On Tuesday 12th June, Junior School was awash with red and yellow as we celebrated our first ever Junior School Spanish Day! Girls from Nursery to Year 6 enjoyed a plethora of exciting and engaging cultural activities, allowing them to experience a flavour of Spain.
Chapman House had been dazzlingly decorated by Miss Donowho who transformed it into a Spanish oasis of flamboyant flamenco dancers, fantastic fans and flags and tricky tongue twisters.
Miss Bowman commenced the day with a sensational salsa assembly which got everyone in the Spanish spirit.
Each Year Group then explored a theme during the day.
Nursery and Reception centred their activities on the book Lola’s Fandango. The girls had a visit from the flamenco sensation, Señorita Park, who did a short flamenco demonstration before teaching the girls some steps and movements. The floors reverberated to the unmistakable beat of the ‘toca toca tica’ of flamenco and the room was filled with a sea of twirling hands. It was quite an experience! The girls then went on to make some flamenco guitars, Spanish flags and flamenco dancers.
The Reception girls baked and decorated fan shaped biscuits in addition to creating their own flamenco dancers.
In Year 1, the girls focused on the much celebrated Antoni Gaudí. They looked at examples of his architecture and in particular his mesmerising mosaic work, before creating their own mosaics. Their next challenge was to make one of his signature lizards out of clay which they have since painted in the style of Gaudí. We could have been in Barcelona!
Year 2’s theme was the life and works of Pablo Picasso. They explored his blue and rose periods before creating their own interpretations of his artwork. The results were outstanding.
Year 3 complemented their topic work on Mexico by celebrating Mexican traditions, customs, culture and food. The sweet smell of cinnamon drifted through the corridors as the girls made traditional hot chocolate laced with cinnamon followed by quesadillas, homemade guacamole and tortilla chips. The girls demonstrated excellent food preparation skills and it was lovely to see them trying new foods…successfully and unsuccessfully! Finally, the girls engaged their creativity by creating papier maché Mexican masks and making traditional Ojo de Dios.
The Year 4 classrooms were a hive of activity after being set the brief to research the Spanish fiesta Las Fallas. After some comprehensive fact- finding regarding the history and traditions of this fiesta, they set about creating their own ninots, cardboard monuments, which represented a theme that they felt needed addressing e.g. war, plastic pollution, air pollution, recycling. In true Valencian tradition, these models were ceremoniously burned in the school firepit after voting for one ninot to be saved to carry forward to next year.
The Senior School Spanish judges had a very difficult decision deciding which ninot to save as all of the girls had really excelled in their thoughtful themes and their creative, colourful Spanish design.
Girls in Year 5 focused their efforts on famous and historic Spanish landmarks and buildings. They executed detailed research on a variety of iconic places of interest such as Sagrada Familia, Alhambra, Mezquita, Parc Güell and The Guggenheim museum. Taking inspiration from these sites then allowed them to plan and create their own representations using their ideas and choice of materials.
Year 6 girls had the exciting task of researching Spanish food and delicacies before putting their own culinary skills to the test creating palmeras, a traditional Spanish delicacy. They made what seemed like thousands of these in a variety of flavours! Once they were safely baking in the oven, they created menus for our after school café to which Year 6 parents, pupils and staff were invited. The girls not only delivered an epic quantity of delicious palmeras, they also created beautifully detailed menus and showcased their super Spanish skills!
Many would argue that perhaps the highlight of the day was our amazing Spanish feast of a school lunch; Nick, Jeff and their team created a truly sensational spread. Staff watched in sheer amazement as girls sampled an adventurous array of food ranging from paella, patatas bravas, fried whitebait, squid, black pudding, olives, jamón serrano and chorizo to churros with chocolate dipping sauce. A couple of girls exclaimed excitedly that it was the best school lunch ever!
We hope that Spanish Day will be an annual fixture on our calendar as it was such an enjoyable and educational day which has hopefully inspired and motivated our linguists of the future.