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French diplomat backs Harold Wood school charity

PUBLISHED: 18:00 12 January 2014

Yves Letournel with pupils of Redden Court School

Yves Letournel with pupils of Redden Court School

Archant

Budding linguists were thrilled to be paid a visit by a French diplomat who gave his backing to their school’s charity.

The pupils presented the French cultural attaché (5th from right) with this piece of artwork. The pupils presented the French cultural attaché (5th from right) with this piece of artwork.

Yves Letournel, cultural attaché from the French embassy, attended a special event at Redden Court Scool in Cotswold Road, Harold Wood, after meeting Meg Ryan, director of Rainbow Nation.

The in-school project started out as an anti-racist campaign seven years ago, and is hoping to become a national charity next year after going from strength to strength.

Meg, who is also head of art at the academy, said: “We were honoured that the French Embassy has shown support for the aims of Rainbow Nation.

“Yves made a huge impact on our students, encouraging them to aspire to be the best in everything they do.”

The visit kicked off in style as the Rainbow Nation choir performed the French national anthem – La Marseillaise.

Yves then held a question and answer session – in his native tongue – with a Year 9 French class.

Ann Jones, head of languages, said: “It was a great experience for them. Yves praised their use of French and encouraged them to embrace languages as something that will enhance their lives.”

Yves was then presented with a piece of art work called Un Amour (One Love), created by the art class, and promised students the piece would be displayed proudly in the embassy.

Year 10 pupils spoke afterwards about the event.

Mollie, 15, said: “I love languages and Yves has inspired me to be fluent in French, German and Russian.”

James, 14, said: “We study several languages and Yves encouraged us to take all opportunities and to aim high in life.”

Nathan, 14, said: “We are very proud that our artwork will be hung in the embassy and look forward to Yves coming back for our art exhibition in the summer.”

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