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Great literature, great language
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

We would like to establish a two year project to refresh the skills of our MFL teachers, improving their language skills and becoming up to date on the ways in which language use has changed, current culture and innovative teaching methodologies, making language learning more relevant, rewarding and enjoyable for students. We would like our teachers to regularly deliver outstanding lessons and want to adapt our schemes of work to help then achieve this. There is now a strong focus on the teaching of “great literature” in the target language. We need to find ways of introducing more literature written by target language authors across all year groups. We want our staff to have the opportunity to observe how literature is taught in other countries and to share good practice with staff in link schools. We believe that the teaching of languages can have a great impact on children’s achievement in literacy and would like to have the opportunity to discuss with others ways in which this can best be achieved. One of the most important priorities for our department is to increase international links and to use them more productively in order to give our children insights into real language and culture, make their learning more real to them and allow them to communicate with students in schools abroad. We would like all our staff to feel that they are in a good position to be able to ensure that all the students are making the best possible progress, particularly our SEN pupils. We would like to have access to training and observation of good practice that will help us to achieve this. We want to extend the provision of cross departmental language training opportunities and find new materials and ideas that will help us to promote the integration of languages into other subject areas and a cross curricular approach. We also want to improve contact with the key stage 2 MFL coordinators in our feeder primaries to share the good practice we have acquired and develop our arrangements for transition. We plan to meet these identified needs through a project in our school lasting two years. Within this project we would like to involve staff from the MFL department in a series of visits Spain, France and Italy. We would like them to take part in training courses in these countries. The courses will involve intensive language training, a programme of cultural events and information, teaching methodology, new ideas and resources and the opportunity to be placed in a Spanish/French/Italian school as part of the course. There will also be discussion of issues and topics related to language learning and the opportunity to share ideas and experience with other participants on these courses. The course will include specific sessions on teaching literature and will include recommended texts. It will also look at ways in which learning foreign languages can improve children’s literacy and general attainment across the curriculum. There will also be discussion of transition from primary to secondary, ways of making the most of international links, ideas for supporting children with low basic skills and special educational needs and ideas for cross curricular work. This course will also give us the opportunity to spend time in a French, Spanish and Italian school, making lasting links with staff and pupils and gaining an understanding of their culture and education system. The impact on our school will include better teaching and learning of languages, with more up to date language and cultural references, more cross curricular links, and more of a focus on literacy and the integration of literature into our teaching. This will impact on our children’s enjoyment of language learning and will lead to higher attainment. We also hope that they will be a great impact on the children in our school with low basic skills. This will impact on their attainment across the curriculum and build their self-esteem. Links with schools abroad will motivate and engage learners and give them a real purpose for language learning, and will also greatly increase their depth of understanding about the cultures of these countries. We also hope that it will impact on their future plans and ambitions and give them more motivation to travel and potentially work in these countries leading to better career possibilities. We will develop new schemes of work for languages which will impact on language teaching across our school. Staff who do not take part in the visits will also benefit through the programme of dissemination and training resulting from this project. We also hope to have an impact on other schools in our local area and beyond. We will also impact upon parents and their wider community through the activities we will run as a result of this project. We will encourage them to value languages and to get involved as much as possible with languages in our school.
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