News from Berlin

Sommerfest der Deutschen Sprache and German Teacher Award 2014

July 07th, 2014
GermanTeacherAward lad.jpg

News from Berlin - On 3 July, German Ambassador Dr Peter Ammon hosted the 'Sommerfest der Deutschen Sprache' (Summer Party for the German Language) at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London. Over 200 were in attendance to celebrate, with teachers and representatives from the education and language teaching sectors from all over the UK involved.  

The Ambassador and Baroness Coussins, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany presented the eleventh annual German Teacher Awards. The Ambassador invited 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 Award aims recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of individual teachers of German in primary and secondary schools in the UK, highlighting the work of German teachers in the UK, and to encourage the commitment of the winners' schools to modern language teaching. The German Teacher Award recipients receive a personal prize of £750 and a certificate.

Education Minister Elizabeth Truss congratulated the recipients, saying: "These outstanding teachers are integral to the languages revival that is underway in our schools. From this September we are introducing languages in primary school so that children can start learning German from the age of seven.

"At the same time our EBacc has seen the numbers learning languages at GCSE rising again after many years of consistent decline. I am delighted the hard work and dedication of these teachers has been recognised in this way."

These comments epitomise the changing balance of UK-German relations, whereby Britain is emphasising the importance of learning German to the end of better cultural relations between the two states. The UK is Germany’s biggest trading partner as of 2013, and the UK has a new emphasis on maintaining good relations with Germany as an important partner in EU reform, and this event is one example of many that aims to ensure the relationship between the two states is not simply a one-way exchange, whereby traditionally it is British culture which has a much higher standing in German culture, than vice versa.

This year's prizes were awarded to Sara Davidson (Oundle School, Peterborough) Susan Prichard (St. Bonaventure's School, London), and Helen Smail (Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls, Monmouth). The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Sheila Hakes of Sharnbrook Upper School, Sharnbrook, while 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 German Embassy London, 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.

News from Berlin - Berlin Global