Friday 16 March 2012

6.30 pm Reception, 7.15 pm Dinner – Abingdon School

Abingdon School welcomed a wonderful mixture of guests to the inaugural Modern Languages dinner. Host of the evening Andy Loughe in conjunction with the OA office were happy to welcome an ideal collection of individuals to the school for this excellen

t event. This evening follows on as part of a series of excellent networking dinners that the OA club organises for sixth form boys. These dinners provide an excellent chance for current students to gain an insight from old boys into their prospective occupations. We were extremely happy to see such a fantastic response to the prospect of a Modern languages dinner from both current boys and OAs.

This evening was made a little bit more special by the attendance of two teachers from Bielefeld. This was fantastic for both current pupils and old boys alike as Bielefeld has such a strong connection with the school throughout the years. Having guests from Bielefeld gave a common talking point to many of our guests as many boys past and present have taken the same exchange trip and experienced a foreign culture first hand. We were also joined by representatives from our Spanish exchange school Santiago de Compostela giving for a great sense of community between host schools the exchange project works with.

Our guests were treated to an excellent speech from the Rt. Hon. David Lidington, MP, Minister for Europe, who gave an insight into what it was to be involved with a very delicate political climate at the moment. A fantastic continuation of the boys’ education into modern foreign culture which is integral to further study of languages at university and beyond.

We are lucky enough to have a boy’s perspective on proceedings, here is Jake Ampleford's Upper VI account:

‘On the 16th March, the Modern Foreign Languages department hosted a networking dinner for Old Abingdonians, current pupils of modern language, current and former teachers, governors and a host of special guests. Not only were we treated to a fantastic three course meal but also an inspiring and fascinating speech from the Minister of State for Europe and Conservative MP for Aylesbury, The Right Honourable David Lidington. It was a real honour to have such a high ranking member of the government at Abingdon, and people took the opportunity to grill him on some of the current issues surrounding Europe including Russia, Hungary, Scotland and the economic crisis in Greece. Boys were able to gain a lot from talking to OAs including advice on university, and how they can take their languages further, not to mention the odd story or two about past and present teachers. The night was enjoyable, interesting and an astounding success, as the Modern Languages department continues to grow in stature.’

This shows exactly how enjoyable and rewarding dinners hosted at Abingdon are, the opportunity for such a wide range of specialists to come together and converse in a relaxed and welcoming environment lead to a thoroughly enjoyable evening. A fantastic event all round for the attendees, with the strong feeling that in future The Modern Languages Dinner should join the very profitable line up of professional dinners. An evening like this also brings out the more relaxed social aspect to reunions of past boys and teachers, giving a much less austere feel to the evening. The OA club is always very happy to see boys returning to the school for such events and would be delighted to have contact from any past boys that would like to hear about such future events.

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