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Leighton Park School wins European Language Label Award

Published Thursday 3rd of October 2013 10:01:21 AM

At a ceremony held on 26th September at the EU Commissions Offices in London, Leighton Park School, was selected as a winner of the European Language Label Award by CfBT Education Trust. The European Language Label (ELL), funded by the European Commission through the Department of Education and managed by CfBT on behalf of Ecorys, is an award for innovative language-learning projects.

Leighton Park School in Reading was one of 13 winning entries selected from over 60 nominees including schools, colleges, universities, community groups, businesses and other institutions throughout the UK.

Modern Foreign Language teachers at Leighton Park developed the Global Communications course to complement and enhance Key Stage 3 experiences of language learning. It was introduced in September 2012 as part of a new creative curriculum for Year 7 and provides a fresh way for pupils to understand the relevance of foreign language use and cross-cultural interaction. A Year 7 Pupil at Leighton Park explained �I liked learning about different cultures � you can do different things with culture, like dance and music � it�s fun to learn. Plus you learn how not to be offensive, and cognates* help,� (*Cognates � are words with common origin).

The European Language Label judges commented of Leighton Park's course: The project fills a gap in recognising the importance of global communication skills, and we cannot assume that pupils will gain these skills from ordinary language learning. The project brings into the open the knowledge and skills that enable people to engage confidently and positively with a plurilingual world.

Sarah Ledger, head of German/teacher of Global Communications said: We are so excited to have won the award! Introducing Global Communications as part of our new creative
curriculum was a big step, and has been a fantastic experience. It has been
a pleasure to see how enthusiastically pupils have responded to the challenge and very
rewarding to see them come to regard this and other side of language learning as so normal. The greater level of engagement with language has paid off in their MFL learning, where we see a cohort of pupils approaching MFL lessons boldly, energetically and inquisitively.

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