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Embedding French throughout Aston by Sutton Primary School
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Aston by Sutton Primary School is a smaller than average village primary school for 4-11 year olds. We are situated on the outskirts of Frodsham, Cheshire. There are currently 91 children on role and 17 staff including 3 midday assistants. The vast majority of pupils are White British and no pupils speak English as an additional language. The surrounding area is not culturally diverse and is predominantly White British. We have a very strong ethos of opportunity, aspiration and community. Parents have very positive views of the school. Several travel quite a distance to Aston because they value the focus on caring as well as the high academic expectations. Pupils really enjoy attending our small school because they know everyone and have many friends. Staff know every child, not only those in their class, and this contributes greatly to pupils feeling safe and secure. The school is in a well-balanced socio-economic catchment area. As a school, we have identified our needs as: to upskill the staff in term of their ability to teach French and their knowledge of the language; to improve staff and pupil confidence; to develop robust schemes of work which will inform high quality lesson plans and teaching to ensure rapid progression; to develop the multicultural dimension throughout the school and to ensure that the subject leader is able to support staff and learners with their French. These will be five participants whose needs can be met by this course; who will create a real 'buzz' around languages learning; who have clear goals and expectations for the project; who will create displays on returning from the mobility to provide discussion prompt between the students and between staff and students; who will continue to engage with professional development to improve language learning throughout the whole school; and who will work to raise the profile of French throughout the school. To address the needs identified within our school, we plan to send five members of staff to a high quality immersion course in the South of France over a two year period. The activities on the course include high quality language lessons delivered by native speakers, who are experienced in teaching their mother tongue as a foreign language. Participants will be grouped according to their language proficiency. Links with teachers and children can be established during a one day work shadow in a French primary school. The course provides the opportunity for immersion in the village life of provincial France which includes carefully selected activities such as: a formal welcome from the Mayor, traditional dancing and a game of pétanque with the local club. Learning activities will take place during the day and cultural activities during the evening. The impact of this project will affect not only the participant but also the school, colleagues, children, scheme of work and lesson plans, our cluster of schools, parents and governors. From this impact we expect to make a real difference to the knowledge, skills, practice, attitudes, behaviour, motivation, confidence, life chances, employability and opportunities of all the stakeholders involved. The longer term benefits of this project are; fostering a life-long love of languages, creating a 'buzz' around language learning and learning about the culture of other countries. We also envisage that children become so engaged in French and France that they will want to visit the country and take part in their own immersive languages course which we would never have dreamt of being possible without the support of Erasmus+.

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