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Promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility

Yorkshire and the Humber

GCSE, AS and A2 Revision Days 27,28,29th March 2012

Yorkshire and the Humber

Over 230 secondary pupils and A-Level students from all over Yorkshire and the Humber descended on the Modern Languages Department at the University of Hull to take part in GCSE and AS/A2 level revision session on 27th, 28th and 29th March 2012.

The event, organised by Routes into Languages, included sessions in French, German and Spanish.

Claire Barber, Project Manager of Routes into Languages Yorkshire and the Humber, welcomed students and then it was straight on to the vital aim of the day – to revise as much of the target language as possible on key topics in preparation for the final exams in May and June this year.

Students were divided into groups and went into language sessions with a university tutor and Student Ambassadors. There were 12 ambassadors on hand each day to help the pupils and students in their revision sessions and interacted well with them. The ambassadors were international – a vital mixture of native German, French, Spanish and also 4th year English students. Mary in Year 11 said of the ambassadors: “I loved talking to the Ambassadors that study different languages and the people who came from Italy, Spain, France and Germany. They were so lovely and fun to talk to.”

During the lunch break pupils were shown the campus, including the Student Union, library and the Language Learning Centre by the Student Ambassadors and provided a good opportunity for the pupils to get a better feel for the University and campus life. In the afternoon there were further revision sessions in the three languages and these were taken up with vigour.

Comments by pupils and teachers at the end of the day were extremely enthusiastic and many expressed the hope that there would be further sessions of this type. After the events, one teacher said: “I just wanted to let you know how positive the feedback was from our AS and A level students... All students felt that they learnt something from the day and were pleased to be given the opportunity to express themselves orally.”

The students were equally enthusiastic about the revision sessions. Of the AS day one pupil said: “I enjoyed talking to new people and lecturers/teachers. I feel that the day was a great success.” Another pupil on the A2 day commented: “The teachers were very helpful and welcoming. I liked that they made us speak a lot during the day as it will help as practise for my oral exam.” Some GCSE pupils were so impressed that they are now thinking of taking A Level French: “I really enjoyed the event and it persuaded me to take A Level French next year.” A great result!

Yorkshire and The Humber Spelling Bee Regional Final 2012

Yorkshire and the Humber

The Yorkshire and Humber regional Spelling Bee final took place at the University of Hull on the 26th March, with 16 schools and 60 Year 7 pupils from across the region competing for a place in the national final in July.  Those competing in the regional final had been selected from heats that had taken place in their schools, which tested their spelling ability in French, German or Spanish.

The pressure was on in the regional final as only 4 winners from each language can go through to the national final.

It was a closely fought battle, with some participants having to compete in a sudden death round, but eventually 4 winners for each language succeeded in beating all the other contestants in their category, and will go down to the finals in Cambridge on the Friday 6th July to compete with other pupils from across the country and represent Yorkshire and The Humber.

The winning schools in the Spanish Competition were:

1st place                Sheffield High School

2nd place               Kings

3rd place               Kings

4th place               Honley High School

4th place               Harrogate High School

The winning schools in the German Competition were:

1st place                Sheffield High School

2nd place               Beverley High School

3rd place               Beverley High School

4th place               Hymers College

And finally the winning schools in the French Competition were:

1st place                Hymers College

2nd place               Beverley High School

3rd place               St. Wilfrids Catholic High School

4th place               The North Halifax Grammar

Well done to all those Year 7 pupils who did so well in competing in this year’s competition and to those who managed to get to the regional final. Big congratulations also to those pupils who have made it through to the National Final in July. We wish you all the best of luck and we hope you get to bring some trophies back to Yorkshire!

See our Spelling Bee winners in the local press by clicking on the following links:



Video Conferencing

Thursday, 1 December, 2011 - 00:00 to Saturday, 31 December, 2011 - 00:00
Yorkshire and the Humber
Leeds Metropolitan University

Language Ambassadors undertaking Q and A sessions in foreign languages.

To find out more and how your school can participate please email:

Routes receives further funding!

Yorkshire and the Humber

Celebration as Routes receives more funding from HEFCE

Director, Michael Kelly, is very happy to report that HEFCE has confirmed that it wishes to support the Routes into Languages programme for a bridging period from 1 April 2011 to 31 July 2012. The bridging period will enable the most effective Routes activities to be continued. It will also provide an opportunity for longer term plans to be developed in the light of anticipated changes in the HE environment from August 2012.


