November 30 In the Press

Markethill High School students celebrate language titles

Markethill High School students are celebrating prestigious wins this week for their achievements in modern languages.

The British Academy in London awarded Markethill High School with the prestigious title of ‘Best Mainstream School in Northern Ireland for Modern Languages’ placing the school as the top school in Northern Ireland but also in the top three in the UK.

But not only that, in a separate competition, language students also won the prestigious Euroscola Programme in which they competed against hundreds of schools to secure an all expenses paid trip to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

To recognise their first achievement, The British Academy hosted a special event in Carlton House in London where students David Henry and Ryan Higgins joined teachers Elizabeth Young and Clare Henry to celebrate their win and to collect a cheque for £4,000.

Mrs Henry, Head of Modern Languages, and Miss Young, who represented the school’s Young Enterprise programme, said it was a fantastic occasion which greatly honoured the efforts of the students who were part of the successful Young Enterprise company, Aspire, whose language learning package, Linguature, formed part of the winning entry for the competition.

Mrs Henry said: “This prestigious award is a true reflection on the standard of entrepreneurial spirit that exists among the students at Markethill High School. The students love modern languages and our results are always fantastic. Being named the Best School in Northern Ireland and being placed in the top three in the UK, is a real honour and the students should all be extremely proud of their hard work.”

The awards ceremony in central London hosted a display of work and presentations which were submitted from a variety of schools from all regions in the UK.

Markethill High School’s work in teaching and promoting languages was described by the British Academy as ’gold standard’.

Prizes were awarded by a representative of Arsenal Football club, journalist and news reader Cathy Newman and TV presenter Naomi Wilkinson. Markethill High School representatives were also presented with a glass trophy.

Next month, to celebrate the Euroscola Programme success, students will travel to Strasbourg on an all expenses paid trip to the European Parliament.

The Year 11 pupils studying GCSE languages were commended for impressing the judges from the European Commission Representation in Belfast and the European Parliament Office in Dublin with their ‘high standard of entry’.

Alanah Herron, Deborah Alexander, Rebecca Dodds, Jayne Fenton and Courtney White  produced the winning brochure on ‘The International Dimension to school life’ guided by language teachers Kirsten Davisand Clare Henry.  The five winners will also be joined by competition participants Rebekah Megarity, Alex McTurk and Kirsty Morton, on the three day trip to the European Parliament.

James Maxwell, Principal of Markethill High School, congratulated the students and said the school consistently performs well in languages.

He said: “The award of Best Mainstream School in Northern Ireland for Modern Languages from the British Council followed a rigorous judging process, which included high-profile judges travelling to the school from England to assess the high quality of learning and teaching undertaken. On behalf of the Governors, I would add my congratulations to the teachers and pupils involved.

“The fact that we have also just won the Northern Ireland Euroscola competition consolidates our position as a leading school in the area of language learning. We will be using the prize money to invest in further high quality language learning opportunities for our pupils.”



For further information contact Eleanor McGillie of McGillie Media & PR on 028 3756 9863 | PR Public Relations Northern Ireland


  • January 2012 – Markethill High School – winners of a £4,000 prize fund for the best Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics project application to develop those subjects with Year 9 pupils.
  • In May 2012 Markethill High School was announced the British Academy Award Winner for the Best School in Northern Ireland for Modern Languages, with an award of £4,000. The school is shortlisted to the final three schools for the title of Best School in the United Kingdom for the delivery of Modern Language education.
  • In May 2012 – Laura Marshall in Year 11 was awarded the outstanding title of Northern Ireland’s Young Entrepreneur of the Future
  • For the second year running, in June 2012, Jonathan Armstrong in Year 12 was named the Southern Regional College student of the Year as a result of his work on the Schools’ Partnership Programme studying Occupational Studies
  • In November 2012, Markethill High School win Euroscola Programme

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