British Academy Schools Language Awards 2015

Mainstream category:


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.

Northern Ireland:

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.

England (North)

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 – 'Project Polyglot' 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.

England (London):

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.

Supplementary Category:

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 the 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

British Academy Schools Language Awards 2015 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

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.

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

Michael Skapinker – Associate Editor, Financial Times

Professor Li Wei - Chair of Applied Linguistics, UCL Institute of Education

Professor Eleanor Dickey FBA – Professor of Classics, University of Reading

Professor Roel Sterckx FBA - Joseph Needham Professor of Chinese History, Science and Civilization, University of Cambridge

Abi Barber - Learning Programmes Manager, British Library

Professor Janice Carruthers - Head of the School of Modern Languages and Professor of French Linguistics, Queen’s University Belfast

Professor Marion Hobson FBA - Professor Emerita of French, Queen Mary University of London

Dr Dina Mehmedbegovic – UCL Institute of Education

Professor M. Wynn Thomas FBA - CREW, Department of English, Swansea University

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