A project to encourage language learning has won a financial award for the Milton Keynes Greek Community School in a national contest.
The British Academy has just announced the 2015 winners of its Schools Language Awards – out of more than 150 applications submitted from across the UK.
Fouteen prizes of £4,000 each are being awarded to schools and colleges, or institutions supporting them, for innovative projects aimed at increasing the numbers of students learning languages at higher levels.
Among the winners is a project called Close-up On Heritage Language Learners, which will take place in two Greek supplementary schools – the Greek School of the Greek Orthodox Community of Milton Keynes and the Leicester Greek School.
A panel of judges from the British Academy assessed the originality, credibility and potential replicability of the proposals, with particular emphasis this year on building partnerships.
The award-winning project from the Greek schools, proposed by Dr Koula Charitonos and Marina Charalampidi, will involve working in partnership with the Open University and the British Museum.
It seeks to boost learners’ motivation and commitment towards studying Greek language at advanced level and to provide access to cultural experiences to develop speaking and writing skills.
The two schools have been awarded a prize of £4,000 pounds, which will be spent towards planning and implementing activities that aim to develop language skills and boost students motivation towards studying their heritage language.
Part of the money will go to the British Museum to organise workshops at the schools, to artists who will work with the students around photography and to cover transport expenses for students and their families to travel to London to visit the museum. Some will also go to the Open University for technical support and mentoring and some will go towards buying equipment such as digital cameras.
The Milton Keynes Greek school is provided by the Greek Orthodox Community of Milton Keynes for children of school age. The school also provides Greek language classes for adults in the Greek Orthodox Church premises in Stony Stratford.