Language Learning For Everyone:First Term's Report

It's been quite a term with our new project "Language Learning for Everyone"!
A successful, enjoyable and very busy term!

Thanks to all who have contributed and supported the project so far - here is a review of what we have achieved - as a partnership between WTSA and JLN - bringing together colleagues from our local North West area and helping to develop primary languages and Y6-Y7  links with high school modern foreign language departments.

During the term we have trained over 300 delegates from 152 schools across the North West Area.


In early September we held  our first leadership planning meeting for the WTSA /JLN. We were very clear that this project had to be very much "language learning for everyone" and  we had to make sure there was CPD to suit different needs and stages of language teaching and learning:CPD and support for the class teacher,the TA, the language specialist, the non-specialist, the coordinator, SLT, KS3 colleagues and local initial teacher trainees.....

Our project is very much teacher led with active primary practitioners taking more and more of a leading role as  the project progresses.
So our first step had to be to make sure that we up-skilled and shared good practice and made sure that we were confident and ready to lead or part-lead CPD.
We held our first training and sharing good practice day in early September too

  • We spent time considering and reflecting upon the teaching and learning of primary languages alongside the new DfE POS.
  • We considered in detail the role of the coordinator and our roles and responsibilities within this team of trainers to support individual schools. 
  • Then we were ready for a new year of primary languages teaching and learning and we were excited about being able to share our experiences with colleagues through teacher led CPD! 
You can meet the team here 
  • WTSA held a launch of the project "Language Learning for Everyone" breakfast briefing where delegates who attended  found out more about the project, how to access support and they were able to sample types of CPD we intend to offer.
  • WTSA contacted 700 schools across the target area and invited them to participate in the two year project 
  • Primary schools were invited to complete a questionnaire (5 minutes on Survey Monkey) so that CPD can be tailored to schools and individual teacher needs.You can access the questionnaire here

October to December Local Network Meetings

We have held eight local network meetings across the local target area in  Wigan, Warrington, Knowsley, St Helens, Halton,West Cheshire and Mid /East Cheshire.The meetings have been hosted by wonderful schools and staff and we have met teachers across the region.
We have really enjoyed meeting all the teachers who are keen to re-establish links or learn more about how to implement primary languages or become part of a supportive group .

Our first LNM was at Rainford CE in St Helens. Thanks to Steph Stewart at Rainford CE for helping to get the local network meetings rolling!

  • At each meeting there has been time to get to know each other and discuss local challenges with primary language teaching and learning.
  • We have established a pattern of considering specific elements of the requirements of the new DfE POS

  • We spend time to explore learning activities that can provide quality teaching and learning activities linked to objectives from the new DfE POS. 
  • Teachers have  the opportunity to engage with a range of resources ,activities  and native speaker  provided sound files for different stages of language learners.
"Super ideas to take back to the classroom and to use with both key stages!"
"Great to see there's support out there for beginning of the language journey,to spread this throughout a team of teachers!"
Brilliant ideas and clearly delivered!Great to go through the DfE document.Really good to establish a local network."
  • The activities so far have been based on "Fantastic Fireworks" and "Christmas and all that Jazz".We have taken care to share ideas that allow for progression in language learning and that can be easily used by all colleagues.Ideas and activities are downloadable and some of the activities can also be accessed on the Primary Language Learning Today blog for example: 

All our resources and materials are being collated and shared here and will be accessible throughout the whole project on this training resources' page.

Teacher led CPD 
As the networks grow we are finding new colleagues to work alongside us to support the training and CPD of teachers .
Here is Jo Hilton at Kingsmead CP, now working with us as a network coordinator for Mid Cheshire.Jo was sharing some ideas based on triaramas and Italian language learning.

The local network coordinators are now establishing their networks:

St Helens: Claire Deprez
Mid Cheshire: Jo Hilton 
Halton: Jayne Dewsnip
Knowsley:  Emilie Woodruffe 
West Cheshire: Rob Hughes 
Wigan/Bolton: Catherine Simms and Joanne Hornby
Warrington: Janet Lloyd

The dates of LNMs can be accessed here in the left hand menu bar

Language Upskilling
We have held three Beginners French CPD sessions and one Beginners Spanish CPD session and an Intermediate French CPD session.

All the sessions are delivered currently by Janet Lloyd and either Emilie Woodruffe or Ana Garcia. Having native speakers working alongside a trainer really helps delegates build their own confidence.Here is the reaction from one delegate at Beginners Spanish:

"Lovely to speak with native speaker .Ana!"  

Next term Emilie will run the Beginners French as the trainer and Barbara Foerster and Janet Lloyd will offer twilight German beginners CPD. So next term we will be offering French,Spanish and German CPD!

