Sister School Exchange Online
Throughout 2022, students of Japanese at Warners Bay High School participated in an online exchange with Japanese students in our sister School, Suginami Gakuin, communicating by sending cards, videos and presentations to Suginami.
Year 10 students improved their linguistic and cultural understanding of Japanese through sharing their home and family presentations for Australian and Japanese high school students. They also wrote emails in Japanese.
Year 7 students of Japanese posted New Year cards to our sister school students, written in Japanese and decorated with representations of Australian and Japanese cultural celebrations the time of New Year. 2022 has marked over 30 years of strong friendship in our bilateral relationship with Suginami Gakuin. We can’t wait until international school travel is allowed again!
The National Languages Competition
The Language Perfect Competition winners at our school reached Elite and Gold levels. They were awarded certificates and received a Pizza Party and Favourites boxes. Language Perfect sent official certificates for all students who achieved a high level. Well done to our high performing language students.
The WBHS Language Championship saw prizes of a $40 voucher for 1st in the school, Favourites box of chocolates, a Pizza Party lunch, certificates and commendations. As one student noted, "I like it because it's fun to compete with other people and I have already learnt loads. I love how I can see my mistakes." Well done Language champions!
French Cultural Food Incursions and Cultural Excursions
Year 7 French classes finished their unit on cafe culture by sampling ‘pain au chocolat’, ‘croissant’ and ‘grenadine’. Students learnt how to order food in French at the counter to prepare them for future travel experiences and Crepe Day. The local ‘’French Counter” market stall attended WBHS for a one day event and invited all French classes to taste the famous ‘crêpe’ cooked in the true French style. ‘Crêpe au chocolat’ ou ‘sucre et citron’ made freshly on site by Guillaume from French Counter. In total nearly 200 crepes were savoured and our students made us proud using their French to order their special treat. What a delicious way to celebrate the end of a fun but productive term in the French Classroom. Merci Guillaume.
Year 8 French celebrated Christmas in July the French way, honouring traditions by decorating a Bûche de Noël (Yule Christmas log). They also enjoyed learning about ‘le goûter’ (afternoon tea) savouring brioche and chocolate. The students also studied Bastille Day and Le Tour de France. Students enjoyed learning about these cultural events and will be learning about the Galette des Rois next (King's Cake tradition). C'est magnifique!
Film and Feast took place this year for our Year 8 and Year 10 students. On this day, we took our elective French students to watch ‘Le petit Nicolas’, a fun comedy following the mischievous adventures of a school boy and his friends. Students enjoyed a ‘croque monsieur’ and a drink from the local sandwich shop whilst watching the movie.
Year 9 and a handful of Year 8 students, took part in a Petanque tournament at the ‘French Petanque club’ in Nesca Park, Newcastle. After a few training sessions at school, the day of the competition arrived. They were placed in teams and played against St Pius High School. Volunteers from the club demonstrated to our students the various skills required to be a great Petanque player. Our students enjoyed their sausage sizzle and drink and played three games. A lot of fun was had by all and they really enjoyed playing the French National Sport in an authentic ‘boulodrome’.
On Saturday, 21 May, Year 12 French Continuers students went to Sydney University for a four-hour workshop organised by the NSW National Association of French Teachers. This workshop was led by senior markers of the HSC who shared their most valuable tips and tricks ahead of the HSC French Continuers writing and speaking exams. It was a very enjoyable and successful day and we had lots of fun along the way.
Japanese Cultural Food Incursions and Cultural Excursions
Traditional Japanese chef Dekura Sensei visited Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 Japanese students teaching them to create beautiful Makizushi display platters. As author of 18 books, we felt honoured to learn from his expertise. Dekura Sensei also gifted us a signed copy of his book, "Eat With Your Hands" available at https://www.eatyourbooks.com/authors/871/hideo-dekura or his website https://www.culinarysdekura.com/
Gyoza Day highlights included the amazing Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 students speaking Japanese when ordering their pork or vegetarian dumplings. Every student ordered to the best of their ability in Japanese and really enjoyed the dumplings served up by @NagisaJapaneseRestaurant and @Susuru. On a chilly day, the warm dumplings hit the spot! Oishii!
Cinema Anime: Years 8, 9 and 10 Japanese students watched "Josee, the Tiger and the Fish" at Kotara Cinemas. They also enjoyed a Japanese drink and burger from Another Burger Joint Kotara.
Students from Years 8 and 10 Japanese also participated in an excursion to Sydney to the Japanese Language Centre at Kirrawee High School. We all caught an early bus from the high school to the Centre. There, students were immersed in Japanese for 5 hours and participated in a range of workshops and games using vocabulary about descriptions, self-introductions, food and hobbies. At lunch the students sat in the Japanese garden and ate a Japanese style boxed lunch (obento) . We then headed to Sydney CBD where we explored Daiso (a Japanese dollar store) and Kinokuniya (a Japanese bookstore) before finally boarding the bus back to Warners Bay. It was a great day immersed in Japanese language and culture.
Year 8 also learnt about Shodō (Japanese tea ceremonies). Students learnt the 8-step process, tried traditional bitter Matcha and compared it to the sweet, popularised version. They then chose a sweet mochi (rice) ball to complement the bitterness of the tea. The flavours available were: chocolate, Yuzu, bubble milk or red bean. Students washed their hands, bowed, kneeled as they whisked the green tea and turned their bowls 180 degrees before slurping away.
Linguist of the Month
To recognise the great work being done by committed students studying Languages, Linguists of the Month for both French and Japanese were identified and awarded with certificates and prizes. Admirable linguists from Years 7-12 were celebrated for their skills in verb conjugation, vocabulary memorisation, outstanding ongoing effort in lessons and creating original texts using learnt grammatical topics. Well done to the Linguists of the Month award winners.
Professional Development of Languages Staff
The Language teachers at WBHS have a strong commitment to being lifelong learners and attended numerous professional learning events. Highlights of 2022 were the Hunter Head Teacher Network Day, JTAN Conference and a HSC marking day.
The Languages staff are highly collaborative and engaged in Statewide Staffroom Zooms and the regular Hunter Language Teachers’ Network meetings. With an aim to constantly improve their classroom practice, it is the students who benefit directly from the best practices, whether learning online or face to face.