French Ambassador Catherine Colonna with Cllr Joyce McCarty and primary school pupils from Benton Park Primary
An ambitious new strategy to expand international learning and experiences for Newcastle and its young people was launched during a visit by the French Ambassador in February 2020.
Benton Park Primary pupils put on a wonderful show of their French language skills in conversation, singing and drama for the guests.
After the presentation, Cllr Joyce McCarty and Catherine Colonna signed a Joint Declaration showing their commitment to Franco-British relations and to officially launch the Newcastle City of Languages initiative.
As the Ambassador of France to the UK, I commend Newcastle City of Languages, an initiative unique in the UK, for its goal to develop language skills and encourage international experiences for the young. Through its Cultural Services, the French Embassy in the UK is looking forward to supporting the City of Newcastle in achieving these great ambitions.”Catherine Colonna French Ambassador to the UK
A new approach and new opportunities
International Newcastle has facilitated a new partnership approach, bringing together expertise from British Council, with national cultural institutions from Spain, Germany, France, Qatar and others, as well as language expertise in the region and UK and citywide partners, including schools, colleges, universities, voluntary and community sector organisations and language learning providers.
Newcastle City of Languages is a UK first and is a bold partnership designed to support primary and secondary schools to introduce or improve Modern Foreign Languages learning and uptake, encourage and support the speaking of different languages across the city, as well as to embrace and celebrate the diverse communities in Newcastle. A further strand of activity seeks to create more opportunities to connect children and young people with others across the globe.
Newcastle is a forward thinking ambitious city that is proud to be home to many diverse cultures, communities and people. City of Languages will create new and unique opportunities, experiences and learning for children and young people, that will help shape them into confident members of global society”Cllr Joyce McCarty, Deputy Leader, Newcastle City Council
We are particularly excited to be working closely with partners across Newcastle on this City of Languages initiative, piloting a focused approach with an alliance of organisations to ensure every child and young person has a meaningful international experience in their lives, with a revived passion and appreciation for language learning and multiculturalism being at the heart of this workKathy McArdle, Director England and Cities, British Council