Génial! Creativity to the fore as linguists show their mettle

Génial! Creativity to the fore as linguists show their mettle

Pearce took the honours in two separate competitions run by the Languages department to encourage boys to flex their linguistic muscles and show off their creativity during the lockdown.

For both contests, boys had to show their mastery of written French or German, while a challenge set by Languages teacher Rosie Hall additionally gave Year 10 pupils the opportunity to display visual ability alongside their verbal skill.

Head of Languages Nora Schlatte said: “We have been impressed both by the number of boys choosing to take part in the competitions and by the quality of their contributions. My congratulations go to all the winners.”

For a competition open to boys throughout Key Stage 3, pupils had to choose a German or French song and write a paragraph about why they liked it.

Tristan Chanda was the Year 7 winner. In his piece on Parle à ta tête, the 2019 hit by French singer-songwriter Indila, he wrote: “Ça me donne envie de danser!” – it makes me want to dance. He explained that he likes pop music “parce que c’est branché et génial” – because it’s trendy and great!

Saim Khan won the Year 8 prize with a paragraph about Alain le Lait’s song, J’aime les fruits, in which he explained that he also liked the singer’s other songs: “Elles sont aussi très intéressantes et vraiment cool!” – they are very interesting, too, and really cool!”

Darren Lee, the Year 9 winner, took a close look at the life of rapper Georgio, observing that while many have lost hope because of the Covid-19 virus, his song L’Espoir Meurt en Dernier strikes a note of hope that is essential at the present time.

House points were awarded, with Pearce taking first place, followed by Broughton and then Underne.

Languages teacher Rebecca Grundy also ran a House competition for Years 10 and 11, for which they were required simply to submit a piece of creative writing in French or German. “There was great variety in the entries, with boys submitting poems, articles and adverts,” she said.

First prize went to Year 10’s Olly Salter, for his poem, Le Café, about a chance encounter in a café.

Other highly commended entries included:

  • Year 11 Shivas Patel’s illustrated biography of Beethoven
  • A piece by Om Chakrapani, of Year 10, about Ferdinand Porsche, engineer and founder of the eponymous car company
  • A review of the 1945 classic film, Les Enfants du Paradis, by Aadarsh Khimasia, of Year 11
  • A brochure-style paeon of praise for the city of Lyon penned by Siddhant Kansal, of Year 11, who fell in love with the city when he went there on an exchange
  • Sushant Despande’s poem, Mein Handy. Sushant is in Year 10.

Pearce again took first prize in this competition; Leicester were second and Broughton third.
Miss Hall praised the “great work” done by her set 2 Year 10 class based on Jean de la Fontaine’s fable Le rat de ville et de champs.

The boys watched some French cartoon clips and then were asked to create a comic strip or storyboard, re-imagining the story and using the vocabulary they learned to explain relative advantages and disadvantages of living in the town and the countryside.

Mukund Soni produced a hand-drawn strip, while Kirtinandan Koramutla, Arya Bhatt and Danny Adey all showed distinctive visual approaches in creating their storyboards with computers.

“I’ve been really impressed with their creativity and use of language,” Miss Hall added.