Student is rewarded for creative poem in foreign language

Isabelle Redmayne with her Other Tongue winner's certificate. Picture by Jane Coltman.
Isabelle Redmayne with her Other Tongue winner's certificate. Picture by Jane Coltman.

A student at Morpeth’s high school was among the winners of an innovative competition run by Routes into Languages North East.

Pupils aged between 11 and 18 are invited to enter one of two categories – Mother Tongue and Other Tongue.

The former requires children and young people who do not have English as a first language, or who speak a different language at home, to share a ‘remembered’ lullaby, poem or song or compose their own in this language.

They then write a short piece in English to explain its significance to them.

The latter encourages pupils learning another language in school to use that language creatively to write a poem.

Following short-listing and final judging, the winners were chosen.

Year 11 King Edward VI School student Isabelle Redmayne was successful in the Other Tongue Years 10 and 11 section.

She said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been named as the Key Stage 4 winner for the Other Tongue category.

“I found the competition a good challenge, which I really enjoyed.”

All of the regional winners were invited to attend the national celebration of the Mother Tongue Other Tongue contest at Manchester Metropolitan University. The event included music, dancing and cultural activities.

Isabelle’s French teacher Victoria Najafi, who is also Student Voice, leadership and enrichment co-ordinator at KEVI, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have had success in the competition for the second consecutive year.

“Isabelle has a real passion and talent for French writing and poetry. I am really proud of her achievement.”