The whole school community - students, parents and teachers - came together to celebrate OWL Day on 26 September.


What is OWL Day and why 26 September?


OWL Day is when we stop and take time to celebrate Our World Languages (OWL) - we now have more than 60 languages and cultures here at ISH. 26 September is the European Day of Languages - an initiative of the Council of Europe since 2001. As an international school - and an IB school - our diverse cultures and languages are really important to us.

In celebrating our huge diversity of languages and cultures we really wanted to do 4 things:

  • start a conversation - between students and students, students and teachers, teachers and parents etc. etc. - about what our languages and cultures mean to us as individuals;
  • learn first-hand about our languages and cultures;
  • give students and parents and teachers (and all our staff members) an opportunity to 'show off' their own language and culture and share their favourite elements with the wider school community;
  • engage the whole school community - and make sure that no student regardless of age was left out.

So what happened?

Thanks to the amazing efforts and contributions of our students, parents and all the school staff, we were able to enjoy a massive variety of activities based on our languages and cultures.

Highlights of the day included:

  • classes and activities in PYP led by MYP and DP students - ranging from Polish dancing and Irish culture to baking typical English shortbread;
  • market place stalls in the aula led by MYP and DP students and parents showcasing their languages and cultures - and food. The market place has more than doubled in size since last year and we needed to expand into the DP courtyard. In total we had 15 market stalls in the aula and 10 in the DP courtyard! Stalls ranged from Arabic designs to freshly made French crèpes and covered many languages – and snacks – in between;
  • classes and activities in MYP led by students - ranging from Shakespearian insults to learning about Kannada culture;
  • activities outside led by students and parents – ranging from Finnish hockey (and hard rock!) to Greek Olympic games – as well as some Australian inspired activities;
  • mother tongue presentations in the library - thanks to students and staff members who presented to a packed audience.
  • These are just a few of the highlights - and we hope that the conversations will continue.

Take a look at this video by our AV Club to get a feel for what the day looked like!

We will continue to try and stimulate and encourage the conversations - with Language of the Month (Spanish in October) and more initiatives taking place throughout the year to celebrate our languages and cultures.

We are developing an archive for all of our Language of the Month activities – which we are updating every month – please take a look:

OWL Day will be back in 2024 - it will be even bigger and better!

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