Mark Williams Award

Le Pont du Diable ~ Bouger

The Mark Williams Award


Mark Williams was a leading light in the field of French teaching.  He taught at Otumoetai College, Tauranga, and was Secretary / Treasurer of NZAFT from 1998-2003.  He died shortly afterwards, but his legacy lives on in the professional development awards we give out each year in his name.

The Mark Williams Award (5 awards of $200 each) is for a teacher led project which focuses on enhancing the students’ French learning experience. Full details are available on  the application form and we invite applications by the last day of Term 3 (27 September 2019).


Apply for the Mark Williams Award for 2019:


  • Download the GoogleDoc application form here.
  • To complete the form click “File”, “Make a copy” and rename the GoogleDoc.
  • Complete the form.
  • Please share the completed form with the President of the NZAFT,


  • To download a Word version of the form click here.
  • Complete the form and email it to our President


Rules and Criteria for the Mark Williams Award for 2019

The Mark Williams Award is for a teacher led project which focuses on enhancing the students’ French learning experience.

  1. Applicants for one of five Mark Williams Awards must be a paid member of the NZAFT.
  2. Application for an award must be made in writing to the NZAFT President.  Application forms are available by downloading a copy from this page.
  3. Applications close on the last day of Term 3 ~ 27th September 2019
  4. Applications for an award must state:
    • Name, address and contact details
    • Current position and designation
    • Description of the student focused project for which the Award is intended
    • Reason for applying for funds
    • The maximum amount requested is a maximum of $200
    • Proposed ways of sharing benefits to colleagues.
  5. The selection will be made from applicants who meet all the requirements in their application.  The decision will be based on the following criteria:
    • the project must benefit more than one student
    • the project must be carried out during the school year the award is awarded.
    • adequate planning is demonstrated
  6. Members receiving an award must supply NZAFT Executive with a short written report of the project, suitable for publishing on the Mark Williams Award page of
  7. Disbursement of the award will be made upon reception of the relevant receipts and of the short written report upon project completion.
  8. The award may be granted for a project within or beyond New Zealand.


Award recipients – 2018
The following teachers were awarded $200 for their projects in 2018.  There is an interesting range of activities.

  • Mary Hamill, Western Heights High School
    Inspired by her use of a VR headset at the NZALT conference, Mary will by 4 VR headsets for use by her students.  To support their preparation for a visit to France in 2019, the students will use the headsets as part of their learning about “Places in a Town” and “Directions” using a cultural perspective. They will also use them to plan our visit to France.  Already they can investigate different places in and around Paris using the VR headsets.  This will certainly bring the planning to life and allow those who are not going on the trip to also participate.




  • Susan Johnson, Lincoln High School

Susan’s French classes are hosting students from New Caledonia and she is planning an evening for them.

Susan explains:

We are hosting an exchange with our partner school from Poindimie in New Caldedonia.  This particular group of students is visiting us as they are studying earthquakes in Science in English and they are coming over to explore this idea further in our Science and French lessons and in the surrounding area. We are planning an evening at the end of their stay with students and their families where we share a meal and cultural practices. This would involve New Caledonian students and their host families and teachers of both schools.

Students would gain an insight into French language and New Caledonian culture. The evening would be an opportunity for the two groups to come together and share their experiences and learnings from the 10 days. New Caledonian students and their hosts would present to the group in French and English. Students will also perform and teach each other some songs.

  • Priscilla Pollard, St Mary’s College
    Priscilla is planning her third Senior Quiz.  These are becoming an institution in Auckland for, as Priscilla puts it, the following reasons:
  • Quiz will be addressing French as a language and culture and the delivery will be in French
  • Students will relate to each other after the quiz – hopefully able to interact in French
  • This is already an annual “selling point” for senior students at St. Mary’s College and
  • other high schools in Auckland
  • Acknowledges our seniors and all they CAN do

This could be circulated around the whole country – I am always happy to share the quiz information.


  • Suzy Lallemant, Shirley Boys’ High School
    After their “cantine” experience in France, Suzy’s students are inspired to try eating “à la française” in a “civilised” way.  Suzy has this planned:

Last year during our senior students’ trip to France we ate several times in the school cantines in Arras and Dijon.  My students were blown away by how “civilised” it was to eat seated at a table and talk with their friends instead of just standing outside (usually leaning against a wall) or eating a sandwich on the way to the weights room.  They all said how much they would love to eat cantine style at home in New Zealand so… I’m prepared to give it a go, and invite our sister school (Avonside Girls’ High) to send their senior French students over to join us.

