Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: May 31, 2017
Our Leeds-based primary school consisting of predominately White British children believes that in order to prepare our children to be active, responsible citizens in a global world, we need to ensure children are taught by staff with good subject knowledge and the confidence to deliver an engaging, meaningful curriculum, which is tailored specifically to the needs of our pupils. At present, KS2 children receive regular French lessons. A link to a school in Spain and India has been establish. However, at present, only a small number of students are involved in these projects. A survey of KS2 staffs' confidence of speaking and teaching French was carried out and revealed that except for one member of the team, no staff had any formal training in French beyond GCSE level and confidence levels with regards to speaking French were extremely low. Having identified these needs of both staff and pupils, we decided to run a mobility project.
With our project we aim to:
- provide various professional development opportunities for staff in order to improve their confidence with regards to speaking and teaching French. These include: immersion courses in France, in house training and job shadowing in the Spanish school)
- raise attainment of all pupils in French by developing and implementing a French curriculum in KS1 and further improving our current KS2 curriculum.
- establish a link with a school in France and further develop our link with the school in Spain
- provide meaningful opportunities for children to learn about other cultures and communicate with children within Europe
Who is participating?
- Four of our staff (two from KS1, two from KS2) are being sent on immersion courses in France. All will be selected according to their willingness to help train other staff & develop the curricula along with the MFL coordinator. Moreover, participants will be selected in accordance to their confidence (low) in speaking and teaching French. Participants who have little or nor formal French qualifications will be prioritized.
- Two members of staff will take part in the exchange to our Spanish link school. A willingness to develop the links and oversee joint to this school further will be the essential criteria for selection.
What activities are being conducted?
- Staff attending the immersion courses (tailored to the language needs of the individuals) in France. Their focus is on developing staffs’ language skills, their understanding of the French culture, improving pronunciation and directly establishing links with a French school.
- We will be expanding our current link to the Spanish school and will be establishing a link to a French school, so that we can offer all children opportunities to participate in termly joint projects which will provide them with meaningful opportunities to learn about other cultures. Two members of staff will additionally job shadow teachers in Spain.
Methodology: Use of questionnaires, external & in-house professional development, pupil progress data analysis, development of French curricula
What we envisage for our school in the near future:
We envisage that all our staff develop more confidence in speaking and teaching French. Termly professional development around language teaching will take place and will be led by the participants in our mobility project in conjunction with the MFL coordinator. A link to a French school will have been established and the current link to the school in Spain will have been further developed. Joint projects will be run on a termly basis in all three European schools. In light of this professional development and new/better links to other schools in Europe, children in KS2 will start making more progress in French and Year 6 children will be leaving our school with solid foundations in French and language learning. With the support of the participants, the KS2 French curriculum will be improved in order to better meet the needs of the new curriculum. A new curriculum for KS1 will be developed and trialled, before findings are shared amongst cluster schools.
What we envisage for our school in the distant future:
If this project is as successful as we believe it will be, by the end of Year 6 our children will be leaving as competent, enthused language learners with strong foundations in French and a good understanding of the world. Children from the age of four will be making good progress in French each year and will be being taught by knowledgeable, confident class teachers. As a school, we will have strong links to various schools within Europe and will be regularly running joint projects. In order to maintain an excellent standard of language teaching, we will set-up a rolling program of professional development in which every year two staff go on an immersion course in France. Amongst our cluster schools and other Leeds based schools, we will assist in the set-up and running of similar projects/curricula.
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