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British Academy Schools Language Awards 2014

On 28 November 2014, the British Academy was delighted to welcome teachers and students from 14 winning schools to the 2014 British Academy Schools Language Awards.

The schools were given the opportunity to present their projects as well as to meet the other winning schools and learn about their winning projects at an exhibition. This was followed by an awards ceremony where each school performed or produced a short video.

The Academy would like to thank Seema Pathan for hosting the awards. The Academy would also like to thank the following for presenting the awards: Dr Susanne Frane, Steve Eadon, Maria Papalouca, Jaqueline Minor, Musab Ismail, David Thomas, Carl Southwell, Lai Bo and Celia Britten FBA.

Robin Jackson, CEO at the British Academy said:
'The aim of these Awards is to find imaginative and effective ways of encouraging more learners to take languages to higher levels, and to encourage inclusiveness in the profile of language learners. It is clear from the response that mainstream and supplementary schools around the country share our concerns and we are delighted to have received so many high quality applications. We heartily congratulate the winning projects, whose progress we will follow with great interest. We hope they will become beacons of good practice and inspiration and help to turn the tide on Britain's language deficit.'

A panel of judges assessed the originality, credibility and potential replicability of the proposals and awarded 14 prizes of £4,000 each to the following schools. One school in each category was chosen as National Winner, winning an additional £2000:

Mainstream category:

South Sefton College (National Winner) – developing Sixth Form students as ‘Language Leaders’ to undertake work placements as Language Assistants in partner secondary schools and businesses (North) 

Alun School, Flintshire – a cross-curricular project based on a performance of Snow White in German (Wales)

Ballyclare High School – developing Year 10 pupils to be ‘Language Leaders’ with a particularly focus on German (Northern Ireland)

Craigroyston Community High School, Edinburgh – exploring entrepreneurship with a partner school in France through the creation of detective novellas (Scotland)

Ernulf Academy, St Neots – a recovery programme for languages within the school (formerly St Neots Community College) which has been in special measures and has had low take up for languages at GCSE (East and Midlands)

Plymstock School, Plymouth – a student-run social enterprise which will tour feeder primary schools to excite pupils about language learning (South East and South West)

University of London Institute of Education – developing innovative ways of teaching literature in foreign language lessons working with partner schools and student teachers (London)

Supplementary schools category:

Azza supplementary school, London (National Winner) – improving students’ skills in Arabic and English through the use of poetry, drama and the visual arts. Students are mainly from a Sudanese background

Churchill Gardens Primary Academy, London – A family and community learning project in partnership with local primary school aged children and parents to gain GCSEs in Arabic, and inspire students to study languages at a higher level

Leeds Chinese Community School – drama project involved three different groups of students to overcome barriers to taking Chinese A level

Liverpool John Paul II Polish Saturday School – A project designed to improve pupils’ skills in Polish and English through the use of Lowry paintings

Mind Your Language International, London – after-school drama activities in French for students from BME backgrounds in Hackney

Polish Saturday School in Manchester – awareness-raising project aimed at students and parents providing information about the benefits of language skills for university entrance and employment

Potters Bar Greek School – working with Goldsmith’s College to develop high level language skills and critical thinking through the use of art, drama, music and literature. 

The winning projects were selected by a panel of judges from more than one hundred applications from across the UK. 

The judges also praised a number of other projects as highly commended: 

  • The Courtauld Institute – Art history in a foreign language
  • CTC Kingshurst Academy, Solihull – Mi cultura, mi mismo
  • Deutsche Samstagsschule, Southampton – Support and encourage use of the German language
  • Greek Community School of St Charalambos, Bedfordshire – From here to there (technology project)
  • Harrogate Grammar School – Accelerating language learning using phonics for WW1 centenary
  • Hockerill Anglo-European College, Bishop’s Stortford – On-line video tutorials to support GCSE Japanese
  • Hua Hsia Chinese School, London NW7 – Applying CALL (computer-assisted language learning) and PBL (project-based learning) for learning Chinese Mandarin
  • Manchester Metropolitan University – Creativity and languages through film
  • Peace School, London NW2 – Arabic and digital media
  • Queen Elizabeth School, Cumbria – Parlez-vous la France?
  • St Aidan’s Catholic Academy, Sunderland – A year of languages
  • University of Wolverhampton – Successful transition and aspiration raising
  • University of London Institute in Paris – International Language Ambassadors
  • UTC Plymouth – Language employer project
  • York St John Business School – Making a future using languages a reality for all
  • Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni – Motivating through Mandarin
  • Ysgol Maes Garmon – GCSE French DVD for Welsh medium pupils

British Academy Schools Language Awards 2014 Adjudication Panel

Professor Nigel Vincent FBA (Chair) - Professor Emeritus of General and Romance Linguistics, University of Manchester

Colin Bradshaw – Head of the Senior School, Southlands English School in Rome and National Winner of the 2012 British Academy Schools Language Awards with Dallam School

Kathryn Board – Senior Consultant, Alcantara Communications LLP and former Chief Executive of CILT, the National Centre for Languages

Professor Celia Britton FBA - Professor of French and Francophone Literature, University College London

Baroness Sue Garden – Liberal Democrat peer and former Government Whip and Spokesperson for the Department for Culture Media and Sport; Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Higher Education), and the Department for Education.

Sunita Gordon - Head of External Affairs, University World News

Ceri James – Former Director, CILT Cymru

Lynne Jones – Professional Development Officer, SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages

Rachel Middleton – Director, Association for Language Learning

Dr Eugene McKendry - Director, Northern Ireland CILT and Lecturer, Queens University Belfast

John Rolfe – International School Award Manager, British Council

Pascale Vassie – Executive Director, National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education

Professor Janet Watson FBA - Leadership Chair for Language at Leeds University

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