary School and Heywood Prep for a Downside Languages Day.

Pupils from the two visiting schools joined forces in teams, mentored by Downside Sixth Form linguists, to compete in a number of activities including a Euro Quiz, a Translation Task, and Book Cover Design using a variety of different languages.

The pupils were tested on their knowledge of foreign heads of state, flags, languages, national anthems, gastronomy, landmarks and capital cities and showed excellent linguistic flair and resilience throughout the day.

After lunch the visiting schools enjoyed a short tour of Downside Abbey Church with Fr Michael and a fun sports sessions with Downside sports graduates. The day concluded with a spot of well-deserved afternoon tea for the pupils and their parents.

Mrs Riley, Heywood Prep: ‘We had a wonderful time at Downside. The pupils were so complimentary about the school, the staff and especially the kindness and knowledge of the students. They really were blown away. The children really enjoyed the range of activities on offer and were in awe of the Abbey Church in particular! 

The day enabled the children to explore language in a low-threat, high-challenge environment, supported brilliantly by Downside pupils. They were curious and determined when it came to the translation task, and thoroughly enjoyed the chance to be creative when designing a book cover. The sports activity was the highlight of many; it was very fun and engaging for all, and the Sports Graduates were brilliant with them.

We wouldn’t hesitate to return to Downside for more experience days in the future and thank you very much for the invitation.’

Languages Day is one of several ‘experience days’ that Downside hosts for prep and primary schools. Other events include Outdoor Adventure, Forensic Detectives, Choral, Musical Theatre Art, Debating, Science and Sport. To find out more about attending one of these, please email us.