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Staff Training in Learning andTeaching French
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In common with the rest of Scotland, from October 2015 French will become a compulsory part of the curriculum Primary 1 in Dunbar Primary School. Each subsequent year French will continue to be part of the curriculum until all children in school have French as part of their daily lessons by 2020. This policy, introduced by the Scottish government in accordance with the Barcelona agreement of 2002, has huge implications for training needs for primary teachers within our school, who need to feel confident enough to use French in their daily communications within the classroom, to be able to integrate it within the Primary curriculum. The objectives of our project are to provide teachers with an opportunity to spend time in France, immersed in the language and the culture, participating in an intensive language course, so that they feel able to communicate more fluently with their pupils, and so that they can learn about teaching methods, which are appropriate for acquisition of another language by our children. It is also our objective that staff will have an opportunity to visit a French school and establish a link with that school which can be continued through a joint project via eTwinning in future. We have a big and growing school with more than thirty classes. We want to make sure that enough teachers take part in the training course, so that we create the momentum which guarantees that French can become an integral part of all areas of our school. We want to train up to a quarter of our staff so that there is a sense of shared responsibility for our project. Our teachers will spend either one or three weeks on a course in France, run by French native speakers and organised by Le Francais en Ecosse, an organisation, which has years of experience of working together with Education Scotland to develop appropriate courses to meet the needs of Primary teachers who teach French. The teachers will spend one week following intensive language and methodology lessons, learning about French culture and the French way of life, including the French school system. After classes they will participate in traditional French extra-curricular activities such as learning to play petanque, they will eat typical French meals and some teachers will have the opportunity to visit a French school, observe lessons and investigate the possibility of continuing a link via eTwinning to complete a joint project. We envisage that this project will build on first steps our teachers have already begun to take to learn French. It will build teachers' confidence, enhance their teaching skills and also the school's focus on international links. It will impact on the whole school, staff and pupils, by bringing the teaching and learning of French to life through an integrated approach and real communication through a range of themes both within the classroom and around the rest of the school. It will provide these teachers with enhanced opportunities for career development through on-going dissemination of good practice within the school and beyond in the Local Authority. In addition, the ideas and increased competence these teachers will bring to their teaching will impact on the quality of the learning experience for all the children of the school, both in terms of their own language learning and also in terms of the opportunities for international links with children in another school in France.

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