Outstanding Success

Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School, Kent, took part in the European Day of Languages Championship from Vocab Express which ran from 26 September until 3 October 2011. Highlighting their outstanding success in the Championship, the school won the Overall Challenge Cup, as well as the German and Spanish Challenge Cup, after scoring the largest number of points combined from all students participating in the school.

Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School is a forward-thinking school for girls aged 11-18 in Kent. Dedicated to providing students with a full and balanced education for life, girls are encouraged to learn actively as well as being taught.

The school first began using Vocab Express in September 2011 to support the teaching of French, German and Spanish, the languages that all students learn when they start at Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar. The school believes that Vocab Express helps support their aim for active learning, as Christoph Link, Curriculum Leader for German explains: “We were attracted to the interactive, organised approach to learning that Vocab Express offers, allowing our students to take an active role in learning vocabulary that is tailored directly to their studies.”

The European Day of Languages Championship

Christoph heard from Vocab Express about the launch of the Vocab Express European Day of Languages Championship and was inspired to take part: “Having previously taken part in paid-for language championships, I knew that they provide a great way to motivate and inspire young people. I was looking however for a more tailored package that could really focus on the particular strengths and learning goals of our students. The Championship provided this while simultaneously helping to introduce Vocab Express itself across the school with a bang – and the added bonus of no entry fee!”

The students’ own impetus was key to their success, with points mainly scored at home and only a minority of lesson time used for the Championship, supporting active, independent learning. The school found that students – and staff from across the curriculum - were keen to get involved, with a large number signing up to take part from the off. A strong buzz could be felt around the school as details of the latest scores and placings were discussed throughout the day, and Christoph believes that this has really helped to inspire students in learning a language.

He explains the impact of the school’s success: “Both the students and staff feel brilliant to have won, and to be publicly recognised for our achievement. We are very proud of the hard work our students put into this challenge, resulting in what I am sure will be an increased focus on the vocabulary ‘foundations’ of a foreign language.”

Future plans

The popularity of, and success in, the Vocab Express European Day of Languages Championship with students across the school means that Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School is continuing to expand its use of the programme to strengthen the active and independent learning process. Christoph comments: “We look forward to the chance of proving once more our determination to succeed, and are excited to hear about the Vocab Express National Championship in 2012; it will give us the chance to compete on an even broader nationwide scale.”

Case Study

Tunbridge Wells Girls' Grammar School

Tunbridge Wells, Kent
www.twggs.kent.sch.uk/
November 2011

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