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London City Airport has presented its first award for achievement in Modern Foreign Languages to Muhammad Omar Sharif Mudhir from Portway Primary School, Plaistow. Launched exclusively for the school at the start of the academic year in 2007, the award recognises and encourages the distinct advantage students get from learning a new language.
Nine year old Muhammad Omar Sharif Mudhir from Ilford was presented with a personalised shield by Elizabeth Hegarty, London City Airport’s Community Relations Manager and treated to an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the airport. Muhammad was selected by Portway School teachers for his hard work, effort and keen interest in learning a second language.
Elizabeth Hegarty said: “When recruiting staff for roles within the airport, language skills are hugely desirable. By encouraging children to learn a second language when they are young they will be better prepared for any career path they choose to follow”.
Maggie Van Loan, Head Teacher for Portway Primary School, said: “the London City Airport Modern Foreign Languages Award was a great incentive to encourage children to concentrate and focus on their studies, literacy and basic language skills. With over 35 different languages spoken by the pupils of Portway Primary School there is also a great opportunity for them to learn from each other.”
In addition to the schedule set out in the National Curriculum, Portway School specialises in languages and each month focuses on a different dialect. Pupils are encouraged to learn basic conversational skills and gain an understanding of the regions where the languages are spoken.
London City Airport was introduced to Portway Primary School through the East London Business Alliance. As a result the airport now works in partnership with the school on a number of programmes including tours to the airport to meet its mascot Barnaby Bear and support for a modern foreign vocabulary leaflet.
Photo caption: Elizabeth Hegarty, London City Airport’s Community Relations Manager with Muhammad Omar Sharif Mudhir winner of the London City Airport achievement in Modern Foreign Languages Award