SEVEN Wearside schools are through to the finals of a younger version of this month’s Eurovision Song Contest.
The Year Four youngsters will be taking part in a Song for Europe foreign-language music event at the Durham Gala Theatre on Wednesday, May 6.
Pupils at Castletown Primary School and St Mary’s RC Primary in Meadowside will be singing in Italian.
Children from the city’s Ryhope and Diamond Hall junior schools, along with Houghton’s Bernard Gilpin Primary, will be hitting the right notes in French.
Singing in Spanish will be children from Newbottle Primary Academy and Our Lady Queen of Peace RC Primary at Penshaw.
Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead and County Durham will also be represented by youngsters singing songs in languages other than English.
The event is being staged ahead of the 60th Eurovision Song Contest, taking place in Austria on Saturday, May 23.
It has also been scheduled to mark Europe Day, celebrated annually across the continent on Saturday, May 9. Sunderland City Council’s executive director of people services, Neil Revely, said: “It is great to see so many Sunderland schools entering the competition and enjoying this challenge.
“Foreign language skills are very important. Apart from increasing mutual understanding, learning and speaking a foreign language helps build skills in summarising information and multi-tasking.
“We also know how important it is for our learners to have strong foreign language skills if they are to be well prepared for the world of work in our global economy and to compete for jobs in Sunderland and the wider world.
“I’m sure learning to sing in a foreign language is just as difficult, but I’m sure it’s also been great fun and good luck to everyone when they’re at the Gala.”
Altogether, there are 29 schools in the competition, and each one has a maximum of three minutes to perform its entry.
Schools are being asked to award points ranging from one to four for every performance except their own, and the winner will be the school awarded the highest number of points.
The competition has been organised by Europe Direct North East, an information centre aiming to raise awareness and understanding of all things European for anyone living, working or studying in the region.