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
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
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
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
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
Centre facilities include:
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.
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