This year’s Easter Bonnet Competition started the school’s spring break.
The Easter bonnet is a type of hat that women and girls wear to Easter services, and (in the United States) in the Easter parade following it. Ladies purchased new and elaborate designs for particular church services, and in the case of Easter, taking the opportunity of the end of Lent to buy luxury items. Now, in a more casual society, Easter Bonnets are becoming harder to find, as fewer and fewer women follow the tradition.We started off with some sweet snacks brought by the students and volunteer tutors to give us some energy. Then, everybody got on with the work..
The judges (our chairman David Howes, volunteer tutor observer Gaele Macfarlane and a board member Norman) could see that everybody worked really hard on their bonnets. and put lots of imagination and effort into it.
As the students paraded and showed off their bonnets around the school, the judges were overwhelmed with both the quality and the amount of English spoken.
As usual the standard of entries was outstanding and it was even more difficult than ever to choose a winner! The 3 winners (Lilian, Hasnaa and Nora) received chocolate eggs.
We, at the Stirling School of English, held our Burns Night ceilidh on the evening of 24th January 2019 at Stirling’s Albert Halls to celebrate the birthday, life and achievements of Robert Burns, who is widely considered to be Scotland’s national poet.
To start our celebration, the haggis for our dinner was ceremonially piped into the hall, with Hugh reciting the poem “To a Haggis” as he cut it up. Our meal consisted of a cock-a-leekie soup, haggis, neeps (which are a kind of turnip) and mashed tatties (potatoes), followed by a chocolate-and-cream topped fruit trifle, which is a sweet and traditional dessert. We all had great conversations around the tables and made some international friends.
Margaret then delivered the ‘Immortal Memory’, a speech talking about the life and achievements of Burns, about his birth into a farming family and his rise to his status as Scotland’s national bard, with word of his poems spreading and putting his work in high demand. Catherine Burns recited his famous poem ‘To a Mouse’ and we were also told how he, of course, very much liked the ladies and would write love poems and record traditional songs across Scotland.
After this, our band for the evening played us some songs by Burns and fully engaged the assembled crowd, also adding the Proclaimers’ “500 Miles” to the list of songs, as this is a firm favourite.
This was followed by ceilidh dancing, expertly taught to us by Duncan and Margaret. It was a very successful evening and had a great attendance of people from around the world to celebrate this occasion.
Our new class – LOCAL ACCENTS AND PRONUNCIATION – starts on 23rd January.
Wednesdays, 6:00 – 7:30 PM, at the Volunteer Scotland venue: Jubilee House, Forthside Way, Stirling FK8 1QZ. The classes will be based on recorded clips by local people and involve a lot of vocabulary learning, listening and role plays.
Further details: email@example.com, 07925249243
You are warmly invited to our annual Burns Supper and Ceilidh to celebrate the birthday of the most famous Scottish national poet. The ticket is £5 (if bought in advance, or £7 at the door) and includes a three-course meal. There will be lots of fun, dancing and music.
More info and ticket sales: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07925249243.
You can choose from: social/general English at various levels, Conversation classes at various levels, Academic English, IELTS preparation, Cambridge Exams Preparation (FCE, CAE, CPE), Driving Theory, Citizenship Course, English for Citizenship, English for Nursing and Medicine, Pronunciation and Local accents (from 23rd Jan).
If you are looking for a class that is not mentioned above, please send us an email (email@example.com) and we will do our best to find a tutor for you.
The AM classes take place in the Rock Centre, 61-63 Murray Place, FK8 1AP
The EVE classes take place in Wallace High School, Airthrey Rd, FK9 5HW.
It hardly seems like a couple of weeks since we were dookin’ for apples in preparation for Halloween, but it’s already mid-December, and it really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Our evening students started off our Christmas celebration by having fun at The William Wallace pub.
This year’s Christmas party at the Stirling School of English was another celebration of seasonal cheer and festive fun, with students and staff once again providing the entertainment. It was a joyful occasion in which everyone had the chance to put their talents to good use!
After racking our brains with Duncan’s Scottish and Christmas-themed quiz, we enjoyed a delightful musical interlude from Jeremy and Carolyn on flute and violin. Cheryl’s intermediate group then provided some laughter with their limericks, and this was followed by Alfredo and his band of hispanohablantes performing some traditional Christmas songs in Spanish. ¡Qué gran actuación!
As if to get us in the mood for the traditional sprouts-and-all Christmas dinner, Duncan and his evening intermediate class presented their turkey poem, before Lore led us through The Twelve Days of Christmas. Rather than five gold rings, the next part of the proceedings involved four inflatable hoops. The pre-intermediate group introduced the legendary “Inflatable Reindeer Antler Ring Toss Party Game”: a true test of skill, sporting prowess and hand-eye coordination. To be honest, it wasn’t a high-scoring competition, but we’ve all got plenty of time to get some practice in before next December. Good effort all round, though!
Following Richard and Bill’s Christmas medley on piano and saxophone, Margaret and the upper-intermediate and advanced students presented their Christmas tableau. With students and tutors in full costume (and Richard’s dog, Lottie, playing a sheep) they entertained us with an imaginative retelling of the Nativity story. (Watch out for those grumpy camels!)
Every Christmas celebration needs a carol or two, and so we had a fabulous multi-lingual performance of Silent Night, sung beautifully in English, Spanish, Polish, German and Italian. Jeremy’s conversation class recited Longfellow’s thought-provoking American Civil War poem Christmas Bells,and from Christmas Bells we moved onto the Christmas Alphabet, sung by the tutors. After hearing about “candy trimmed around the Christmas tree” and“icing on the cake as sweet as sugar cane”, it was fortune that it was then time for some party food! We enjoyed a wonderful selection of tasty treats,including festive favourites such as mince pies, stollen and Brussels sprout-flavoured crisps. Well, perhaps the sprout crisps aren’t (and never willbe) a festive favourite, but everything else was fantastic. With our paper plates piled high with biscuits, cake and other goodies, we then had the chance to relax, mingle, and chat about our plans for the holidays.
It’s fair to say everyone had a great time, and it was a wonderful way to finish the semester. Thank you very much to all the students and staff for making this event such a success, and of course, special thanks to our master of ceremonies, Ilona, for all the planning, preparation and organisation. Great work!
So, as the year draws to a close, it’s time for us to chuckanother log on fire, enjoy some time with family and friends, and recharge ourbatteries in readiness for the new term starting on 8 January (not forgetting theBurns Supper and Ceilidh on the 24th!). Until then, as Judy Garland sang inMeet Me in St. Louis (ask Richard), have yourself a merry little Christmas!
On 27th November (slightly early) the school celebrated St. Andrew’s Day with a ceilidh at the Albert Halls in Stirling. David Howes, the chairman of our charity, gave a short presentation on the life of St. Andrew and how he became the patron saint of Scotland.
The international nature of the school was highlighted with flamenco dancing by Jennifer and Marta; German lantern songs by Lore, Alfredo, Dirk and Kim; Scots songs by Duncan and Jim; and Irish music for flute and violin by Jeremy and Carolyn.
The CEO of Volunteer Scotland, our guest speaker, George Thomson made an appal on behalf of IBBA girls school in Sudan (https://www.ibbagirlsschool.org/) and during the event we raised £146 for them.
Following a supper of Scottish food (stovies), the 80+ attendees danced the night away with country dancing- Gay Gordons, Dashing White Sergeant, Strip the Willow and many more.
Everyone had a fun and happy evening. The next similar event will be held in the Albert Halls on 24th January at 6:15pm to celebrate Burns Night.