Yell pupils pick up French language awards

The winning pupils from Mid Yell Junior School receive their prizes from Thomas Chaurin, education attaché of the French embassy in the UK, and Jenny Wink, Shetland Gas Plant facilities management co-ordinator.

TEN pupils at Mid Yell Junior High School received prizes on Monday (18 June) as part of a celebration of the teaching and use of French in Scottish schools.

The S2 students, winners of this year’s Concours de la francophonie competition, received their prizes during a special award ceremony at the school in the presence of education attaché of the French Embassy in the UK Thomas Chaurin and Shetland Gas Plant facilities management co-ordinator Jenny Wink, who was also representing sponsor Total E&P UK.


The VIP visit came after the Yell bairns were unable to attend the official award ceremony in Edinburgh in March.

With the majority of children now learning French from P1 in Scotland, la francophonie is said to be thriving.

To celebrate this renewed engagement with languages, the Institut Français d’Écosse launched a national French competition in 2016 to celebrate the international day of la francophonie with all young learners across Scotland.


The winners of the 2018 competition are:

  • S1/S3 category: Mid Yell Junior School – Shetland Islands Council – S2 – “Ciné Yell”
  • P5/P7 category: Doune PS – Stirling Council – P7 – “Le Ballon Rouge”
  • P1/P4 category: Maisondieu PS, Brechin – Angus Council – P3 – “Minibeast Madness”

This student-led competition is designed to value creativity in French and allow a large participation of all primary and secondary schools. Learners are invited to film a short piece, dialogue, song, play, report or any other production in French.

The competition is organised in two phases: local authorities choose their local champions and a national jury select the winners. For this third edition, various local authorities including Shetland Islands Council took part in the competition.

On 23 March, the first prize winners were invited to the Institut Français d’Ecosse to celebrate la journée mondiale de la francophonie and receive their award.


Mid Yell Junior High School students could not attend that day and the Institut Français d’Écosse visited the school on Monday to give them their award and take part in a special French day organised by their French teacher, Isabelle Boulay.

Consul general of France and director of the Institut fFançais d’Écosse Emmanuel Cocher said: “La journée mondiale de la francophonie, the international day of la francophonie, is indeed a very special day which brings together French speakers, learners and teachers, to celebrate the French language and the dialogue between cultures.”

Total E&P UK managing director Jean-Luc Guiziou said: “We were delighted to learn of Mid Yell Junior High’s success. With greater emphasis being given to the teaching of modern languages, Total is very pleased to support the Institut Francais with their future plans to encourage and support young learners.”