Visit to Fulford School Alternative Languages day, 21.10.10

Yorkshire and the Humber

Visit to Fulford School Alternative Languages day, 21.10.10

York St John University were delighted to take part in Fulford School’s Alternative Languages Day for year 10 students on 21st October 2010.
Tutors and students from the University delivered sessions in Japanese language and culture, Greek and BSL. The Japanese tutor also arranged for York Taiko drumming group Kaminari to take part. The variety of activities on offer helped to keep the pupils motivated in the course of an intensive schedule.


BSL with Heather Marshall, 2nd year Joint Honours student (Education studies and Languages)

Comments from pupils included:
Sign language was amazing!
It was something new and exciting.
I learnt a lot from it and would love to do it again.
We learnt interesting things like having life from a different perspective.
I liked this lesson the most and learnt a lot and I am still able to use it now.

Japanese calligraphy with Molly and Luke (1st year Joint Honours students)

Comments from pupils included:
The calligraphy was the best – it was very fun and interesting.
It was really fun and the people running it were really friendly.
It was really good and I didn’t realise it took that much skill.
I enjoyed this lesson – it was very creative and it engaged me.
There wasn’t too much or too little to do and you could choose what to do first.


Origami with Beth and Amy (1st year Joint Honours students)

Comments from pupils included:
I enjoyed making the sumo wrestler.
I loved making the water bombs!
I liked making the swans etc.
The origami was fantastic!
It was great making something we could keep.

Kaminari Taiko drumming workshop

Comments from pupils included:
It was good because they let you get involved and the drumming was exciting.
Playing the drums was my favourite because it was a totally new experience.
I had an amazing time doing the drumming.
It was fun playing the drums and listening to the professionals.

Comments about the Greek and Japanese tasters (unfortunately we took no photos!):
I liked the Greek quiz on places/cities in Greece.
It was hard singing the song in Japanese because it was so fast but it was good.
I liked learning the new alphabet and numbers.
I really enjoyed learning how to speak the language.

General comments about the day:
I really liked the variety of languages available and the fun way in which we learned them.
I liked everything: it was a great experience and learning opportunity.

Tutors and students were impressed by the behaviour and attitude of the Fulford pupils, who showed interest and respect throughout.
It was a mutually beneficial event, helping to strengthen links between the university and the school, which are all the more important in the current economic climate. This event was made possible with Routes into Languages funding, which is now drawing to an end, but has enabled YSJU to offer a wide range of very successful language initiatives for schools since 2007.

Alison Organ October 2010

Active Languages 2009/10 Case Studies and Resources Go Live!

Yorkshire and the Humber

Routes into Languages Yorkshire and The Humber are pleased to announce that case studies and resources from last year's very successful Active Languages projects are now available to view online and download!

About Active Languages

In partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, Routes into Languages Yorkshire & The Humber (Routes Y&H) coordinated this cross-curricular project aiming to take languages out of the classroom and combine fun language learning with sports and exercise.

Schools were able to bid for a £1000 grant, funded by Routes Y&H. With this they had to implement their language and sport project in their school, and embed it into the syllabus to enable the project to be sustainable going forward.

The booklet contains case studies detailing the successful Active Languages projects which have been running over the past year. Additionally, there is a booklet of resources, and links to Power Point presentations produced by the teachers at the schools.

We hope you enjoy these resources, and find them useful when implementing activities involving languages and sport in your own schools!


Score with Languages! RLNYH

Yorkshire and the Humber

Score with Languages

Since September, 2008 Bradford City FC and St Bede’s School have been linked through a Business Champions Language Partnership. This partnership was initially set up to show how languages, sport and business share common skills and aims. From the start it was obvious that there were many projects that could be developed to the benefit of both Club and School. The Club enabled the students to have exclusive interviews, presentations by business leaders, guided tours of the facilities and the opportunity to represent the Club as Ball Boys at the Home games. The school puts on Spanish lessons for the players and staff linked to the Club, has designed a website link about the Club for the Official Bradford Tourism and Culture Board and this summer local primary schools enjoyed a mixture of football coaching and language lessons provided jointly by the Club and the school’s languages department.

It seemed a natural step forwards to support the Club’s efforts to raise more funding for the Burns Unit. As such the year 7 students have worked hard to beat off competition to win a place in the Step Up Market challenge where all the profits from the goods they produce and sell will go to the Burns Unit. They kicked off this project at the Charity Match on Sunday, 9th May making over £100 profit that afternoon. The products are all related to the Club and the boys are working lunchtimes and after school to manufacture the items. The final amount raised for Charity was £750 and the six boys involved presented the cheque to Mr David Baldwin CEO at BCFC. The key stage 4 students also did their bit to raise funds for the Charity by sponsoring a member of staff to complete the Cross Morecambe Bay Walk and a cheque for £623 was presented to Michael Flynn by boys from year 10.

