Cuddington Croft School in Cheam turned into a mini-United Nations the other week as the primary school celebrated its own linguistic diversity with a languages day.
Parents, other family members and some of the school's older children gave an introduction to the wide variety of languages spoken by the school family, including Russian, Italian, Catalan, Gujurati and Urdu.
"It was a hugely enjoyable experience for the children and a really useful educational exercise too," said Cuddington's languages leader Jo Garcia. "The children are always happy to have visitors come in and to talk about something new and different, so they were fascinated by what they learned over the course of the day."
Teaching methods such as songs and food were used to teach new words, and the children discovered the origins of many words which have become part of the English language but which come from overseas.
"That was a particularly interesting part, as it made them think more about their own language," added Ms Garcia. "Who knew 'English' words such as pukka and loot originally come from Asian languages?".
As a school, Cuddington is very familiar with the idea of opening its doors to external educational influences. It is part of the GLF Schools group, a rapidly-expanding Surrey-based multi-academy trust which runs over a dozen schools across four counties, based on a system of collaborative learning.
"Days like this really reinforce the message of what a community a school is, and how the whole is made up of the sum of its very different parts, and that's a wonderful message for the children to take home at the end of the day," said Cuddington's humanities leader Diggory Dunn.
"This was knowledge that they really wanted to take home and share with their families, which is what good education is all about, so thank you so much to all the visitors and volunteers who gave up their time to make the day such a success. Everyone benefited."
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