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Language Awards in Secondary

Around this time of year we always reflect on our successes and make plans (or ‘resolutions’, perhaps?) for improvement in the next few months. That’s exactly what our Secondary students have been doing with their language teachers in December.

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This term we’ve launched a brand new Awards System which congratulates Year 7-13 students on their performance in French, German, Mandarin and Spanish lessons. There are two different – and fascinating – aspects to this Awards System: firstly, it rewards students who uphold the IB Learner Profile attributes even before they start to study for the IB Diploma; and secondly, it is entirely student-led.

The language teachers guided the process, by each taking on one of the ten IB Learner Profile attributes and working on that particular attribute with their classes. Then, the Award nominations themselves were handed over to the students. Each class held a discussion about their attribute, and selected a couple of students who they felt really shone out, for the high quality of their work in language lessons this term. Then the classes held a vote – and students finally agreed on one person from their class who deserved to receive the Award.

The ten categories are: Thinkers, Inquirers, Communicators, Risk-Takers, Knowledgeable, Principled, Balanced, Caring, Reflective, and Open-Minded. The IB Organisation says about these attributes:

‘The IB Learner Profile aims to develop internationally minded people who, recognising their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.’

The Languages Department is delighted with the way that students have responded to this new opportunity for Student Leadership in our school. Awards systems are really important because they offer chance for students to receive specific, direct praise for their effort and hard work in certain subjects. In Modern Languages and Mandarin lessons, we see every day that our young linguists really are living the values of the IB Diploma even before they commence their IB studies, and so we wanted to present Awards whilst also giving the students a say in what success looks like.

The votes have been counted and the students have spoken – the 51 winners’ names will be posted on the Languages corridor display board, and announced in an assembly after the holidays. Winning students’ parents will also receive a letter congratulating their children on their success as language-learners. Once all winners have been notified, the full list of names will be published on the school website together with the IB Learner Profile attribute that best describes their success.

We look forward to sharing more Languages news with you in the New Year.

Joyeux noel, frohe Weihnachten, feliz navidad and Sheng Dan Jie Kuai Le!

Ms Sarah Ford

Head of Modern Languages

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