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St John’s talk the talk

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


STUDENTS from a Chepstow school learnt three languages as part of a national language competition.
The Junior Language Challenge is a national competition run by Eurotalk, a language software company, whose aim is to encourage children to learn foreign languages through online computer games.
Youngsters from years five and six at St John’s-on-the-Hill School, Chepstow all started the Eurotalk Junior Language Challenge by learning German with six children gaining enough points to get through to the semi-final.
Their next task was to learn Greek over the summer holidays with pupils showing dedication and thoroughly enjoying the challenge.
Thirty children from other counties in the region joined the semi-final round in September with only three children going through to the final. It was a very tense competition but two St John’s boys, Morgan Fry and Briden Whitbread, showed fantastic flare and a real solid aptitude for languages to secure two places in the national final.
The third and final challenge was to learn Chichewa, the language spoken in Malawi, in less than a month.
The final was held on Friday 18th October at the Languages Show at Olympia in London, where the final 30 children from all over the UK gathered to compete in public for the coveted first prize of a family trip to Africa.
St John’s boys Morgan and Briden worked incredibly hard under a lot of pressure and when the final scores went up, Briden finished in fifth place and Morgan in second place.
Morgan won a brand new tablet along with a medal and certificate which were presented by Martha Payne, the schoolgirl who led the Mary’s Meals initiative with her blog about school dinners.
Briden’s father, Kevin, said: “Briden enjoyed the opportunity to learn three new languages and we are really pleased that his efforts paid off to secure him a place in the final.”
Morgan’s parents Nadine and Paul Fry added: “We are both really proud of Morgan and all he has achieved.
“He loved learning German, Greek and Chichewa and put in a huge amount of work. The Junior Language Challenge has definitely fuelled his passion for languages.”
Nick Folland, headmaster at St John’s, said: “This is a fantastic achievement; both boys competed against thousands of other children.”

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