The comments in the evaluations of CPD show us that the sessions are helping teachers to have a better understanding of the language  and we are pleased  to see that the teachers have chosen the relevant training for their own ability in the language.

"Exactly what I needed, looking forward to Intermediate up-skilling in December. Will be recommending training to colleagues. Many thanks"

"Enjoyed interactive activities / games / songs that can be applied in the classroom, good to be able to ask questions to French speakers, good to see how to access materials"

"Fabulous, great reinforcement of key elements of Year 3 SOW. Very enjoyable afternoon session. Thanks"

"Beginning to feel a bit less overwhelming - thank you, excellent"

"Fabulous - really practical ideas, loved hearing pronunciations (authentic), super resources"

"Wonderful - useful language & pronunciation. Lots of ideas to engage children"

We start our Beginners French and Spanish with greetings,numbers and colours and finish our beginners session with a look at nouns.
Here is a sample activity

We start our Intermediate French with question and answer forms and then move on to a more focused look at nouns,adjectives and some commonly used verbs.

"Much improved understanding of grammar! Merci!"
"CPD delivered in a super informative and enjoyable way!"
"Excellent ideas for teaching grammar"
"Nice to know I am doing the right things!"
"Very helpful and makes an area that can be quite scary more accessible and exciting!"
"Really informative,great lesson ideas,broken down into manageable chunks. "

Here are some sample activities 
Rudolph and your nose so bright

For all the language up-skilling delegates we have set up pinterest boards so that everyone can access additional materials and support.These boards will be added to as the two year project progresses. All you need to do is go to the home page of JLN and click on the pinterest link and select the correct board: Beginners French/ Beginners Spanish and Intermediate French. 

The courses mentioned above plus intermediate Spanish and a German twilight CPD are scheduled again next term and you can find out more here. Hope you can join us!

Pedagogy and the new DfE POS for languages

This term there have been two "Fit for Purpose" twilights in Warrington and in Nantwich, both well attended.The aims of the sessions are to support coordinators  and high school colleagues working with KS2 to consider the strategic planning in school to meet the requirements of the new POS and to ensure sustainable language learning in place in school.What is really pleasing,is to be able to train KS2 and KS3 colleagues together.

"super insight into POS and assessment"

"Just what I needed to consider next steps"
Very useful and online resources will be very helpful to guide me 
in direction for language learning"
"Really informative.Lots of ideas to help enhance MFL in school."

Now we are ready for next term and our "progression" CPD,looking at building progress across KS2 and into KS3 to help schools ensure that they can "lay the foundations" that KS3 "can build upon".

Looking at the foundations we are building in KS2 and supporting KS3 to be able to build sustainable and effective links in Year 7.
The project has allowed us to work alongside Penketh High School to investigate how we can develop shared language learning tools that benefit Y7 KS3 language learning.

A wonderful secondary colleague Jo Gierl,ex HOD  at the school,now works with us one afternoon a week in KS2 teaching Y6 French and is working with Janet Lloyd to investigate positive ways forward with KS2 - KS3 language learning.

Jo is writing a blog of her experiences.This term she has reflected upon her own skills as a KS2- KS3 teacher. She has observed and considered three primary language lessons French, German and Spanish in local schools. She has met and discussed challenges and issues with local HODs and has begun a blog on her investigations. Her blog is called MFL: From Primary to Secondary bridging the Gap.She will be drawing upon her growing knowledge and experience and the work she has completed this term to support KS3 colleagues to consider ways to bridge any gaps between KS2 and KS3. The first KS3 twilight will be on 10 February at Penketh High School.This will be the first twilight seminar for KS3 colleagues to share their current position with regard to KS2 - KS3 language learning challenges. 

Bridging the Gap Joint CPD Sessions 

During the course of the project we will host "Bridging the Gap" CPD sessions where we hope to bring together primary and secondary colleagues to look at the ways to "bridge that gap"!

We held our first twilight bridging the gap session in December - thanks to Joe Dale and his CPD on "Using APPS and technology in MFL. We shared Joe's notes and APP links here 

55 colleagues attended the CPD from primary ,secondary and ITT and we set the ball rolling for cluster contact and CPD using APPs and technology in language learning.

This blog post APPS and achievable links between KS2 and KS3 language learning will hopefully allow colleagues to begin to explore ways forward.

"Great training that was useful and applicable in our schools"
"A useful insight into using APPs as part of an assessment tool within Primary MFL.Will certainly be incorporating them into lessons"
"Excellent ideas for APPs and ideas to link with the local high school" 

Quite a first term! Once again thank you to everyone who has been involved, attended, showed positive interest and hopefully enjoyed building new links!  

It all starts again in Spring Term 2015, we look forward to meeting you  and working with everyone!