The Oxford German Network

Partner: Various Schools, University of Oxford
Partner type: Community Group
Project category: Academic

The Oxford German Network is the first university-led cultural network. It was launched in September 2012 by the University of Oxford’s Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages with the support of Founding Partners Jesus College, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, Magdalen College School and BMW Group Plant Oxford. It is designed to build on local strengths in the Oxford area, with partners including schools of all types alongside university departments, organisations, and companies. The Oxford German Network facilitates personal contact between individuals with similar interests, and opens up enjoyable opportunities for communicating with people from another culture in their language. It acts as a beacon for the study of languages in the UK and conducts research into the status and uptake of German to promote language provision at a national level. By connecting up academic institutions, cultural organisations, businesses, and policy-makers locally, nationally, and internationally, the Oxford German Network fosters an active interest in productive cross-cultural cooperation. Headington School is one of a number of local ‘partner schools’, both independent and maintained, which work closely with the Oxford German Network.

Aims of the project

The network seeks to support schools which might find it difficult to effectively resource German teaching by pooling the expertise that can found in the area. The Network works both with Oxfordshire schools and at a national level. ‘Partner schools’ in Oxfordshire are able to attend, and also help to organise, events throughout the year. 

Background and goals

Established by the University of Oxford’s Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages in 2012.

Resources

The termly teachers’ meetings are hosted at Jesus College, and a number of other events take place at the University of Oxford. Teaching staff from partner schools are involved in setting up extra-curricular activities.  The Head of German at Headington is engaged in making contact with primary schools and offering assistance in language teaching. Partner schools have been invited to German themed events in Headington Theatre.

Impact

Assessment carried out by Oxford University.

Pupil involvement

The Network aims to provide a range of events each academic year, open to different year groups. For example, the Christmas Biscuits Competition is for pupils starting to learn German (approx Years 7-9), while Reading Groups are often for sixth formers. Attendance at individual events varies, but includes pupils from both independent and maintained schools.

Frequency and duration

The Oxford German Network is an ongoing initiative that has been running since 2012.  Most of the individual events occur annually or a few times a year.  The Network will continue to operate as long as it remains beneficial.