Pillgwenlly Primary School in Newport picked up the award for teaching English as an Additional Language and Alderman Davies Church in Wales Primary School, Neath won the Welsh award in the Primary Languages Classroom Awards at the Education Show in Birmingham today.
The awards celebrate the teaching and learning of languages including English in UK primary schools and highlight its positive impact on both the whole school and the local community.
Awards are presented in five categories; French, German, other (such as Italian, Chinese, Urdu, or Spanish), English as an Additional Language and Welsh.
Pillgwenlly School is set in an area that used to be the old docks of Newport, which is an evolving multi cultural settlement. There around 32 languages being spoken in the school. Parents are involved in the teaching by being invited to attend home language coffee mornings. The judges felt that the schools inclusive motto of we play, learn and work together has helped develop a school ethos where cultural acceptance is the norm.
At Alderman Davies, staff support the teaching of Welsh through practical means, helping every child understand their language and heritage. At year four the children are helped to develop with language being supported through a variety of different topics and with support staff. The judges felt that this school was outstanding in its ethos of the teaching of Welsh in a fun and relevant way.
Minister for Education and Skills, Leighton Andrews, said:
“I would like to congratulate both schools for these awards, which are testimony to their hard work and enthusiasm for teaching languages. It is vital that pupils get a good foundation in languages at primary school that they can take onto secondary education.
“These awards are further proof that we have some world class best practice in Wales and I want to see this being shared across the whole of the country and the profession.”
Liz Foxwell, organiser of the Primary Languages Classroom Awards, said:
“Research has indicated that the earlier children begin learning a language, the easier the transition to secondary school where high attainment levels in languages can be harder to achieve. The Primary Languages Classroom Awards are a marker of success for schools in establishing this strong early start, and play an important role as a platform for best practice.”
More information about the awards and details about how to apply for next year’s awards can be found at www.languageawards.com