The Rt Hon Robin Walker MP, Minister of State for School Standards, visited Cardinal Hume Catholic School in Gateshead on Thursday 14th October to meet students, teachers and leaders to find out about the school’s successful and thriving Modern Foreign Languages Hub. The visit was part of his review of the MFL Hubs across the country following his recent appointment to the role last month.

Minister Walker was greeted by the school’s Headteacher, Brendan Robson, before meeting with Nick Hurn OBE, CEO of Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust, of which Cardinal Hume Catholic School is a part. The Minister then spent most of his time in the school’s Modern Languages Department talking to students and teachers, including Jane Wood, Leader of Modern Foreign Languages, before visiting some language lessons.

Nick Hurn said: “We were honoured to welcome the Minister to Cardinal Hume Catholic School today as part of his review of the MFL Hubs. We believe that the work in our Hub, in partnership with the National Centre for Excellence for Languages Pedagogy (NCELP), has been truly transformational for the young people of our Trust and the region.

“The excellent resources and guidance provided by the NCELP has allowed our Hub to create a highly effective school network across the North East that focuses on the key pillars of any successful MFL teaching programme – Phonics, Vocabulary and Grammar. These successful methods, delivered by our first-class practitioners and supported by superb resources, have led to a buzz and level of enthusiasm for MFL across our school community, the likes of which I have never seen in nearly 40 years of teaching.”

Brendan Robson added: “We are extremely proud of our Hub team and the work they do to promote and develop outstanding teaching in modern foreign languages, not only for the students at Cardinal Hume, but for schools across the region. Enhancing engagement, participation and progress in the learning of foreign languages can only be a good thing in creating opportunities for young people in the North East of England.”