Moving French Forward at RPS
Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: May 31, 2017
Romiley Primary School is an above average-sized primary school in the North West of England.
At Romiley, French is currently taught across KS2 (8 junior classes). Years 5 and 6 are taught by a voluntary part time languages teacher. Both Year 3 classes are taught by a teacher with 'A' level French and Year 4 are taught by a teacher with no qualifications in French. We are concerned about the level of consistency and realise that this is not a sustainable model.
Advice from Network meetings strongly suggests that the best model is for class teachers to teach language lessons themselves through a weekly lesson and daily parcels. However, many of our staff lack the skills, knowledge and confidence in their own French language skills to take this role on at the moment.
Some staff have attended local training courses and are beginning to take an active role in their French lessons, however, since teaching a foreign language become statutory in September 2014, we now need to ensure our children make substantial progress in the four years from age 7 - 11 years. We have therefore identified the following objectives as our main areas of language development:
- improving the personal French language skills of staff
- incorporating age-appropriate methods and activities for teaching FL to young children in to planning
- developing an awareness of the culture of France amongst staff and children
- making the learning of French relevant for our children
- linking French to other curriculum areas
To meet these training needs, we are in the process of applying for Erasmus+ Key Action 1 funding to allow 6 staff members the opportunity to spend time in France studying on short language, methodology and culture courses in France. The six staff will work in teams of two. Each pair will attend 8-day courses and on their return will lead a programme of internal staff training to pass their new skills on to colleagues.
The visits will be spread out over 2 years, allowing the school to embed the new practice and move forward before the next team attends and repeats the process. As well as increasing their own language skills, each team will have a project focus while they are in France, this will maximise the development opportunities for the whole staff and improve the learning experience for the pupils.
Following recommendations, we have chosen a course provider who meets our training needs and have selected our first two participants through a fair and open process. The courses we have selected also feature a day in a French primary school, giving our teachers an opportunity to learn about a new education system and the children new French friends to learn to speak
Baseline data and observations are being gathered and monitoring points have been planned in to the school calender to measure impact. We are confident that our project will impact across the whole school and expect to see:
- an increase in French language skills and confidence in teaching in all staff
- a wealth of new ideas and cross-curricular resources to inspire and enthuse our pupils
- more teachers timetabled to teach French
- a growing understanding of French culture and what it means to be French
- "real" opportunities to read and write French as children correspond with their new friends in the French school
When our project ends, we will write a final report and share the results with many target groups.
In the long term we expect to see a sustainable model of quality language teaching that ignites our pupils' curiosity about the world.
Get Access to the 1st Network for European Cooperation