Friday 15 April 2016

Children’s English language learning initiative wins marketing innovation award

A partnership between the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, and award-winning studio Aardman has won the prestigious Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) award in the Innovation – Product Sector category. ‘Learning Time with Shaun & Timmy’, a new educational approach enabling children aged two to six years around the world to learn English with the help of Shaun the Sheep and Timmy triumphed over other nominees in the category including EE, Baxi Heating, and Camelot.

The Learning Time with Shaun & Timmy portfolio was launched in January 2015 and so far encompasses English language learning centres for children aged two to six years in Singapore, Chile and Mexico, with more expansion in Latin America, Europe and Middle East and North Africa at British Council teaching centres and through partner kindergartens and pre-school institutions. There are also two Learning Time with Timmy apps available for iOS and Android devices aimed at children aged three to six years, with a third in production for release in June 2016.

The British Council and Aardman partnership is born out of a shared vision to bring together the best of UK creativity and English language expertise to engage and educate young minds around the world. The teaching methodology at the heart of Learning Time with Shaun & Timmy is inspired by the UK’s world-leading Early Years Foundation Stage and is taught by the British Council’s teaching experts.

The British Council and Aardman are building on their innovative approach through further partnership and new product development opportunities to expand the project globally.

Anna Searle, Director of English at the British Council said: “We are proud to have won this Innovation – Product Sector award. The British Council and Aardman have worked really hard to build the Learning Time with Shaun & Timmy brand, which offers young children all over the world an exciting and memorable first experience of learning English. We have developed an innovative and unique learning experience based on the fun and creativity of Aardman’s characters and the British Council’s English language teaching expertise. We have a very strong partnership and we’re looking forward to continuing to innovate together to further expand our brand and audiences.”

Sean Clarke, Head of Rights and Brand Development at Aardman said: “We are delighted to have received the Innovation – Product Sector Award for our Learning Time with Shaun & Timmy initiative with the British Council.  We are extremely proud of our ground-breaking partnership and have further plans in development of how we can continue to innovate the programme further with a view to continuing to make learning the English language fun for young learners all around the world.”

Maureen McDonagh, Global Lead Partnerships, British Council said: “We are thrilled to have received this award as it reflects the unique position of our innovative partnership. This partnership brings two great British brands together to delight and inspire new audiences in learning and we look forward to continuing to build new advances to engage young learners around the world.”

Notes to Editor

For more information, or images from the app, please contact Tim Sowula, Senior Press Officer, British Council on +44207 389 4871 or


Aardman, based in Bristol (UK) co-founded and run by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, is a world leader in animation. It produces feature films, series, advertising and digital entertainment for both the domestic and international market. Their multi-award winning productions are novel, entertaining, brilliantly characterised and full of charm that reflects the unique talent, energy and personal commitment of the very special people who make up the Aardman team. The studio’s work is often imitated and yet the company continues to lead the field producing a rare brand of visually stunning and amusing independent and commercial productions  

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant provides 20 per cent of our turnover which last year was £864 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, such as English classes and taking UK examinations, and also through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity, influence and security for the UK and globally. 

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