Francofest competition at Queen’s University

Francofest is an annual competition at Queen’s University, Belfast where students have to make a product to sell at a trade show and customers only speak French! Saintfield High entered a team for the first time on 4th February 2020 and 33 other schools from across Northern Ireland also entered. We spent the month of January (working at lunchtimes and after school) creating the product and preparing our French pitches. We decided to produce Valentine’s Day decorations, made out of household waste materials, for example, heart wreaths made out of toilet rolls, we made romantic picture frames using cotton wool balls, we made candle holders out of soup tins and decorated boxes of sweets out of match boxes. We also had to prepare answers to customer questions and practise listening to names, phone numbers and email addresses being spelt out in French. Our participants (Megan Hunter, Samera McMullan, Ellen McIver and Stephanie Patterson) showed incredible commitment and talent during our month of preparations and on the competition day, they showed unwavering bravery and self-assurance as they had to endure 45 minutes of customers (who were in fact judges) speaking to them in French and asking many complicated questions!! Our team did not win the overall prize, but our pupils had an unforgettable experience. They gained confidence in their French speaking skills, learned how to deal independently with challenging situations and demonstrated fantastic team skills. The French department is exceptionally proud of Megan, Samera, Ellen and Stephanie.