School says bonjour to its French revolution

BON APPETIT! -- Annesley Primary School pupils (from left) Tommy Knight, Joseph Gorewoda and Joshua Bricknall enjoying their time in the French cafe.
BON APPETIT! -- Annesley Primary School pupils (from left) Tommy Knight, Joseph Gorewoda and Joshua Bricknall enjoying their time in the French cafe.
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Children basked in joie de vivre when a taste of France was transported to the village of Annesley Woodhouse to mark the start of a new school year.

An imaginative French Culture Day was held at Annesley Primary School, involving all 204 pupils – and the verdict was “tres bien”.

Lucy Wraith, deputy head teacher, said: “We are starting to teach French at the school, so we wanted to immerse the children in the culture of the country. They absolutely loved it.”

At the heart of the day was a French café, which was as realistic and as traditional as the genuine article that you might find on the roadside at Bordeaux.

Run by Year 6 children, it ‘sold’ tasty, homemade treats such as pain au chocolat, croissants, chocolate truffles, crepes and even cinnamon snail swirls.

Mrs Wraith said: “We decorated the café too with French-style bunting and tablecloths, and we made aprons and berets to wear.

“The children learned some simple French phrases, and we all tried to speak in a French accent. We even had some ‘Allo! Allo!’-style music playing in the background for comedy value.

“The children learned how to ask for what they wanted in the café, and some even bought things with Euros.”

It is now a compulsory requirement of primary schools to include a language in their curriculum.

Annesley Primary does not have a teacher specifically teaching French, but uses an online resource provided by educational software provider, Education City, and has forged friendship links with a school in France.

Mrs Wraith said: “It’s important to teach the children that not everyone has the same cultures and backgrounds.”

The French revolution taking place at the school coincides with the appointment of a new headteacher.

Dawn Roberts has taken over the reins as part of a revamp at the chool on Forest Road, Annesley Woodhouse.

In a start-of-term message, Mrs Roberts writes: “I am extremely proud to be taking on the role of headteacher and look forward to working with our parents to provide the very best educational opportunites for the children.

“I will look to continue to develop a strong team among pupils, staff, parents and the community.

“I want our school to be the one where everyone is valued, included and involved.

“Partnership with parents is a vital part of any successful school, and I look forward to taking our school from strength to strength.”