Bastille Day très bien for Northamptonshire pupils

Oundle and King's Cliffe Middle School pupils Alfie Moger, 10, and Olivia Belcher, 10, with actor 'Frank' played by Gerry Howell, of the Flying Theatre Co, with Le Meteo ' Il pleut!
Oundle and King's Cliffe Middle School pupils Alfie Moger, 10, and Olivia Belcher, 10, with actor 'Frank' played by Gerry Howell, of the Flying Theatre Co, with Le Meteo ' Il pleut!
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Pluie n’était pas un problème for more than 700 school children who descended on Wicksteed Park for a French experience this morning.

Pupils from across the north of the county saw plate spinning, listened to French folk songs and joined the foreign legion at the annual ‘Bastille Day. event.

Graham Holloway, the park’s education manager, said: “It was brilliant. I’m really pleased it went ahead.”

Students from secondary schools helped run French language activities for primary school pupils and entertainers gave interactive French performances.

Dan Roro gave a show set in a French bistro in which pupils shouted out the names of foods while he span plates.

A French folk singer performed and a English man rapped in French.

Kettering Buccleuch Academy helped the primary pupils make animal masks, giving them the names in French.

Corby Business Academy played Chinese whispers – in French – with the pupils.

Rusden Community College supervised the primary pupils as they filled in forms to join the foreign legion.

Manor School, Raunds, played ‘Simon says’ in French with the pupils.

Primary schools taking part included Loatlands, Desborough, Wollaston, Little Harrowden, Earls Barton, The King John School, Thrapston, Oundle, Kings Cliffe and Nassington.

Staff from Montsaye Academy, Rothwell, and Prince William School, Oundle, helped supervise the day.

Organiser Mr Holloway considered cancelling the event because of the rain, but instead rearranged it with indoor activities at the last minute.

He said: “We were thinking about cancelling it but decided to go ahead because we knew some kids would be disappointed.

“The children had a fantastic time. There were smiling faces the whole way from the children.”

The idea for a French immersion day at the park first came about eight years ago and was developed by Montsaye and Prince William, both specialist language schools, with the Telegraph.

Mr Holloway said: “It would have been impossible without the planning of Montsaye and Prince William School.

“It’s the strength of them and commitment of secondary schools like Kettering Buccleuch Academy, Corby Business Academy, Rusden Community College and Manor School who contribute people to run the event.”