School Celebrates Cultural Diversity and Bilingualism
Wednesday, 30 September 2015
The Boys’ Division at Bolton School has been celebrating its own cultural diversity and bilingualism. The latest survey of students has revealed that 32 different languages are spoken by the cohort. Popular languages spoken include Gujarati and Urdu, both with 49 speakers, as well as Punjabi, Arabic, French and Cantonese; pupils also speak a whole host of other languages including Gaelic, Somali, Finnish and Yiddish. 35.91% of the student body said languages other than English were spoken in the home.
The school’s lunchtime Culture Club meets fortnightly and encourages pupils to talk about international cultures, languages, places and people that mean something to them. The opening session saw discussions focus on Mandarin, the Singaporean Hungry Ghost Festival, Chinese New Year, Ghandi, the Kannada language, Japan and running a tapas bar in Spain.
Reflecting on the survey, Headmaster Philip Britton said: "We are pleased that Bolton School reflects the makeup of the local community so well – few other schools are able to have to do that because of selection by catchment area rather than by ability. This variety is especially pleasing because the boys have this diversity to add to their excellence in English, where our exam results are so strong."
Culture Club Organiser, Miss Sullivan said: "In the past we have hosted a variety of events at this club - teaching modern languages not learnt in Boys' Division, sampling international cuisine, hosting guest speakers who have spoken about a variety of issues including life within the Arctic Circle and Native American cultures. Developing an understanding of different languages and cultures promotes intercultural awareness and a greater understanding of pupils' foreign language subjects and English. This enjoyment of languages is demonstrated by excellent results here in Boys' Division and I am delighted that so many boys would like to teach us more about their home languages."
Exciting plans are in place to run further events around the UN World Day for Cultural Diversity on 21st April 2016.