Languages Week and the Great Outdoors - Mill Hill Schools

Head’s blog

Languages Week and the Great Outdoors

Dear Parents,

I hope you have enjoyed the sunshine of the last few days. The children have certainly made the most of our outdoor space this week. Year 4 pupils had an amazing time learning about printing in their Forest School lesson and we had record numbers of pupils turning out for Mr Tongue’s early morning cross-country club.

Our cricketers have also enjoyed playing in the warmer conditions and both our Under 12 and Under 13 girls’ teams won their matches against Highgate and Felsted on Saturday. The 1st XI also played well against some strong opponents to finish 2nd in our cricket festival last weekend. We have had a couple of outstanding performances this week from Archie who scored 98 not out, Edgar scored 50 and Saugat took 5 wickets! Felix got his maiden 50 and took 3 wickets in two overs!

The children haven’t been the only members of the Belmont community enjoying the grounds. Our seasonal Canadian geese visitors were accompanied by some new arrivals to explore our grounds!

Languages Week and English football clubs in Europe

This week was Languages Week: thank you to Miss Turner for organizing a wonderful assembly on Monday and a Chapel with Mrs McRrill on Wednesday. We heard lots of children sharing their languages, having conversations in their native tongues and we also learnt about their family backgrounds and heritage. We have also been fortunate to have a huge number of parent volunteers visiting the school to expose our Year 6 to 8 pupils to a plethora of languages including Arabic, Italian, Japanese, Tamil, Hungarian, Swedish, Russian, Romanian, Hindi, French, Spanish, Ukrainian, Turkish and Telugu! Thank you so much to all the parents who gave up their time and to Dani Scott for helping to organize the whole event. We will be arranging a similar exercise for the Lower School pupils during Activities Week. We are such a richly diverse community and it is a real strength of the school. When the children were asked in the Year 4 and 7 Chapel if they spoke another language at home I was amazed by how many hands went up.

In assembly, I also spoke to the children about the amazing week of European football last week, with Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool all getting into the final of the major European Cup competitions. There has been a lot of excitement about this incredible achievement of English clubs. I read an interesting article in The Guardian last week titled ‘How English football rules Europe – with a little help from foreigners.’ The article considers the make-up of the four teams and their managers and suggests that their success (as well as finance) is, in part, down to their diversity and how the different styles of football have blended.

‘..this season it seems as if the English clubs have found the perfect mix of the traditional strengths of English (British) football – being physical and working as a collective – and the passing game that has traditionally been played in mainland Europe.

 Klopp has played a major role in this by taking all that is good with English football and making it more European, moulding it into a formula that works on the biggest stage of all. Pochettino has done the same at Spurs. And part of the reason they have been so successful is that they have integrated completely in their new environs. Both managers have fallen in love with their clubs and, perhaps more importantly, the communities around them.’

I felt that this was a fitting story to share with the children during Languages Week when we try to understand different cultures and languages. By looking outwards, we can gain a better understanding of the world around us and become better people and communities. In learning other languages, discovering exciting cultures and traditions all our lives our enriched.

London to Paris Bike Ride and The Ball for a Wall

Continuing with the European theme you will have seen the email from Mr Symes and Mr Fleet yesterday about their planned 220 mile bike ride from London to Paris for enthusiastic parents and staff. Paul and James will be promoting this additional fundraising event for the new Sports Hall at the ‘Ball for a Wall’ on June 8th. I am getting very excited about the ball and particularly seeing Belmont and Mill Hill West End stars singing alongside Totem as well as enjoying the pre-dinner drinks listening to our jazz band. Some tickets are still available and if you are interested please click here. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

I wish all of our musical children a fantastic couple of days performing in Brighton and I hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

Best wishes,

Leon Roberts