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Doorway to France
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Spindle Point Primary School is a one form entry school with a Nursery class located in Kearsley on the edge of Bolton, near to the boundary with Salford. The background of our children is predominantly white British and we recognise the need to educate our children about different cultures both within Bolton, the United Kingdom, Europe and beyond. The teaching of a modern foreign language is now a statutory part of the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum. We have taught French for a number of years but we can see that the language proficiency of our staff has restricted the attainment of the children. With the new curriculum there is a requirement that children will make good progress year on year. In order to enable this to happen our project develops the language skills of our staff. Our project objectives can be summarised as :- - To develop participants personal knowledge of and proficiency in French language, cultures, traditions and heritage and to then facilitate professional development opportunities for other staff at Spindle Point. - To train participants to become more proficient in the teaching of French to primary school children, using effective and efficient methods that will engage children and enable them to make progress. - To increase pupil's knowledge and understanding of the cultures, traditions and heritage of people who live in a European country other than the United Kingdom, including an understanding of the rich diversity of international cultures that can be found within France. - To enable pupils to make year on year progress in their knowledge of and proficiency in the French language, including reading, writing, speaking and listening so that they reach a good standard in preparation for High school and beyond. - To establish and maintain an effective link with a French primary school in order to undertake a range of learning and communication activities that will benefit both parties. The project involves sending 4 staff to spend 8 days in France to undertake Language and Methodology Courses. 2 staff will go in autumn 2015 and 2 will go in autumn 2016. The staff will be selected who are judged to best meet the needs of our school, with a clear expectation that they will pass their learning on to other staff and have a key role in improving the teaching of French across the school. The visit to France will involve intensive, bespoke tuition in the French language including many opportunities to practise the language in a real life context; organised visits to places of interest so participants learn about French culture and heritage; training in the most effective and efficient ways to teach French to primary aged children; a visit to a French primary school. In addition we plan to establish a link with a school in France that we can then develop through planned and regular joint learning projects involving the staff and children from both schools. The project will clearly impact significantly on the 4 participants but it also includes a plan as to how that learning can then be disseminated in school to improve the language and cultural knowledge of other staff and improve the quality of the French lessons being taught. Through a series of training events, delivered at staff meetings, bespoke support packages and careful monitoring of the project, our results will show an increased proficiency and confidence in the teaching of French. French will have a higher profile on the school curriculum, children will make good progress year on year and enjoy learning and practising the language, particularly by participating in joint learning activities with our French link school. They will have knowledge about what it is like to be a child growing up in France and will be able to recognise similarities and difference to their own lives. The majority of children will reach a good level of language proficiency when they leave for High school and this will provide a solid base on which to build future learning. Children will see that the ability to speak another language can be of great benefit particularly if they were visiting France, or another French speaking country . It may encourage them to pursue training or employment opportunities beyond the United Kingdom. The staff will also benefit in the longer term as their completion of the project will be recognised as a major professional development activity and stand them in good stead should they seek employment/promotion within another school. A new subject leader will be identified and this will assist with our succession planning to enable the continued development of French teaching and learning at our school.
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