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Learning languages and observing pedagogical techniques
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

From 2010 to 2014 Boston Grammar School (BGS) was involved in 5 Comenius projects and hosted 4 Comenius assistants. In addition, there was a lot of other international work going on in school, resulting in BGS receiving the International School Award 2011. During this time BGS's international coordinator gained substantial experience carrying out multinational projects and supervising international work with five or more schools abroad. The school regularly hosts visiting teachers from abroad and is therefore acutely aware what to look out for when sending its own teachers abroad. BGS is interested in learning about bilingual teaching, web-based learning and is looking to expand its international work by facilitating other teachers with skills akin to those of the international coordinator. The aim of this project is to provide enthusiastic members of staff, who have already shown a considerable interest in international work and have some expertise in the aforementioned areas, with the opportunity of spending some time in a school abroad that helps them develop in their designated area of interest. For four out of five this includes developing language skills. Five teachers will be actively involved in the project (Spanish, Geography, Maths, Music and Art). All teachers had to apply to be involved in the project and show that they had the necessary enthusiasm to complete it and feed back their findings to colleagues and pupils. They all have significant experience in the subject(s) they teach and are fully qualified in that subject area. Some have MAs in education. All but one teacher wish to improve their linguistic ability to a level that it can be used in lessons, in two cases leading to bilingual teaching. The other methods include shadowing practitioners in their work, team teaching where possible. It also includes aspects such as bilingual teaching, and web/ internet-based learning. It is anticipated that this form of CPD will enthuse these members of staff even more and that they will take a lead in working more closely with international partners in the future. Dissemination through Inset of what has been learned is also part of this project. Two teachers will improve their language skills using the Goethe Institute's distance learning facilities prior to visiting the Gymnasium am Rotenbuehl. Another two teachers will attend residential language courses in the Easter holidays prior to visiting the schools in Spain and Germany respectively in the early summer period. Overall it is anticipated that four of the teachers involved will utilize their language skills in lessons more actively. Also, their pedagogic methodologies will be more up-to-date. The web-based learning observation will help BGS with its mission of developing its own web-based facilities and internet learning.
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