Published: 04/10/2011 15:30 - Updated: 04/10/2011 15:32

Eastern region sweeps the board at languages awards

Schools in the East of England have won five prestigious international awards for excellence in language teaching.

Bedford Borough School Improvement Service was a winner, for its work providing innovative teaching materials helping children with their language learning in combination with other subjects like Maths and Science as they move from lower to middle schools in the borough. Bedford’s work, which took the life of snails as its theme, was so highly thought of by the judges that it also won the prize for the best project for language teaching to primary schoolchildren.

The European Language Label was awarded to the Northgate High School Norfolk and Comberton Village College, Cambridgeshire, for their work bringing languages to life for their students. Comberton’s spelling competition, which started as a project to help Year 7’s improve their memorisation techniques, was so popular that it was taken up by other schools and regions throughout the UK.  Routes into Languages East, based at Anglia Ruskin University, was recognised for its foreign language film-making competition, won by pupils at Sawston Village College.

A group of parents in Cambridge, who worked with their local library and primary schools in Italy to crease an impressive collection of resources and activities for children learning Italian, also won an Award. Their work was particularly commended by the judges for its impact on family reading and bilingualism, and was recognised with a special prize from the Italian Embassy.

The European Language Label Awards, which recognise innovative and effective practice in language teaching and learning, were presented at a ceremony at the European Commission’s UK office in London to mark the European Day of Languages. Eleven awards were won by schools and colleges in the UK, along with awards for excellence in education-business partnerships involving foreign languages.

Kathryn Board, head of languages and CILT at CfBT Education Trust, said: ”At a time when there is so much negative news regarding language learning in the UK, it is heartening to have so many examples of innovative and creative work which not only help pupils to see the relevance of language learning but boost their achievement as well.

“The winners deserve immense congratulations for showing what can be done and pointing the way to a revival of language learning in future

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