A Halesowen school has won a prestigious European award for an innovative language project which sees older pupils mentoring younger children in a weekly after school club.

‘Project Croissant’ sees year nine and ten pupils at The Earls High School teaching French to local primary school children through creative activities such as devising a puppet show, visiting a French restaurant and producing a weather forecast filmed using a green screen, as on TV.

The older pupils must apply for the job of mentor, making a commitment to 20 weeks of teaching, and are paid for the work.

Earlier this month representatives from Earls High received a European Award for Languages - which recognises innovative approaches to language learning - from by broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald at a special ceremony in London.

Judges praised the uniqueness of the project.

Melanie Olver, Language College Leader, said the school was thrilled to find it had won the award.

She said: “Project Croissant’s success is attributed not only to the pupils and staff at Earls High but also to those primary school pupils, parents, teachers and local businesses who have taken part in the project over the past three years.”

The Earls High School, on Furnace Lane, became a Language College in September 2006.

Language leaders say the aim of Project Croissant, which has been running for the last three years, is to promote a hunger for learning languages amongst pupils, while also increasing secondary pupils’ confidence.

The European Award for Languages is coordinated in the UK by CILT, the National Centre for Languages.