French pen-pals from College Stanislas, Cannes

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French pen-pals from College Stanislas, Cannes

French pen-pals from College Stanislas, Cannes

The day for the long-awaited visit of the French pen-pals from College Stanislas Cannes, France finally arrived. Madame Nathalie Babin, teacher of English, 2 other teachers and their 32 students arrived in school on Wednesday 16th May generating great excitement amongst the Senior 2 girls.

Our French and Maltese youngsters exchanged greetings and gifts and struggled with great motivation to make each other understood in the foreign language they are studying.

To coincide with this visit, Madame Elisabeth Du Breil De Pontbriand, Cultural Councillor at the French Embassy and Mademoiselle Marie Christophe, Press Officer and Assistant to the Cultural Advisor, were invited to join this event and visited our school. A donation of French books was made to our school library.

The girls sang and danced to a French song and the French students sang 2 songs.

In 2011, through a contact at the Embassy of France, Ms Daniela Coppini was put in touch with Madame Nathalie Babin and consequently, every year, our students of Senior 2 exchange letters with French students their age. For the past 7 years our students corresponded with Collège Sainte Thérèse in Nice. When Madame Babin moved to Cannes, we moved with her and for the first time we welcomed the students of Collège Stanislas in Cannes.

Our school has always had strong links with France ; our foundress is St Emilie de Vialar from Gaillac.

After the first terrorist attacks in Paris in January 2015, the girls in Senior 1 (today’s Senior 3s) overwhelmed by the tragedy, spontanously created tributes in solidarity with France in the form of drawings, prayers & messages. There was enough to fill a large notice board. After photos of these tributes were posted on Ms Coppini’s Facebook page, these photos reached the Embassy of France and Ambassador of France Madame Béatrice le Fraper du Hellen asked to visit the school. We are very honoured to have another visit from the Embassy coinciding with the visit of our new friends from Cannes.

This activity has become a yearly tradition for the French department. Starting in September with the exchange of letters, the climax is our meeting in St Joseph School and this is the 7th group visit here. It generates a high level of excitement and anticipation. For example : when Ms Coppini gives an essay for homework, she is forever running after the girls for the work but when she asks for letters to send to France, it is the girls who run after her. Learning French is fun and it is an authentic method to experience and learn about French culture.

Thanks to Ms Coppini for organising this yearly event, and to Ms Dimech Ghirxi for capturing the happy moments of the day.