I have 11 senior students, and we will invite 6 girls and their French teacher. We would like to have meals 6 weeks apart maximum so they don’t lose momentum, and start with the Dijon students who will be here visiting with us in late April.

Students will have the chance to SPEAK FRENCH!!!  They can join me in the school kitchen before school to put the meal together (crock pot!!) and of course we will discuss what to eat and what needs to be bought.  While eating the boys will speak ONLY FRENCH to chat and also get to know the girls from Avonside Girls’ High.  Taking the time to eat together will encourage the boys to talk about topics of interest to them. It will enrich their vocabulary as they speak to new people, and at the same time provide a cultural experience for the students that didn’t go to France.


2018 Reports 

Priscilla’s report can be accessed here. She reports on the huge success of this quiz, now in its third year.  The event has become so big that it has outgrown the current premises.

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Susan’s report regarding hosting students from New Caledonia can be read here.


Award recipients – 2017
There were four applications for the award in 2017, all of which were successful.  Here are the names of the recipients and a brief summary of their proposed activity.  Reports on the activities will be published on this page as these are received.

  • Priscilla Pollard, St. Mary’s College
    The Award would be used towards prizes, a shared meal and materials for the activities for a Year 12 and 13 Quiz night to be held at St Mary’s College.
  • Suzy Lallemant, Shirley Boys’ High School
    The Award would be used towards two pou to be gifted to Lycee Jacques Caron in Arras and Lycee Carnot in Dijon during a visit to these schools on a cultural exchange.
  • Stephen Grimwood, Newlands College
    The Award would be used to support a trip to France in April/May 2018, during which the students intend to visit their Shared Histories partner school, Collège Louis Nucera, and attend ANZAC commemorations in Antibes.
  • Ali Rennie, Te Puke High School
    The Award would be used towards building a Lightboard Studio to flip the French classroom.

2017 Reports

Suzy Lallement’s report can be accessed here.  She has given full and impressive details about the pou; their design, construction and the handing over ceremonies.

Priscilla’s report describes a very successful quiz night, with Kings College once again taking out the first prize.  The “Hors Concours” section was won by Kristin.  Here are a few photos of the evening.

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Stephen Grimwood, Newlands College, completed a successful trip to France during April 2018. An eventful trip, which included experiencing first hand the national train strikes, is outlined in his  France Trip Report 2018.

Award recipients – 2016
There were four applications for the award this year, all of which were successful.  Here are the names of the recipients and a brief summary of their activity.

• Elizabeth Roy, Southland Girls High School
The purchase of ten Education Perfect logins for students unable to afford them.

• Patsy Hall, Hamilton Girls’ High School
Contribution towards the costs of 20 students going to France on exchange with two French schools.

• Priscilla Pollard, St. Mary’s College
Contribution towards prizes, shared meal and quiz materials for a Year 12 & 13 Quiz night in the Auckland region.  This quiz was successfully held on 31 August and Priscilla has shared all her documents with us for teachers who would like to hold their own quiz.  Priscilla’s report can be read here.  The Photo Gallery can be viewed on our Teachers Page.

• Margaret Bullen, Stratford High School
Contribution towards the costs of a group of students travelling to New Caledonia and homestaying with a school in Poindimié.

Award recipients – 2015

We received a record number of applications for this award and were particularly impressed by the range of activities taking place in schools across the country. The following teachers were chosen to receive the award this year, with a brief description of their activity.

• Carole Coleman, Nga Tawa Diocesan School
Shared Histories project with College Jules Ferry in Conty, France, involving the twinning of the two towns.  Read Carol’s report here.

• Camille Dumas, Massey High School
Entry to DELF exam for students unable to pay the costs.

• Jane Skinner, Richmond Road School
Year 5 and 6 student exchange with École Internationale James Cook in Nouméa. Done in partnership with Birkdale North’s Étoile du Nord.

• Manu Ménard, St Matthew’s Collegiate
Monthly recording and broadcasting of students’ own work on Arrow FM. Read Manu’s report here.

• Anke Richmond, Sacred Heart Girls’ College, Hamilton
French “chat room”, hosted by the local Lido Cinema and facilitated by two native French speakers.

• Anne Scott and Maria Blanco, Epsom Girls’ Grammar School
Posters to be created, published and made available for purchase promoting the study of languages. Posters will contain authentic letters, emails and information provided by past students, describing how their language has benefited them in their career pathway.
Anne reports: In 2015 we contacted the Old Girls via newsletter and asked them how learning languages at EGGS helped them in their careers and in life in general. We have a poster being designed and printed for each of the languages we offer: Chinese, French, Japanese, Latin, Maori, and Spanish.

The French poster created by Anne and her team


Students from Richmond Road School in New Caledonia