German may be fading from the modern language departments of some Scottish secondaries, but Schools Minister Keith Brown last week witnessed how one East Dunbartonshire school is bucking the trend.
Bishopbriggs Academy has been involved since last year in a partnership with the Goethe Institute in Glasgow. The initiative, Schools - Partners for the Future, has been set up by the German government to encourage educational links to Germany and promote the learning and teaching of the language across the globe. Under the partnership, the institute offers various elements of support to schools:
- teachers are offered further training in Germany and pupils have the chance to take part in international summer courses;
- online projects give pupils the opportunity to make contact and establish friendships across the globe;
- teachers across the curriculum are offered support materials and encouraged to take part in cross-curricular initiatives;
- cultural events that put language learning into meaningful and motivating contexts;
- support for the teaching of German in primary through visits and shared projects.