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Modern Languages Training
Start date: 01 Jun 2016, End date: 31 May 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

As part of the new Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland, the Scottish Government is expecting all Scottish schools to embed Modern Language teaching and learning at the heart of the curriculum. In a new initiative, pupils from Primary 1 will learn and additional language other than their mother tongue on an ongoing daily basis to improve their language skills, furthermore in Primary 5 pupils will learn a second language other than their mother tongue on an ongoing basis. Pupils will then have the opportunity to take their first and second foreign languages to qualification level in the Senior phase and will certainly have access to both languages during the Broad General Education which finishes in S3. Teachers in Shetland are currently required to embed French into the day to day curriculum certainly at Primary 1 this year but most schools have engaged in a process where all primary year groups are receiving Modern Language teaching and learning. Thus, it is imperative that as an Authority we provide appropriate training of the highest quality to our teaching staff across both sectors. Primary colleagues are already being supported by Trainers and the 1+2 Coordinator who also have secured resources and appropriate training from outside professionals. However, in discussions with colleagues it is apparent that one of the major challenges facing the effective implementation of this strategy is linguistic competence and crucially confidence. To this end, as part of a package of training opportunities, colleagues across Shetland and cross sectorally have been offered the opportunity to apply for funding to attend the LFEE immersion courses. Many of our primary colleagues are already familiar with and have worked with Richard Tallaron of LFEE as he is acting as a principal trainer for the Authority.The objective of this project is to ensure that colleagues are given effective pedagogy, strategies and linguistic competence to successfully and confidently deliver a language learning and teaching experience to our pupils of the highest possible quality. Not only will it offer the participants the acquisition of skills they feel they need to do this but will also afford them the opportunity to establish support networks and professional dialogues with other schools and practitioners from across Britain and Europe. In boosting, participants confidence it will also have a motivational effect in terms of the dissemination of information and good practice across the school, the cluster and ultimately across Shetland as a whole. Quality learning and teaching experiences will motivate pupils to see Language learning as a worthwhile and meaningful activity and will ultimately ensure that our pupils acquire the skills and knowledge to competently and confidently communicate with others in Europe and around the world and will provide the skills that employers in the UK are desperately needing. Teaching and learning will be informed by a greater appreciation of the diverse cultures and ways of life which should engender a more tolerant population and it will also offer both teachers and pupils the opportunity to compare and contrast different and similar strands in cultural experience in Europe as a whole. A greater appreciation of what it is to be European and our role in it in this geographically isolated situation would also be a significant positive outcome.This will also be advantageous in light of our twinning project with colleagues from Nice which is to be a mutually supportive and benefical project. This is currently being developed by Thomas Chaurin, our global education colleagues and the 1+2 Coordinator.At present we have 8 potential participants, one of whom is the Headteacher of the Primary school in Brae. There are also 4 Primary colleagues who wish to improve their linguistic competence but also to acquire important cultural knowledge to bring "life" to their activities. Similarly, there are 2 Additional Needs teachers and 3 Additional Needs assistants in Secondary who would like to improve their linguistic competence so they can be more effective in the classroom setting as well as be able to effectively support pupils on a one to one basis. Their increased confidence and competence will also impact positively on effective transitions from primary to secondary.Meetings with groups of staff and individual staff have already taken place to encourage attendance at these events, meetings will be planned to both provide support for the acquisition of transactional language and also to support colleagues with their individual needs before the training takes place. After the course then colleagues will be supported to apply for Professional Recognition from the GTCS and also will be supported and encouraged to enter into professional dialogue with colleagues within their individual schools and then into the clusters.Our cluster currently had 95 members of staff and 463 pupils on its roll.
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