language challenge

Last year’s International Space Challenge winners, City of Derby Academy, enjoyed their prize last week  – a masterclass at the National Space Centre in Leicester.  The students put a lot of hard work into the challenge itself and it was a delight to receive the following feedback from Andy McMurray, Head of Teaching and Learning at the National Space Centre, who ran the masterclass:


City Of Derby Academy at the National Space Centre

During the Masterclass the student’s attitude and commitment was outstanding – they arrived early and I don’t think they will leave the Centre until we shut and ask them to leave! All the students wanted to pass on their thanks for the opportunity and through themselves at the tasks and took full use of the opportunity.


After the session I had a verbal feedback with the teachers about the whole programme it was hearing their comments that I started to understand the impact of this project. The teachers spoke of a “material impact on the students’ confidence and aspirations” following the previous rounds and then winning the final. They were suggesting that we made a difference to GCSE outcomes and destinations – all anecdotal because we had no prior data but these were International Space Challenge Winnersexperienced teachers who know their students.


The language teacher said how, following the final, the students were “much more confident in speaking language”.


All the students are going to college to study either A-levels or BTEC level 3 – all with a STEM component and some with a language. Their interest in space has continued with good GCSE Astronomy results expected. Being able to struggle and fail and yet, in the end, succeed was a knew experience to the students and it was this aspect, according to the teachers, that gave a noticeable boost to the students’ confidence. As one teacher put it “things like this don’t happen to these students”.


Overall the teachers said ‘this was the best event they have ever been involved in’ and they either want to take part in it again with us or ‘run the same thing ourselves as it clearly made such an impact’.





This is brilliant feedback and we’d like to thank everyone who has taken part in and supported this event.  To find out more about our International Space Challenge or the other language events we run in schools please contact us on 01949 860167 or email Sally Fagan.