The British Academy has today announced the 2015 winners of its Schools Language Awards. From more than 150 applications submitted from across the UK, 14 prizes of £4,000 each are being awarded to schools and colleges – or institutions supporting them – for innovative projects aimed at increasing the numbers of students learning languages at higher levels. Spanning 17 languages, the awards are being made across both mainstream and supplementary sectors.
Alun Evans, Chief Executive and Secretary of the British Academy, said:
"Congratulations to the 2015 winners. Our Awards aim to find innovative and inspiring ways of encouraging more students to study languages to higher levels of education. We're delighted that schools across the UK have responded passionately with such high quality applications, understanding the importance of language skills. We hope they will continue to inspire and challenge their pupils with learning initiatives and help to ensure the next generation are thoroughly equipped with the language skills they need."
A panel of judges assessed the originality, credibility and potential replicability of the proposals, with particular emphasis this year on building partnerships.
Find out more about the British Academy Schools Language Awards 2015 here.
The 2015 winners are:
St John's RC High School – a partnership with the University of Dundee enabling 14–17 year olds from Dundee secondary schools to work on 'Business and Languages in the Digital World'. The project aims to develop the employability skills of 100 students and encourage them to recognise the relevance of studying both business and languages.
Swansea University – the creation of a 'Classics Hub' to enable Latin and Classics teaching in South Wales comprehensive schools. In the first year, 50 11–14 year olds will be able to study Latin/Classics for one year after school hours and there will be a pan–Wales conference for teachers on the importance of learning ancient and modern languages.
St. Mary's Grammar School, Magherafelt – will involve 40 Sixth Form students who are learning Irish or from an Irish medium background, enabling them to develop media skills by creating Irish language videos and radio broadcasts, an online blog and a YouTube channel.
Théâtre Sans Frontières (TSF) – this non–for profit theatre company will work with 60 less academic students at St Thomas More RC Academy, North Tyneside, to develop their confidence and competence in French through a drama and science project based on Louis Pasteur.
England (East and Midlands):
Hitchin Girls' School, Herts – Expanding on the Routes into Languages East Leader Award, developed by Rachel Hawkes, 'Project Polygot' will enable older pupils from the school, and from Cambridge University, to design and teach language lessons for younger students related to culture, literature and the arts, under the guidance of experienced teachers.
England (South East and South West):
Cornwall Learning – a 'Mini–Assistants' programme in which Sixth Form students undertake work placements in primary schools in Brittany. The project aims to raise aspirations and give a horizon beyond Cornwall for A level language students, and to encourage them to consider teaching as a career.
City of London Academy, Islington – the project will allow the school to develop community languages teaching after school hours for students who speak another language at home but have little literacy. It will also create a community languages lending library, starting with Portuguese, Turkish and Spanish and expanding to cover Somali, Bengali and Albanian.
F. Chopin Polish School in Southampton – the project will enable formal language teaching to be established for young people aged 14–17 in south Hampshire who speak Polish and English. The aim is to provide progression to higher levels of competence after they have completed GCSE.
Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service – a project seeking to exploit museum collections to provide cross curricular opportunities for developing speaking, listening and literacy skills in languages such as Malayalam, Portuguese, Polish and Lithuanian, spoken by families in Suffolk. Pupils will create a dual–language exhibition to share with family and visitors and gain sKills in the handling, interpretation and display of museum objects.
BAPS Swaminarayan School, Brent – the aim of this project is to provide professional training for voluntary teachers of Gujarati and to build capacity by developing the academic skills of current students in order to develop the next generation of Gujarati teachers.
Polish School Glasgow CIC – a project training secondary pupils to become radio presenters broadcasting in Polish. It aims to develop high level oral skills in Polish through the preparation of a weekly radio show covering topics such as music, drama and literature, as well as interviews with guests.
Dalgarno Supplementary School – the award will be used to develop a course to teach practical Arabic, French and Spanish through cooking, providing a positive, practical experience of language learning as well as cookery skills and an understanding of food safety.
Leicester Greek School and Milton Keynes Greek School – the project aims to develop higher–level learning of Greek through 'inquiry learning' in cross curricular activities such as ICT, art, and photography.
Rauf Denktas Turkish School – a project designed to enable older students who attend the school to communicate for real purposes, supported by a programme of visits and talks from external speakers. The project involves stories, poems and the production of a school newspaper and will draw on interviews with parents and grandparents describing their experiences of migration from Cyprus or Turkey.
The judges also praised a number of other projects as highly commended:
- Bath Chinese School – Sustained Chinese Language learning programme
- Al–Ola Supplementary School – 1st Group (4–7 year olds): 'Funny Phonics'; 2nd Group (11–14 year olds): 'Speak Out, Speak Well'
- Manchester Metropolitan University / Routes into Languages – Manchester City FC/Manchester Metropolitan University Double Club
- Oldham Sixth Form College – The LIFT Parent Project (Languages: Inspiring Futures Together)
- London Academy of Excellence – International Debating Society
- Ridgeway High School, Wirral – Pathway to A Level
- Cefn Hengoed Community School – Key Stage 2/3 Transition Foreign Language Project
- Bellahouston Academy – Promoting Glasgow as a tourist destination