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Buckie High kids speak language of success!

By Alan Beresford

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BUCKIE High's partnership with a major local employer has seen them scoop a prestigious national award.

There is plenty for these students to celebrate after BCHS scooped the silver Scottish Languages Employability Award. Picture: BCHS
There is plenty for these students to celebrate after BCHS scooped the silver Scottish Languages Employability Award. Picture: BCHS

For the past six years, BCHS has been working closely with Associated Seafoods Ltd (ASL), who export their salmon and other products across the globe. One of the many benefits accruing from the partnership has been the opportunity to use and expand a range of languages.

Most recently, the school and ASL were able to resume the S1 seafood project, which brought together a whole host of skills.

The hard work has brought its own rewards in that shape of a silver Scottish Languages Employability Award.

PT modern languages Catherine Eadon said: "I was thrilled to learn that we had a Silver Scottish Language Employability Award for the collaboration between ASL and BCHS over the last six years.

"This has not only involved many pupils and colleagues past and present from BCHS ML and HE departments and ASL colleagues Jonathan Curtis health and safety manager and ex-BCHS pupil Drew Niven who now works in HR for ASL in seafood projects with recipe cards in M&S, but also careers talks from the ASL Export Sales Manager Henry Angus.

"When I began at BCHS six years ago I was keen to re-establish the link with ASL.

"I am proud of the link that we now have and plans that we have to work towards a further possibly gold or platinum award. It is key that pupils learn skills for work such as teamwork, delegation, communication and initiative but are also aware of employers in their town and the significance of the seafood industry for Buckie.

"Speaking a modern language and knowledge of other cultures is also more important that you think. You never know where you might end up working and with whom!

"I would like to thank my colleagues at ASL, BCHS colleagues past and present, Kelly Cormack from DYW Moray and colleagues from SCILT who travelled up from Glasgow to attend our seafood final in June."

There was also delight among the victorious students, with comments like "It was an unexpected surprise!", "Cool!" and "Unbelievable!".

ASL's export manager Henry Angus said: “We are delighted to hear that BCHS has received this employability award.

"With languages you are at home anywhere and it is a priceless skill to have. We use languages in many different applications in our business and commend BCHS for the work they have done in promoting foreign language training.”

The verification team from the award, which is run by SCILT (Scotland’s National Centre for Languages) and the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools, were left impressed by what they saw in BCHS's submission.

They said: “Buckie High School’s submission demonstrates a meaningful and long-established relationship between departments within the school and between the school and a local business. This is evidenced in strong interdisciplinary working that is embedded in the departmental calendar, and the sponsorship of a languages award by the local company.

"Taking the time to develop a close working partnership with one company has allowed the school to develop a range of high-quality employability-focused activities over multiple year groups such as career talks and design/international marketing tasks. The verification team was impressed by such a creative approach that supports the development of skills for life and work.

"We were also pleased to note that the school is aiming to develop the languages focus of the project further too, and we look forward to seeing this progress."

Two of the verification team had the opportunity to visit the school for the final showcase event of this year's seafood project and praised the range of skills they saw in action.

They added: "We want to commend Buckie High School for their submission.

"The evidence submitted reflects work with a number of year groups over this and previous years, and we appreciate that circumstances over the last few years have made it challenging to say the least and so this cumulative evidence is perfectly acceptable."

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