The competitive spirit was high on Thursday 25th June at Selby College as Year 8 students from Brayton High School, Holy Family School, Carlton, Snaith School and Selby High School descended on the campus juggling their trade stand props, decorations and products.
Clutching berets, strings of onions and garlic, Eiffel Tower models, chef hats, bunting and paper chains, the youngsters certainly came prepared for Eurofest! The annual languages event returned to top-performing Selby College for the eighth year, providing pupils from schools in the local area with the opportunity to test their skills and demonstrate creative ideas in a simulated trade fair that resembled an Apprentice-style selling task – but with the additional challenge of conversing in French and Spanish! Alan Sugar would be impressed!
Mayor of Selby, Gavin Harding MBE kindly opened the event for the college and cut the flag bunting! He wished the students an enjoyable day, and even tried out a few phrases himself, saying: “It is lovely to see so many young people taking part from local high schools and also for them to experience a day here at my old college”.
The students from the four schools worked in teams to design and create different stalls; using their language skills to sell everything from cupcakes, bags and fruit cocktails to personalised iphone cases and flavoured edible pens!! Each school also provided an eye-catching tourist information stand with some particularly impressive banners and decor, highlighting the wide variety of tourist experiences to be found in Yorkshire, Paris and Barcelona.
Staff and students from York University, including PGCE MFL students and course leader Suzi Bewell, as well as from Selby College and the local schools, judged the competing teams according to their ability to communicate in French or Spanish. Claire Barber from event sponsor Routes into Languages at the University of Hull was also in attendance to see the students test out their skills.
After taking part in a hectic trade fair to generate the most sales from the customers visiting their stalls, the pupils has a short break before participating in 15-minute round-robin language workshops including Russian, Mandarin, Latin and British Sign Language (BSL). They also took part in a European-themed general knowledge quiz, before taking the opportunity to take a tour with our student ambassadors to look around the college’s impressive Abbot’s Road campus and extensive language lab facilities; available to them when they come to college in a few years’ time.
The event concluded with a special awards ceremony, which included an entertaining dance performance from the college’s Tourism & Travel students, before Deputy Principal Janet Meenaghan announced that Holy Family School, Carlton had won the overall Eurofest 2015 award for their enthusiastic selling techniques and conversation.
Holy Family MFL teacher Natalie Kirk said: “The students were delighted with their win at Eurofest and it has given them an amazing boost in confidence. They worked really hard to prepare for the event, by focusing on their pronunciation of French and Spanish and ensuring they had prepared their products and decorations well in advance. The students had a fantastic experience, they just wish they could do it all again next year!”
Each of the four schools had winning stands, which were declared as Selby High School’s Rizado Rizado, Holy Family School’s Petits Fours stand, Brayton High School’s La Boutique Bon Bons, and Snaith School’s Escargots. Individual star performers were also given a certificate of merit for their commendable efforts.
Everyone that took part was given a goody bag and certificate to take home. Thanks go to Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Heaven & Home in Selby and the British Council for their kind contributions and help, as well as our sponsors Routes into Languages (University of Hull) and Leeds-based Language Lab provider Sanako.
Heather Lister, Language Lecturer at Selby College said: “Eurofest is a great opportunity for local schools and the college to work together. The event allows young people to practise their language skills in a fun but equally educationally relevant way whilst also helping them recognise the value of being able to speak a foreign language.”
Report by Laura Carless, Marketing & Press Officer, Selby College, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel 01757 211048.