Crab Lane Community Primary School

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14th October 19
Trail : home : EAL

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Last year more than 25,000 primary school children in England and Wales took part in the Premier League Writing Stars Poetry Competition.

Mrs. Fercsi entered poems written by our EAL children. "Try try again" was the book they read, full of highly commended entries by 5-11 year old children, as well as poems penned by special guests. The children used their poems to inspire them.

Crab Lane was one of the first 1000 schools to take part and today we received a Premier League bag filled with fantastic poetry books, from authors including Joseph Coelho and Julia Donaldson. All the books have been specially picked by the National Literacy Trust.

"When you are learning another language, you learn to think in that language, you learn to speak in that language and you learn to believe in that language and it allows you to think from a completely different perspective: it's not just about the words and the grammar but the culture and the language it is associated with.

"It's a skill - a talent - and I hope those of you learning a new language continue to do so because the more you learn, the broader your mind becomes and allows you to think
            Malala Yousafza
Youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner and education activist

'Mother Tongue Other Tongue' is a multilingual poetry competition that celebrates cultural diversity and the many languages spoken in schools in the UK. There are two separate parts to the poetry competition and children can enter one or both parts of the competition.

The 'Mother Tongue' part of the competition requires children who do not have English as a first language, or who speak a different language at home, to share a lullaby, poem or song from their Mother Tongue. They then write a short piece in English to explain the poem’s significance to them. The 'Other Tongue' part of the competition encourages children learning another language in school to use that language creatively to write a poem.

Last year our school went to the 'Mother Tongue Other Tongue' competition celebration at Manchester University. And this year, we were privileged to have four fantastic guests in our school to help us with our preparation for this year's competition.

Malika Booker is a British poet, writer and artist. She is considered "a pioneer of the present spoken word movement" in the UK. Organisations for which she has worked include Arts Council England, the BBC, British Council, Wellcome Trust, National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Arvon, and Hampton Court Palace.

Basir Kazmi won a North-west playwrights’ workshops award in 1992. His plays have been performed at many northern theatres. His poem, ‘Taking Time’, selected by the Poems for the Waiting Room project (2001), was displayed in UK hospitals and clinics. One of his couplets, with English translation (‘The true-hearted can settle - no matter which land. A flower wants to bloom, wherever its garden.’), was carved in stone and installed at McKenzie Square in Slough in 2008. Basir has been awarded an MBE (2013) for services to literature as a poet.

Noor Mohammad, the 'Mother Tongue Other Tongue' Project Support Officer and Robert Nelson from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Twenty year 5 and 6 children listened to Mr Basir Kazmi who educated them about poetry; what a rhyme, ghazal, refrain and couplets are. After they understood how a poem builds up, they had chances to write poems in their mother language, which they then presented to each other. Children translated it to Mr Kazmi, whom then commented on their written works and praised their creativity. 

Children wrote in 11 languages: Polish, Spanish, Farsi, Urdu, Cantonese, Ugandan, Portuguese, English, Italian, Arabic and Deutch. First, they wrote poems that rhymed, secondly, free style.

We had a great afternoon; the children enjoyed all the advice from the experts and gorgeous poems were created that day.


Children who took part in the poetry afternoon for the Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition, continued their hard work and some of them wrote new poems.

The deadline is 15th of May, so we are sending the best ones off and keeping our fingers crossed for a "WINNER" outcome.

Take a look at their beautiful work, hopefully we will see all of these again at the Award Ceremony.

Before the holiday, some EAL children from Nursery up to Year 5 had a chance to take part in the RSPB BIG SCHOOLS' BIRDWATCH.

First, we looked at photos of different kind of birds. We talked about what they eat, learnt about parts of the the bird and made some bird feeders (some of them were quickly emptied by hungry squirrels robbing the wild birds of a tasty meal).

We practised the nursery rhyme, "Two Little Dickie Birds" with Nursery and Reception children. We named and coloured our favourite birds and we fed chicks on the iPad.

With the older children, we learnt lots of interesting facts: why birds are so important and what migration means? Why the bird population is decreasing and how we can protect them?

Then finally, we went out in our fabulous Woodland Garden for the Crab Lane Big Schools' bird count. Luckily we saw many different birds and listened to their lovely songs too.



This is the certificate we earned and above, some photos of the event.