Dallam School named North of England winner of a £4,000 prize for innovative and creative foreign language teaching June 15, 2012
Dallam School has been named the North of England winner of a £4,000 prize for innovative and creative foreign language teaching by the British Academy.
Selected out of 159 UK schools, the judges were impressed by a bilingual initiative where pupils from years seven, eight and nine, spend tutor time and some lessons conversing entirely in Spanish or French.
As Colin Ralph-Bradshaw, Dallam’s head of language explains: “Since 2008 we have been offering year seven youngsters the chance to have some of their lessons in French or Spanish and to spend tutor time talking in one of these languages. When Schools Minister Nick Gibb visited us earlier in the year he saw how this initiative has dramatically increased the grades of Year 9 students and allowed them to sit their GCSE exams two years early. It’s obvious that this is a very effective and natural way to learn a language.”
“We’ve introduced some fun ways to learn too through bilingual film studies events, cookery days, adventure learning and using famous artists for a self-portrait session. The tutor groups also provide a great place for more social type discussions” adds Colin.
The prize money will allow the school to install a classroom laboratory with networked video cameras, digital recording and playback equipment. This will allow teachers to analyse their bilingual tutor group lessons and pass on learning, provide facilities for the University of Cumbria’s student teachers and give pupils a live link to partner schools in Granada and Bergerac.
This win means Dallam is automatically put forward for the overall National winner award which is announced in November.
Notes for editors
Dallam was judged outstanding in its last Ofsted (2010). It is a specialist language college and promotes a strongly international ethos, providing boarding facilities for overseas students.
The attached picture shows Esther Harper, a year eight pupil who was involved in an art language project as part of the school’s Europe Day Adventure Learning. Students interpreted their own portraits in the style of Picasso.
For further information, please contact Emma Dewhurst.