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Stronger Languages for CEC
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Over the last 4 years there has been a constant change of focus as the school changed to a Trust and now an Academy. Languages taught have changed from French, German and Japanese to French and Spanish. Staffing at all levels have been in constant flux. For some years there has been a shortage of language staff. There are now 5 linguists – 4 of whom desire to improve their subject knowledge. The ultimate need is to raise staff fluency and confidence in their second and third foreign language. This will improve the quality and quantity of language shared with students, both as target language, but also core subject knowledge. It is planned that the collective enthusiasm of a newly formed department will be increased and that better subject knowledge will increase individual collaboration between departmental members. The improvement in language skills and cultural knowledge, as well as the new teaching methods that members of staff will acquire will lead to an improvement in teaching, more enjoyment of language learning, better motivation, increased uptake and better attainment. Our pupils will be given more choice of languages and their experience will be more ‘real’ as they will regularly communicate with Spanish and French pupils and in the longer term have the opportunity to visit them in person. Staff will be more motivated and their increasing skills will support their professional development. Our pupils will better understand the importance of languages and will be more likely to consider continuing good languages within our school and in their future lives. We intend to send 4 members of language staff on a series of two structured training courses in France/ Spain to greatly improve their competence in Spanish or French. We believe that it is essential that they take part in courses of this nature as the need for language upskilling in our department is quite urgent. We have identified courses that take place in two parts. These courses are progressive, the second builds on the learning developed in the first and they focus on intensive language learning, cultural immersion and ideas for bringing Spanish and French culture into teaching, teaching activities and spending time in a link school with a focus on observing best practice within language learning, establishing the foundations for joint projects and collaborative working. Participation in these courses would enable the languages department to build a more robust linguistic experience at KS3 and KS4 And increase the number of staff able to deliver at KS4. There will be an improvement in participants’ professional practice. They will have greater skills to offer to the department. They will have greatly improved subject knowledge, language competence and cultural knowledge and much more confidence in their abilities. They will have many new teaching ideas and will have developed a greater understanding of innovative teaching methods. They will feel happier in their work and more motivated. The impact on our school will be considerable. Our pupils will have more choice and a better experience of language learning as Spanish and French will be more available across key stages. Staff will be more engaged and there will be an improvement in the curriculum. There will be more cross curricular links and a more authentic learning environment. Learners will benefit from better teaching and will be more motivated. The link that we will establish with the French/Spanish children will bring languages alive. Pupils will also benefit from the more effective teaching methods that will result from the project. They will be more engaged because teaching will be more closely linked to their interests through better resourcing and opportunities to communicate regularly with children in link schools. There will be a positive impact on children’s career aspirations and willingness to travel/ try new things in the future.

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