Oundle School European Day of Languages
27th October 2014

For the second year running, the European Day of Languages, organised by staff from Oundle School’s Adamson Centre, proved to be a highly anticipated and extremely popular event for both pupils and staff. With seven languages timetabled at the School, the day was a perfect opportunity for highlighting the importance of learning about different cultures and nationalities.


The day long programme was more ambitious this year, with activities running from early morning through to late evening, providing opportunities for linguists of all ages to immerse themselves in culturally and linguistically diverse activities.


A new theme, the ‘Polyglot Challenge’, was an intellectual test for young linguists, encouraging them to use their skills and resources wisely to translate from 25 different languages!


The International Food Tasting Festival was inevitably the highlight of the day, attracting more than 300 pupils hungry to discover new flavours from Colombia to Hungary.


‘Talking Languages’, a talk delivered by Professor David Lines from Warwick University provided an invaluable experience for Sixth formers, enabling them to find out more about the different pathways in professional linguistics.


The final event of the day was a Languages Quiz Night in the Adamson’s Raymond Lee International Suite, involving enthusiastic First and Second (Year 7 and 8) pupil participants.


In the evening, pupils enjoyed a themed dinner in House with chefs serving famous dishes from around the world.


French teacher, Bori Gannon commented, The Adamson Centre has become the hub of inter-cultural exchange at Oundle. Events such as the European Day of Languages allow us to demonstrate how language and culture can build links between people of all ages and of all nationalities.


Head of Modern Languages, Sara Davidson added, “The Modern Languages Department was delighted with the turnout and the level of excitement and enrichment on offer. Working in such state-of-the-art surroundings is a source of inspiration and dynamism for both the teaching staff and our pupils. Internationalism is important to Oundle; today’s pupils will be competing for jobs in a highly competitive and global world. Our aim is not only to be at the cutting edge of teaching and learning, but ultimately to enable Oundelians to learn and appreciate any language of their choosing.”



Background information on Oundle’s Adamson Centre


The opening of Oundle School’s Adamson Centre in 2013 marked a new and exciting phase for the Modern Languages Department and is the latest completed project in Oundle’s comprehensive and ongoing development plan. A stunning blend of traditional architecture and contemporary glass features, the Adamson Centre, formerly the Sir Peter Scott Building, has been redesigned specifically with the teaching of foreign languages in mind. In addition to welcoming over 900 pupils a week, the Centre will also provide a hub of excellence within the wider community of teaching, with staff hosting conferences and lectures to promote the development of languages.


The Modern Foreign Languages Department is one of the largest in the School, with seven languages being timetabled: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish. More pupils than ever are learning two or more languages, with many more taking advantage of the breadth of clubs, societies and lectures on offer outside the curriculum. A Level and Pre-U results continue to rise; last summer saw pupils gain 45 A* and A grades at A2, with 20 Oundelians going on to read one or more languages at university.


The building is named after major benefactor and former pupil David Frederic Dobell Adamson who left the School in 1937. He requested that “this bequest be used to improve facilities for and give opportunities to students to learn to speak and communicate in foreign languages.”


The Adamson Centre facilities include:


·         14 Teaching Rooms: Each classroom focuses on a single language and culture and is equipped with high quality audio speakers, an interactive whiteboard and projector.

·         2 Sony Language Laboratories: Two dedicated PC suites combine all the features of a traditional laboratory with the latest multimedia technology, including Sony Virtuoso language software.

·         6 Language Assistant Pods: Fully equipped with touch screen computers, these modern glass fronted rooms are designated specifically for conversation classes and oral examinations.

·         The Raymond Lee International Suite: The centre-piece and ‘hub’ of the Department, this Suite provides a perfect venue for language conferences, films, lectures from visiting speakers and competitions. It is equipped with the latest Skype technology, blu-ray cinema system, projector and blackout blinds.




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