We have all at some point heard of St Paul’s Bay Primary School within the Maria Regina College… it might have been a small quiet school when you were young, but hey, that’s changed. The school caters for a massive number of students from all over the world. I believe it was one of the first state schools in Malta (if not the first) to be considered an international school!
Anyhow, I always wondered how on Earth do they manage to teach Maltese to so many foreign students. Talking to a former teacher of the school, I learnt about the challenges but most of all about the satisfactions of managing to teach Maltese to someone who had never even heard of the island before their parents decided to move here!
Lately, the school has been awarded the European Language Label by the EUPA & European Commission. The European Language Label is awarded to local, regional, and national projects that have found creative ways to improve the quality of language teaching, motivate students, make the best use of available resources to diversify the languages on offer, and other innovative initiatives. This school has been awarded this label for the great work they do with their students to teach Maltese, and am not surprised!
This school will receive a European certificate, signed by the European Education and Culture Commissioner, during a ceremony which will take place in Malta in the coming months.
‘Happy Together’ was the name of the project that led to it, where the school has shown that even though it has a large number of foreign students, they still found a way to teach Maltese. In its application, the school talked about methods and strategies that help ed them achieve this mission. The project will now appear in the Commission database as an exemplary model of teaching.
The European Certificate is an award that encourages new initiatives in the field of teaching and learning languages, rewarding new techniques in language teaching, spreading the knowledge of their existence and thereby promoting good practice.
Every year, the label is given to the most innovative projects of language learning in each country participating in the scheme – Coordinated by the European Commission, but managed by the individual Member States, with national juries deciding on detailed criteria.
Congratulations to this magnificent school! Keep up the good work!