Guernsey Press

Sark pupils take to stage to speak in native tongue

SARK SCHOOL made its annual visit to Guernsey’s Eisteddfod to take part in two classes in the speech and drama section and one in the section for Guernesiais.

Pupils from Sark School telling the story of the island’s patron saint, St Magloire, in its native tongue, Sercquais. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 31917353)

This was a preliminary entry in the Guernesiais classes, with the main body due to take place on Saturday.

It saw eight of the pupils, aged from seven to nine, sing a song in Sark’s own language, Sercquais, telling the story of the life of St Magloire, Sark’s patron saint, from the point of view of the island’s rabbits.

They had learned it under the tuition of Sercquais student Martin Neudorfl, who has been teaching at the school via the internet from his home in the Czech Republic for several years, thanks to a grant provided by La Societe Sercquais and Charles University in his home country.

He visits Sark every year for a month or two and so was able to see the children perform at Beau Sejour theatre.

He said it was a traditional song that was the prologue to a long-lost play.

Sark School head teacher Michelle Brady took over the role last September and so was enjoying her first trip to the Eisteddfod.

‘I know they have taken part a couple of times before and it’s something really important,’ she said.

After the children’s performance, adjudicator Pierre Tostevin praised their efforts and urged them to continue learning the language.

He awarded them 87 marks and the David De Lisle Trophy, with all eight of the youngsters going up to receive it.