London's Highbury Grove School in Islington is a typically diverse London school and includes students from local Turkish, Latin American, Portuguese- speaking African, Polish, Somali and Bangladeshi communities. It provides cross-departmental support after hours in GCSE, AS and A Level classes for home languages not available in the curriculum.

17 percent of students are from a Turkish and/or Kurdish family background. With their career and language skills development in mind, Ruth Delvin, Head of Ethnic Minority Achievement, and Sedat Alpsen, the school’s Turkish and Kurdish Achievement Co-ordinator, built up links with Turkish language newspapers, who were keen to support the very community that represents their audience and market.

Getting to grips with the media industry

Highbury Grove wanted to create lasting partnerships with businesses willing to offer work placements for their Year 10 students – giving them an insight into a potential career where their home language is valued.

During the school’s second year of partnership with Avrupa, an international Turkish news group, ten year 10 students got an opportunity to visit the newspaper’s Newington Green premises – and to turn the tables by interviewing Avrupa’s editors, reporters and designers! Students also visited a locally-based Turkish Cypriot newspaper, Londra Toplum Postası, where they were encouraged to compare and contrast the two media operations. Questions were probing (and always in Turkish) – asking the staff about how they came to London, their personal aspirations and the goals of the newspaper.

In 2008 follow-up work placements have been organised with Avrupa. But work with the local business community does not stop there. 

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