Though the partnership began small it has grown to teach students not only language and enterprise skills but also an understanding of and pride in their Club and their community.

Aspiring Almodóvars roll out the red carpet - Film Festival with Sheffield Hallam University

Yorkshire and the Humber

Aspiring young filmmakers from Sheffield held their own version of the Cannes Film Festival last night at Sheffield Hallam University, where they screened their short films, all of which were made in a foreign language.

Pupils from nine local schools attended the screening to watch the two-minute films they had made in French, German and Spanish. The films were produced to give pupils the opportunity to put their language skills into practice and highlight the benefits of learning another language.

A judging panel of Maria Scheule from the languages subject area at Sheffield Business School, Ron Wright from Sheffield Hallam and Janine Turner at the Goethe Institut Manchester awarded prizes to the top three films as well as individual prizes of HD cameras to Isla Tyrrell from King Edward VII and Jasmin Gittins from Oakwood School for their outstanding contribution. Jasmin Gittins, along with Emily McNulty and Hayley Rogers were also awarded first prize for their film ‘ Quest for a Cuppa’ Also in joint first place was ‘ Leider bin ich hier fremd by Sam, John, Chris, Grace and Lucy and in second place was French film ‘Frittish’ by Hannah Campbell, Hannah Betts, Emily Fleming and Fraser Campbell.
In July, the Schools and Colleges Liaison Office at Sheffield Hallam hosted a three-day languages film summer school for students of French, German and Spanish.

Forty-three pupils from King Edward VII, Brinsworth Comprehensive, Stocksbridge High, Notre Dame, Meadowhead, Hayfield, Oakwood, Wales and Silverdale schools took part in interactive workshops on storyboarding, script writing and language grammar. Sessions were delivered by university staff, school teachers and local film maker, Nick Shaw, who shared his film making expertise.

Pupils then filmed around the University to produce their two-minute films which will be submitted to the national Languages and Film Talent Awards competition in 2011.

Matthew Hunt, from the Sheffield Business School at Sheffield Hallam, said: "Making a film in a second language is a creative and fun activity which will serve the students well for language study, where the ability to manipulate language and discuss more intellectual ideas is really important."

Elaine Pawling, head of languages at King Edward VII school said: “Film is an ideal tool to help with language learning. Studying film not only allows students to become aware of the local cultural identity of a country, but also more aware as global citizens."

The summer school was a joint venture organised by Sheffield Business School and the Faculty of Arts, Computing, Engineering and Sciences at Sheffield Hallam University with King Edward VII School, Brinsworth Comprehensive School in partnership with Routes into Languages.

For press information: contact Tess Humphrys in the University’s press office on 0114 225 4025 or email

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Tag der deutschen Einheit

Yorkshire and the Humber

In spite of the torrential rain, eighteen pupils from Years 12 and 13 at Guiseley School and Woodkirk High Specialist Science School came together to celebrate twenty years of German Unity, marking the official anniversary of Reunification on October 3rd 1990. In the morning, the students were given the historical context and introduced to the key themes of the period by Professor Paul Cooke whose lecture was entitled ‘German Unification Twenty Years In’. They then attended two workshops which concentrated in more detail on the cultural representations of these themes; pop music was the focus of ‘Wieder schwarz-rot-gold? Mia's controversial ‘Was es Ist’ as a mirror of German identity after reunification’ by Giles Harrington and Helen Finch, and film the subject matter of ‘Ostalgie and Good Bye, Lenin!’ by Richard Boffey and Chris Homewood.

After lunch, the pupils worked in groups of four or five to create short segments of a television documentary about the Tag der deutschen Einheit. Bettina Suarez Y Weber introduced the activity, encouraging students to think about documentaries and to plan the contents of their segments. During the final workshop of the day, we watched the finished documentary which included a dramatisation of the effects of the Berlin Wall, a talk show discussion about Reunification, a roving reporter interview revealing contemporary attitudes to the concepts of East and West and a sketch showing everyday life and opinions about Unity. Students will all receive their own copy of the documentaries. We would like to thank all those who contributed to making the day such a success: the members of staff from the German Department at the University of Leeds, the student ambassadors and of course the visiting schools.