French Studies Celebrate the 50th anniversary with Local Schools
On Wednesday 8th July, over 60 primary and secondary school pupils marked the 50th anniversary of French Studies at the University of Warwick with a special day of activities on campus. As Dr Cathy Hampton, a teaching fellow in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, explained, "part of the emphasis of the Warwick celebrations is the idea of looking forward to the future, and we wanted to give a voice to the next generation of linguists by asking them to choose an event from the last 50 years in France and the francophone world that particularly spoke to them. We then invited them to campus to showcase their ideas."
Pupils from St Lawrence Primary in Southam, Tile Hill Wood School in Coventry, Trinity Catholic School in Leamington and Aylesford School in Warwick treated academic staff and current students to a dazzling array of creations that included an original film starring pupils, art installations, newspaper articles, multi-media presentations and interactive quizzes. "We were stunned by their inventiveness," said Cathy, 'and heartened to see how see how these young learners are using their language-learning to build understanding between cultures: just what we need in our global citizens of the future! We hope we'll have some of them studying with us in a few years time."
To get a feel for life at Warwick, pupils also got the chance to try their hand at being students: attending a mini-lecture; participating in workshops on the French comic strip tradition, French film, sport and literature; and (for the primary school children) testing out the university’s sports facilities. ‘What a fabulous day we had! The kids were so positive about the whole day and the experience,’ said Anne Coombe, lead teacher at St Lawrence Primary. ‘Even met a paralympian at the track! ’