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Bishopbriggs Academy

School: Bishopbriggs Academy
Project: S3 Career Event/ Goethe Summer Language Courses/ P7 Author Visit Thomas Harding/ P7 Table Football Competition/ S3 importance of language learning talk/ S3 School exchange
Level: Gold
Date: June 2023

Following on from a previous Gold submission in 2019, Bishopbriggs Academy’s submission this year reflects a wide-ranging and interesting range of projects.

Project 1 – Career Event

An S3 Career Event took place in school featuring opportunties in all the languages on offer in the department (French, German, Spanish and Gaelic.)

At the keynote, pupils listened to Nina Torrance (BBC Alba), Susie Little (Arup Engineering) and Paul Sheerin (Scottish Engineering). Afterwards, they went to different classrooms where they took part in 4 different workshops. They had the choice between Maree Airlie & Gina MacLeod (Harper Collins), Sylvain Blanche (Institut Français), Andrea Fisher (Goethe Institut), Andrea Wieler Goodbrand (The Language Hub), Wioletta Hass-Lipińska (The Polish Saturday School), Susan Armstrong & Katherine Watts (British Council), Ralph Houston (Translate) and Marta Fernandez Borrego (Language Ambassadors at Strathclyde University).

They finished their morning taken part in a plenary where they listened to a presentation from Scott Morrison (Gartner) and Eilie Duncan (Project Trust). 

Feedback from the pupils was really positive as it helped them understand how important languages can be for work but also where languages can take them. This event has helped raising awareness of languages amongst pupils and has also helped increase numbers in the senior phase.

Project 2 - Goethe Summer Language Courses 

7 new S5/6 pupils spent 3 weeks at one of 2 summer courses either near Freiburg or Munich. Pupils attended language courses in the morning and participated in group activities in the afternoon with other young learners of German from all over the world. Pupils had a language enriching experience as well as making global friendships. All costs were met by the Goethe Institut.

Project 3 - P7 Author Visit Thomas Harding 

P7 local learners had read the story “The House by the Lake” beforehand and used teaching materials provided by the Goethe Institut to prepare questions to ask the author during the visit to Bishopbriggs Academy. The house is the focus of historical events in German history, with the main focus being the Nazi occupation during WW2. The Author’s family subsequently bought and renovated the house and the insightful questions and detailed answers made for an extremely lively and educational event. It was also an excellent transition event for the P7 pupils, familiarising themselves further with the school building and staff. 

Project 4 - P7 Table Football Competition/S3 importance of language learning talk

Each P7 class in local cluster primary schools sent 4 of their pupils to compete in the competition, organised by the Goethe Institut and presented by Steve Eadon from Mingalaba (previously Arsenal Double Club). The pupils were exposed to some simple German terms and numbers and between games chatted with representatives from the Goethe Institut about the German language. Afterwards S3 German pupils had a presentation from Steve on the value of continuing with languages. This was very well received.

Project 5- S3 School exchange

S3 pupils visited a partner school in Konstanz, S Germany and their partners will be coming back to Scotland. Learners can find it daunting staying in a German home for a week, but ALWAYS come back feeling more independent, with improved German and intercultural competencies, and having made life-long friends.

The next step is to develop the exchange to include work experience and also to include more business language and potential work for senior pupils.

Project 6 – S4-S6 Bòrd na Gàidhlig Careers Event 

Angela MacLeod, Development Officer from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, delivered an interactive workshop on career choices with Gàidhlig. 

This event focused on opportunities in education; it explained to pupils the many avenues that lead to Gàidhlig teaching.

Project 7 – DYW E-Sgoil Seachdain na Gàidhlig 

As part of Seachdain na Gàidhlig (International Gaelic week) the school attended to a Gaelic Language in Employment Showcase. This provided us with pre-recorded videos that highlight three individuals who use Gaelic within their employment. These videos describe the journey that each of these individuals have had with Gaelic and how big a part the language plays in their day-to-day life. The videos are utilised within classes and by the end of the year, all S1-3 pupils will have viewed all three. These videos are an excellent resource to spark discussions around the reason for continuing with the Gaelic language, and the opportunities that it provides beyond the classroom. 

Project 8 – SCILT Gaelic and your Career 

All S1-3 Gaelic Medium pupils attended an online call hosted by SCILT. This event created an opportunity for pupils to engage with pupils nationally that are learning Gaelic and in Gaelic Medium Education. Two Gaelic speakers, Joy Dunlop of the BBC and Calum McConnell of BBC Alba, spoke about their journey with Gaelic and the opportunities it has provided to them in their careers and lives. 

This is a second successive outstanding submission from Bishopbriggs Academy, once again clearly fulfilling, and going well beyond, the criteria for a Gold Award. Congratulations!

The verification team were particularly impressed by the scope of projects within this submission, as it includes a wide range of areas in a number of languages involving cluster, local and international connections. All of this contributes to a strong Employability strand running through the work of the department from primary right through secondary experience. 

The projects themselves are exemplary in their organisation, engagement and relevance to all learners. The future project development plans mentioned are exciting ones, including one incorporating Learning for Sustainability, and we look forward to hearing more about them in due course.

As Bishopbriggs Academy has now been awarded a second successive Gold Award, we are also delighted to be able to designate the school as a Platinum Languages and Employability Partner, only the second school in Scotland to reach this achievement. Congratulations again, Team Bishopbriggs!


University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages