Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag Franzi! (Happy Birthday Franzi!) Ever tried making the Brandenburg Gate out of spaghetti and marshmallows? How about singing ‘happy birthday’ in German? The Year 5 students visiting St Mary’s on 18th November tried these, and many other fun activities, as part of ‘Franzi’s Birthday Party’, an inventive approach to introducing young students to German language and culture.
Created and hosted by the St Mary’s MFL Department, the special day was enjoyed by a lovely group of 28 girls from Fynamore Primary, Daneshill, Kitebrook, St Margaret’s and Winchester House Prep Schools.
The lesson followed a storyline of getting ready for Franzi’s birthday party, and culminated in the girls singing ‘happy birthday’ in German, as an amazing three-layer chocolate birthday cake was presented to ‘Franzi’, with all the girls enjoying a big slice of cake each afterwards!
During the day, they learnt to count (it was Franzi’s 8th birthday!) and learnt the words for colours in German, made a birthday card and party hats, sang the ‘Hello’ and birthday songs in German, and experienced a taste of German culture.
This was the second time ‘Franzi’s Birthday Party’ had been held at St Mary’s. The lesson was previously filmed by the Goethe-Institut and the resulting film has been shown nationally as an example of ‘Best Practice’ in teaching the German language.
At St Mary’s all the girls in LIV Form (Year 7) study Mandarin and Latin and they can also choose one additional language from French, Spanish or German. Classroom lessons are then put into practice with language trips and exchanges offered to the girls throughout their school years, as a chance to use their language skills amongst native speakers.