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Language Improvement and Methodology Development
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

We wish to significantly improve the provision of languages in West Dean and give our staff the opportunity to increase their language knowledge and confidence. We plan to share best practice with colleagues in France and Spain, improving the quality of teaching across all our areas schools. We particularly want to research ideas and strategies linking languages to literacy work in order to improve pupils’ attainment across the curriculum and offer support for pupils with special educational needs. We intend to build upon the theme of wider community cohesion which has been successfully introduced in our school through our links with Mexico. We wish to be in a position to make a great contribution to our local Goodwood area Schools Group through the sharing of new ideas and methodologies that we will develop through this project. We want to inspire our pupils through our own enthusiasm for languages and other cultures, improve our pupils’ learning environment and achieve the next level of our international schools award to celebrate our achievements. We will undertake a two year project in which four members of staff will take part in a structured training course in Spain and four members of staff in France involving intensive language learning, teaching methodology and sharing of good practice, cultural activities, the opportunity to spend time in a European primary school, discussions with other practitioners and observation of teaching within a completely different environment. The members of staff taking part in the mobility activities would then be responsible for sharing the outcomes with the rest of the staff in order to create a whole school ethos. The links that we make through these training courses and the time spent in French and Spanish schools will also create opportunities for us to regularly communicate between schools. We will use different methods of communication, from email to Skype, eTwinning etc. to give pupils the chance to get to know each other personally. This will help to achieve our aim of promoting wider community cohesion by allowing our pupils to understand the daily lives of their peers in other countries and further our ethos of being a ‘Rights Respecting School”. The project will lead to a change in our curriculum as we will be able to offer French and Spanish across Key Stage 2 and also give opportunities to pupils within Key Stage 1. We will have more capacity to improve our out-of-school provision such as extracurricular clubs, international events and activities and involving parents and the local community more in the life of the school. We intend this to have a positive effect on pupil attainment. In the long term, we hope to build our capacity to take children on residential visits to Spain and France. We intend that these intensive immersion courses will lead to a significant increase in language competence, confidence and willingness to use French/Spanish in the classroom and the introduction of language into the daily routines of the classroom and other subject areas. There will be a significant improvement in our teaching methodology, which we hope will affect not only our ability to teach languages but will give us inspiration and new ideas for teaching across the curriculum. The motivation and enthusiasm for our project will inspire our children who, in turn, will want to really build on their learning and, particularly at Key Stage 2, continue this through their transition into their secondary school. We intend that this project will have an impact on our school and beyond. Our staff will be much more confident in their teaching of languages. They will have access to up-to-date, engaging materials that will help to motivate our pupils and increase their enthusiasm for languages. Pupils will feel the impact as they will have a better quality language learning experience due to the teachers’ increased confidence and improved language level and cultural knowledge. The communication that we plan will take place between pupils after these visits will allow all of our pupils a fantastic opportunity to really understand another culture. There will be an impact on our school in terms of improved learning environments, timetabling and curriculum. We plan to share the outcomes of this project within our school through presentations, training sessions, displays around the school, sharing activities, ideas and contacts. All members of staff taking part in the mobilities will be involved in feedback and dissemination of activities.

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