On Thursday 3 July, the German Ambassador Dr Peter Ammon hosted the ‘Sommerfest der Deutschen Sprache’ (Summer Party for the German Language) at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, where Head of Modern Languages at Oundle School, Sara Davidson, received one of three German Teacher Awards for 2014.
The purpose of the Awards is to recognise outstanding achievements by individual teachers of German in primary and secondary schools across the UK, to highlight and pay tribute to the work of German teachers in the UK, and to encourage the commitment of the winners’ schools to modern language teaching.
Over 200 teachers and representatives from the education and language teaching sectors from all over the UK joined the celebrations. Ambassador Ammon was delighted to welcome The Rt. Hon. Baroness Coussins of Whitehall Park, Head of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Modern Languages, as the keynote speaker for the event. The Ambassador and Baroness Coussins presented the 11th annual German Teacher Awards, supported by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. Each recipient received a personal prize of £750 and a certificate.
Sara commented: “I am thrilled to have received this award. Whilst I am a Head of Department, I am first and foremost an enthusiastic Modern Languages teacher and am passionate about the German language and culture. To have had the work we do at Oundle School acknowledged by the German Embassy is a real honour.
“We teach seven timetabled languages at Oundle and September 2013 saw the opening of a state-of-the-art Languages Centre which is a source of inspiration and dynamism for both teachers and pupils. Internationalism is important to Oundle; today’s pupils will be competing for jobs in a highly competitive and global world. Our aim is not only to be at the cutting edge of teaching and learning, but ultimately to enable Oundelians to learn and appreciate any language of their choosing.”
Headmaster Charles Bush commented: “This award is very well deserved. Sara Davidson is a fine teacher who cares deeply for the pupils in her classes and teaches with passion and enthusiasm. She is a strong leader of others as Head of Modern Languages, and by her exemplary teaching approach. Last year she spearheaded the Department’s move into a new Languages Centre (The Adamson Centre) which provides first class teaching classrooms and excellent facilities for languages development. Sara demonstrated great commitment throughout the move; she never fails to promote the joy of learning languages to her classes and colleagues – the German language in particular.”
Prizes were also awarded to Susan Prichard (St. Bonaventure’s School, London), and Helen Smail (Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls, Monmouth) with the Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Sheila Hakes of Sharnbrook Upper School, Sharnbrook. The Goethe-Institut presented the Peter Boaks Award, recognising an exceptional teacher at the start of their career, to Angela Ridsdale of Ponteland High School, Newcastle upon Tyne.
The German Teacher Award is jointly organised by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Goethe-Institut London, UK German Connection, Deutsche Schule London, Department for Education, CfBT Education Trust and Association for Language Learning. This year’s event took place in collaboration with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
Oundle’s new Languages Centre
The opening of Oundle School’s Adamson Centre in October 2013 marked a new phase for the Modern Languages Department and is the latest completed project in Oundle’s development plan.
The building is named after major benefactor and former pupil David Frederic Dobell Adamson who left the School in 1937. He requested that “this bequest be used to improve facilities for and give opportunities to students to learn to speak and communicate in foreign languages”.
The Adamson Centre facilities include:
- 14 Teaching Rooms: Each classroom focuses on a single language and culture and is equipped with audio speakers, an interactive whiteboard and projector.
- 2 Sony Language Laboratories: Two dedicated PC suites combine all the features of a traditional laboratory with the latest multimedia technology, including Sony Virtuoso language software.
- 6 Language Assistant Pods: Fully equipped with touch screen computers, these modern glass fronted rooms are designated specifically for conversation classes and oral examinations.
- The Raymond Lee International Suite: The centre-piece and ‘hub’ of the Department, this Suite provides a perfect venue for language conferences, films, lectures from visiting speakers and competitions. It is equipped with the latest Skype technology, blu-ray cinema system, projector and blackout blinds.