Westbourne Academy is part of the family of Academy Transformation Trust academies.

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Our extensive family of primary and secondary academies are based in the Midlands, East of England and South East.

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Why not study languages at A Level?

On Monday 27th June, Mrs Button and Mr Neill took a minibus full of 10 year 10 linguists to Cambridge, to take part in an outreach event entitled “Why not languages at A-Level?”. Despite the unplanned walking tour of Cambridge to get to Magdalene College, the students fell in love with the city before the day had properly begun and took many selfies along the way…

The day started off with a university-style masterclass in French and Spanish, where our students were taught about cultural topics and issues entirely in the target language. Although it was somewhat daunting to be thrown in the deep end, we were really impressed by how well they coped and their willingness to “have a go”, even if they hadn’t understood every single word.

After a short break, they resumed lessons but this time in two new languages: Russian and Arabic. These apparently tricky languages were demystified for the students, who thoroughly enjoyed writing their names in a different script and making new sounds when speaking. By the end of the day, our students even admitted that these languages weren’t as hard as they had originally thought, which should hopefully mean they will find French and Spanish a doddle now! To prove how much she had picked up, Kiera Devereux, when asked to have a conversation in a language she had only studied for an hour, stepped up to the mark and took part in a full dialogue in Arabic with little prompting.

The day ended with a final talk on all of the different ways in which students can further their language study at A-Level and beyond, and how they can pick up a new language at university. Enthusiasm was sky high at the mention of spending a year studying abroad and so I spent most of the walk back to the minibus answering countless questions from students about my own education. On the whole, this event was extremely beneficial and inspirational for our students.  It showed them how languages can bring them outside of the classroom and inspired them to think about learning a new one in the future.

Mr C Neill

Languages Teacher