Guernsey Press

Students breathe new life into Bailiwick languages

Traditional Channel Island languages have been ringing out at Beau Sejour this week.

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Sark School pupils told the story of St Magloire in Sercquiais. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 33032141)

Schools across the Bailiwick returned to compete in the Guernesiais classes of the Eisteddfod for the first time since the pandemic.

Sark School also entered a group of pupils to tell the story of St Magloire – a Norman dragon-slayer who saved the people of Jersey – in Sercquiais. The pupils were awarded the Dr David de Lisle Trophy for entrants from other islands.

‘St Magloire slayed a dragon in Jersey and performed miracles in the Channel Islands,’ said Alex Texort, 8.

‘I have enjoyed learning a new language.’

Henry Turner, also 8, enjoyed learning Sercquiais and performing in the Eisteddfod.

‘I liked learning new pronunciation, we do this every year,’ he said.

In the Guernesiais classes, Blanchelande College, Amherst, Vauvert, Melrose and Forest all took part in various classes, including a new class for this year where each school can create their own piece.

Henry Pikett, 8, said that he had enjoyed preparing for this year’s Eisteddfod.

‘I have enjoyed learning Guernsey French,’ he said.

Blanchelande claimed the trophy in the group speaking class.

‘It was about a horse going to Torteval and it galloping and trotting and walking,’ said Izzy Ouhoh, 8.

Luca Brunetti added that he enjoyed it when the group all did a part of it together.

‘I liked it when we all did it in harmony,’ he said.

Sir Richard Collas presented the awards on behalf of the Guernsey Language Commission for the vocal musical item class and he spoke of the importance of young people taking part in things like the Guernesiais Eisteddfod.

‘It is such an important part of our heritage,’ he said when presenting the award to Vauvert Primary School.

‘Do keep the language alive.’