Polyglot pat on the back for a Hitchin school’s language stars

Ruby Crowe 14, French and Spanish teacher Jennifer Meechan, Mahya Sheykhzadeh 15

Ruby Crowe 14, French and Spanish teacher Jennifer Meechan, Mahya Sheykhzadeh 15 - Credit: Archant

A Hitchin secondary school is celebrating after winning a prestigious national languages award.

Hitchin Girls’ School claimed the regional British Academy School’s Language Award and a bursary of £4,000 – with the chance of netting a further £2,000 in a high-profile awards ceremony to be held in London later this month.

Only 14 prizes of £4,000 were awarded to schools and colleges throughout the UK for innovative schemes aimed at increasing the numbers of students learning foreign languages at higher levels.

The Highbury Road school took a winning spot for the East and Midlands region with its Project Polyglot – a programme which enables older pupils from the school, and students from the University of Cambridge, to design and teach language lessons for younger students related to culture, literature and the arts, under the guidance of experienced teachers.

Modern foreign languages teacher Jennifer Meechan said: “I feel absolutely overwhelmed that Hitchin Girls’ School has been selected.

“My ambition is for Project Polyglot to bring different educational institutions in the local area together and to strengthen modern language teaching within our community.

“I am absolutely thrilled that the British Academy, along with Routes into Languages East, which has also provided so much support with the project, have given us the means to make this happen.”

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British Academy chief executive Alun Evans said: “We’re delighted schools such as Hitchin Girls’ School have responded passionately, and hope they will continue to inspire their pupils with learning initiatives.”