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Musselburgh Grammar School

School: Musselburgh Grammar School
Project: RZSS Beyond the Panda Project
Level: Silver
Date: May 2022

Over this year, the S4 Spanish Employability group at Musselburgh Grammar School worked together with Edinburgh Zoo and the Royal Zoological Society for Scotland on their ‘Giants’ section of their ‘Beyond the Panda’ project. Initial contact with RZSS came from through the earlier S3 Life with Languages Careers event, which was be awarded the Bronze Scottish Languages Employability Award in January of this year. Following this, RZSS suggested collaboration in another project, developing Beyond the Panda materials in Spanish. As the project required pupils to have a good knowledge of Spanish, and be able to bring their skills learned in other subjects to this project, this was undertaken with an S4 group. 

The overall aim of the Giants project is to compare two different animals from two very different areas of the world using two languages – Mandarin and Spanish. The animals of focus selected by RZSS were the giant anteater from South America and the giant panda from China.

As part of this project, 30 S4 Spanish pupils met after school each week. Pupils translated information about animals from English into Spanish, recorded extracts in Spanish that have been published on the Edinburgh Zoo website and created a Spanish game in collaboration with RZSS to educate pupils about the animals in Edinburgh Zoo.

The game was designed by pupils to be distributed and used with upper primary pupils to introduce them to both zoo animals and the Spanish language. All pupils worked together as a team, and put their Spanish skills into practice to create fantastic resources to be used by the partner organisations.


This is another excellent submission from Musselburgh Grammar School. This project developed from a contact made at the S3 event earlier in the session, allowing the school to extend its DYW and languages provision to S4 also.

The verification team were particularly impressed that this project was achieved in an extracurricular context; this is an inspired approach which has clearly been motivational for the learners involved. The language content required means that it has been possible to maximise the language skills which have been developed by S4, and the nature of the project also develops creativity and intercultural competencies. The development of such a high-quality product is a fantastic achievement in a project of this sort. A strong partnership between the school and the organisation involved is evident, and the ongoing input from Sandie has clearly been integral to the success of the project.

The verification team also commended the integration of this project into transition work; this was another inspired touch which in its own right develops valuable skills for life and work. This project is an excellent student leadership opportunity that is also educational in its development regarding animals and conservation.

This submission, from the teamwork involved to the approach taken and to the final product achieved, is exemplary. As Musselburgh Grammar School achieved a Bronze award in January through the S3 Life with Languages careers event, this S4 project within the same year constitutes an upgrade and we are delighted to award the school a SILVER Scottish Languages Employability Award. Congratulations!

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