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Fantastique French Day

Thursday, 11 February 2016

The French festivals of La Chandeleur and Mardi Gras were celebrated at this year’s Modern Foreign Languages Day at Hesketh House, Bolton School’s Junior Girls’ School. Pupils and staff came to School dressed in the colours of the French flag – red, white and blue – and enjoyed a whole day of themed activities organised by Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) teacher Mrs Hornby.

As La Chandeleur, the Candlemas festival, is also known as ‘jour de crêpes’ in France, it is the equivalent of Pancake Tuesday in the UK. There were therefore plenty of activities themed around this delicacy. There were even crêpes on the menu at lunchtime. Mrs Hornby introduced the girls to the story of ‘Roule Galette’, a similar tale to the Gingerbread Man but about a runaway pancake. While learning some new French vocabulary related to the characters ‘roule galette’ meets on its travels, the girls crafted their own interactive versions of the tale and tried to copy some French cursive handwriting.

One of the girls’ favourite challenges was the pancake race! Divided into teams, pupils in turn had to carefully carry their pancakes through an obstacle course while balancing rubber quoits on their heads. For the final race, they had to run the course while flipping their pancakes: whichever team had the largest piece of pancake left at the end were the winners. Despite watching the pancakes fall apart until there were only tiny pieces left, there was plenty of laughter in the hall throughout this fun activity.

Mardi Gras was also celebrated as part of French Day and each pupil created her own colourful mask, with sequins and fancy feathers to complete the look. In addition, the pupils discovered iconic landmarks from France, particularly the Notre-Dame Cathedral and Eiffel Tower in Paris, and created wonderful pieces of artwork based on these places.

The catering staff provided a lovely café lunch, with French chicken and a special treat of filled crêpes for dessert, to help continue the theme. The classrooms and dining hall were filled with French music throughout the day to help to immerse the girls in French culture.

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Mardi Gras masks

Mardi Gras masks

The pancake flipping race

The pancake flipping race

Some of the girls with their artwork featuring French landmarks

Some of the girls with their artwork featuring French landmarks