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Freedom from Insularity
Start date: Jul 1, 2014, End date: Jun 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Holy Trinity is a "Good school" that serves a deprived community; deprived financially and inspirationally. We have, over the years, engaged with parents and opened them to the burgeoning of new thoughts, hopes and aspirations for their children. We hold the passionate belief that all our children can succeed and do all we can to make that a reality. Like many other primary schools around the country, in 2014 Holy Trinity was preparing for the new National Curriculum, which included for the first time compulsory teaching of languages in Key Stage 2 (KS2). We were at an early stage in planning to meet these new requirements and did not have a subject leader for languages. An audit revealed that staff expertise in language skills was low and most did not have the confidence to teach effectively. Our Erasmus+ KA1 project began in July 2014 and its main focus was to develop the skills and confidence of our Key Stage 2 teaching staff and provide them with the tools to deliver quality lessons in French at the appropriate level for their pupils. We also wanted to instil in our children a concept of tolerance and an awareness of life beyond Blackburn with Darwen. Over the 2 year period that our project ran, we provided 6 members of teaching staff with the opportunity to attend short structured training courses in France; 2 teachers in year 1 and 4 in year 2. The rationale for this was to create lead members of staff who would guide other teachers and sustain a collective enthusiasm for language teaching throughout school. During the courses they received tailor-made, expert tuition on teaching French as a foreign language, enabling them to develop their language skills as well as their knowledge of teaching methods. Methodology followed that outlined in the guidance from the Department for Education, including learning through very practical communication activities, songs, rhymes, drama and games. They collected everyday items to be used as prompts for lessons as well as a wealth of tried and tested ideas exemplified by skilled French language teachers to bring back to their classrooms. The project used real experiences (links with real European peers) to motivate and sustain interest in the subject among children of a very deprived area who had little knowledge of any culture but their own, giving our pupils the opportunity to: "Understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources" (DfE 2014 statutory guidance). Progress and impact was monitored at regular planned points during the year of the project, and decisions about participants and courses were made in response to this. The project was evaluated and disseminated and the impact was sustained and long term, leading to better life chances for our children. At Holy Trinity we face many challenges due to the high percentage of children with complex educational and emotional needs. We were excited by this project and are confident it has ensured a high level of provision, giving many pupils a solid foundation that will lead to sustained engagement in the subject.

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