LANGUAGES; A WHOLE COMMUNITY APPROACH
Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: May 31, 2017
Currently, Spanish is taught by one specialist teacher across our school. We wish to establish a new model of delivery involving language being taught by the class teacher, integrated into daily routines and reinforced across the curriculum. We would like to establish meaningful links across subjects, particularly literacy.
We also need to improve our language teaching methodology, ensure that there is progression throughout the school, find ways to challenge our higher ability learners, and support the learning of our pupils with special educational needs and low basic skills.
An important focus for our school is community cohesion. Our school would like to establish a purposeful link with the school in Spain so that children can reap the rewards of more immediate exchanges as well as helping our children to feel part of a wider community as a European citizen.
We want to develop closer working relationships with our neighbouring schools and establish a collaborative transitional project. We consider our school to be an agent for change in the community. We would like to further this role through offering our pupils and local community the chance to be involved in activities and events related to this project.
We plan to develop a whole school project lasting two years and involving members of staff taking part in training courses in Spain. We wish to make a fundamental change to our language provision, introducing a new model whereby all staff are involved in planning and teaching languages to their own class, leading to more effective learning and integration of languages across the curriculum and daily life of the school. We would like to have 14 members of staff take part in this training. The training we wish to take part in is a Spanish immersion course that involves intensive language learning and cultural training, methodology, teaching ideas and resources suitable for primary age children and exchange of ideas and good practice.
The course involves a school placement. This will allow us to establish links with Spanish colleagues. We intend to establish opportunities for our pupils to regularly work together and communicate with each other using eTwinning, Skype etc.
We want to observe language teaching in another education system and see what can potentially be achieved with young children through languages.
We will find ideas and materials to develop activities and events that will be made available to our local community. We intend to offer support to our neighbouring schools through the skills and knowledge gained on these courses. The impact of this project on our school will be great. We will make fundamental changes to our approach to language teaching as a result of this project. There will be a great impact on our pupils as their learning will be more effective, and they will have more exposure to Spanish. They will also have the chance to communicate regularly with Spanish pupils, will therefore be more motivated, and will also have a much greater insight into the life and culture of Spain. Pupils with special educational needs and low basic skills will have a better learning experiences as we will have more appropriate materials and teaching methods as a result of the courses. In the same way, high achieving pupils will benefit from more challenging activities.
This project will enhance and compliment the experiences that our children enjoy already and improve their confidence, knowledge and understanding, imagination and creativity, giving them better opportunities in life.
Members of staff who take part in the courses in Spain will become much more confident in their ability to teach Spanish. They will have a better level of language and more cultural knowledge. They will also have much more understanding of how to effectively teach languages to young children, a bank of ideas and resources and a good understanding of specific issues relating to language teaching.
We believe that the support of parents and community is extremely valuable in reinforcing pupils’ knowledge and understanding, and attitudes to learning. We will encourage parents and members of the community to get involved as much as possible in activities resulting from these visits to Spain. The impact will also spread to other schools within our local area.
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