Prepositional Poetry

3/4 MN and 3/4 KC/NP have been working on poetry. But not the ordinary kind! It’s prepositional poetry! The students were provided with a setting e.g. a haunted castle and some images from the book, “Where the Forest Meets the Sea”. They let their imagination run wild by pretending they were actually there!

Each line is essentially a prepositional phrase. Can you spot the metaphors?

Some amazing work Year 3/4!  Please read some of their poems below.



Towards the horrible, black tunnel
In the deep, carved walls
On the faded, dusty stones
Against the door of mysteries
Below the old, rusty vines
Beside a small rotting chair
Alongside the lonely, dead tree
Above only the bright blue sky


By Jessica



In the roots of the rotting trees
on the tip of the palace
through the deep, dark scary entrance
between the mossy, stone walls
inside the lost house
near the darkened entrance
above the palace doors
on the webbed, stone walls


By Judd Harrison Edward Jackson



Across the crooked bridge
Through the noisy door
up the wonky, cracked stairs
in the haunted bedroom
inside the dark, unwelcoming wardrobe
through the hidden door
below the giant, crashing rocks
above the never ending floor
towards the ladder of doom
on the wobbly balcony
past the dead graves
near the resurrected zombie


By Riley Stam



This week’s focus language  is Nepalese which is spoken in Nepal.

Nepal is a small country landlocked between India and China. It is home to the highest mountains in the world- the Himalayas- and the birthplace of Buddha.

There are 28 million people living in Nepal, 80 different ethnic groups and 123 languages. Amazing!

At Holy family we have four students:

Osi G, 2EQ

Aashna P 6/7 EH

Advar A, R/1 MC

Shivansh P  3/4 DP

Janaki_Mandir temple

Janaki Mankir Temple (above) Buddha statue ( below)Lumbini



The majestic HimalayasHimalaya





Happy Diwali

Happy Diwali to our Hindu families,

The Indian Festival of Lights, is the most widely celebrated festival of the people from the Indian sub-continent and across the whole world. Deepavali means rows of lights, it is the festival symbolising victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. Though there are many mythological explanations to this wonderful festival, however, in the current world what the festival of lights really stands for is a reaffirmation of hope, a renewed commitment to friend ship, religious tolerance, spreading the word of peace and harmony and above all, celebration of “simple joys of life”.



Back to South Sudan: Bari, Ma’di and Kuku

front officeThis week’s language of the week is three languages: Ma’di, Bari and Kuku. They are all spoken in South Sudan and in the northern neighbouring Uganda. We put them together because they are related in the Nilotic family of languages. Kuku is in fact a dialect of Bari.

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Happy children 🙂


Girl wearing traditional head gear.


The South Sudanese love to celebrate with dance and music!girls



Beehive house made of young branches and twine.toposa-tukels

South Sudan experiences the largest animal migration in Africa.

largest animal migration in africa


Our Holy Family students


Ruth and Nathan Amale (Dennis Amale not shown)


Paul Yata, Steve Mori, George Geri and Patience Mori ( Grace Kwaje not shown)


Arnold Wani

Speaking in tongues: the many benefits of bilingualism

Speaking in tongues: the many benefits of bilingualism

by Teresa Parodi
Lecturer of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, University of Cambridge

We live in a world of great linguistic diversity. More than half of the world’s population grows up with more than one language. There are, on the other hand, language communities that are monolingual, typically some parts of the English-speaking world.

In this case, bilingualism or multilingualism can be seen as an extraordinary situation – a source of admiration and worry at the same time. But there are communities where bilingualism or multilingualism are the norm – for example in regions of Africa. A Cameroonian, for example, could speak Limbum and Sari, both indigenous languages, plus Ewondo, a lingua franca, plus English or French, the official languages, plus Camfranglais, a further lingua franca used between anglophone and francophone Cameroonians.

On a smaller scale, we all know families where bilingualism or multilingualism are the norm, because the parents speak different languages or because the family uses a language different from that of the community around them.

How difficult is it for a child to grow up in such an environment? And what are bilingual children capable of? Well, they are capable of quite a lot, even at a very young age. They can understand and produce expressions in more than one language, they know who to address in which language, they are able to switch very fast from one language to the other.

Noses for grammar

Clearly we are talking here of a range of different skills: social, linguistic and cognitive. Social skills are the most known: bilingual children are able to interact with speakers of (at least) two languages and thus have direct access to two different cultures.

But they also have linguistic skills, some very obvious, such as understanding and using words and expressions in different languages. A less obvious aspect is that bilingual children have a raised awareness for how language “works”. For example, bilinguals are better than monolinguals of the same age at pinpointing that the sentence “apples growed on trees” is bad, and “apples grow on noses” is fine, but doesn’t make sense.

Less known are the cognitive skills developed by bilinguals, an issue of great interest for research at the moment, as seen, for example, in work by Ellen Bialystok and colleagues. Probably due to the practice of switching languages, bilinguals are very good at taking different perspectives, dealing with conflicting cues and ignoring irrelevant information. This skill can be applied to domains other than language, making it an added value of bilingualism.

Is it worth it?

What if one of the languages is not a “useful” one because, for example, it does not have many speakers (for example, Cornish)? Is it worth exposing the child to it? The linguistic, social and cognitive advantages mentioned above hold, independently of the specific languages. Any combination of languages has the same effect.

A common worry is that trying to speak two (or more) languages could be too strenuous for the child. But there is no need for concern: learning to speak is more similar to learning to walk than it is to learning a school subject. Learning to speak is genetically programmed. The brain is certainly able to cope with more than one language, as research and experience shows.

There could be a practical problem, though, in providing enough exposure to the languages. The stress is then on the parents to ensure the opportunity to interact with speakers of the languages in question. Bilingualism is not genetic: having parents who speak different language does not guarantee a bilingual child.

Code-switching is cool

Another frequent worry is that of the child learning two half languages, short of the “proper” version of either of them. One may, for example, hear bilinguals – children and adults – using words or expressions from two or more of the languages in their linguistic repertoire in a single sentence or text, a phenomenon known as code-switching.

Often people assume that the main reason for doing this is a lack of sufficient proficiency in one of the languages, such that the speaker cannot continue in the language they started in. They also often assume that the choice of the words from one language or the other is random. Far from it. Code-switching is common among bilinguals and, contrary to popular belief, it follows grammatical rules.

Research has shown regular patterns in code-switching, influenced by the languages concerned, by community norms and by which language(s) people learn first or use more frequently. Very often, code-switchers are very highly proficient in the languages concerned. Code-switching also follows social rules: bilingual children only use it if they know the interlocutor knows the “other” language.

Additionally, if asked for clarification, they know if they have spoken too quietly or used the wrong language, and only switch in the latter case. Both bilingual children and adults have a range of reasons, including sociolinguistic reasons to code-switch. Code-switching can be cool!

All typically developing children will learn one language. To learn more than one they need the opportunity and the motivation. Growing up with more than one language is an asset well worth the investment.


Namaskara: more info


Kannada is spoken in the Indian state of Karnataka and this is the third Indian language we looked  at Holy Family this semester.

We have four students speaking it:

Kushi and Sukhi Venkantesh ( yr 4 and 2)

Unnati Arabhavi ( yr 2)

Ashmita Shiva ( yr 2) , currently in India, so surely practising her Kannada!

Here they are introducing themselves.


Karnataka State



Bangalore is the state’s capital. It’s a modern city and an world exporter of Information Technology.


Karnataka has also many amazing historical buildings.


Stay tuned for next week’s language!