So today I have hung out the bunting! It is to celebrate the start of my blog posts on Primary Languages Network Ltd.This is a huge moment for our local network. In 2001, I set up Warrington Grid for Learning Primary Language Learning pages and I loved those pages!
In 2011 as I changed from an LA Education Consultant to an Independent Education Consultant I started to develop my website. It never quite matched up to the our Grid for Learning and its resources though! Now I am absolutely delighted with our brand new and amazing VLE. We have 151 members and are growing, and we are currently all learning how to share, upload, add and navigate our way around the site.
This blog post is to share with the wider world what we are achieving as a network and also to help and encourage current and potential users to take a closer look at some of the facilities, resources, lesson activities etc, etc, etc, we can now offer and build upon!
Primary Languages SOW
Our KS2 SOW online is available in French and Spanish and very soon in German too. We see this as a manual to support non-specialists and to help school subject coordinators help all the staff to teach primary languages week by week. It's not intended as an enforced learning programme if schools feel comfortable and confident to step away from the core lessons, more a guide so that every one sings from the same or a similar hymn sheet! What I love about the VLE is that the SOW is becoming dynamic and we can add to the framework of the SOW and share what we learn this year using the SOW too.
Each language SOW has a SOW Plus section - French SOW Plus and Spanish SOW Plus - with additional ideas or deeper learning opportunities per half term of the SOW from Year 3 to Year 6. We have tracking and assessment , both guidance and benchmark descriptors. linked to the DFE POS, KS2 Framework and CEFR.
Just this week we have added Assessment Clouds for children as a direct request from one of our schools and a downloadable spreadsheet assessment record tool to allow data to be fed back to and shared with SLT. Once again this came as a request from one of our Associate Language Teachers.
Talk and write
I have also created Talk and Write French lesson planning and Talk and Write Spanish using stories from the SOW so that your children can develop more independent speaking and writing in the target language!
We are asked every year how we work with learners that have met languages in KS1 and so you will find in the SOW folder a PDF suggesting how to approach the planning for Year 3 for these learners .It's called "Extending Year 3 Learners" . Hope it is useful.
Here you will find half term by half term our ideas, plans and ideas plus clips and sound files to celebrate special events across the school year. We have shared "Seasonal Specials" now for the last four years and we have collated and added to these ideas. What is important is that we are able to link language learning, progress and culture together. Network colleagues at the moment might like to look at the resources for Bonfire Night plus ideas for Halloween, Armistice, Christmas, Sankt Nikolaus Tag, Sankt Martinstag and Dia de los muertes..........
Each half term has it's own folder and the ideas and lesson activities have been used by ourselves or network members over the last couple of years.
The Cross Curricular units are growing! My colleagues, who are native speakers of the language are helping to bring the deeper learning opportunities to life for network schools. There are all sorts of core focuses in the Cross Curricular Area including Geography, Science, Art, Sport, Food, Creative themes. These resources are in French, Spanish AND German. For example to take get a flavour if you are a network member then you may want to look in the history and geography sections at "Dinosaurs" or " Cavemen and daily routine " "Castles", "Knights", "Aztecs" with lesson plans and resources. Thanks to our guest writers too - for example Sam Snodgrass, Joanne Hornby and Julie Prince and to Elaine Minett, as we now host "Link and Learn".
Some of our network members asked me to put up our KS1 resources and we have added French and Spanish resources so far. There is an "Overview Page" to suggest how you may like to use the focuses and I have divided the focuses up in to French and Spanish. In each subfolder there are stories and songs and then possible YR/Y1 and then Y1/Y2 themes. A new theme for us all in KS1 is "Travel and Transport" .If you don't teach KS1 languages it is still worth looking to see if there is a theme you can use in KS2.
The "Treasure Chest Section" was an added extra, during the making of the VLE! I love this part of the VLE as I have emptied my head of all the ideas, clips, articles, websites, documents and technology that I know is out there, that could be useful to you all. Plus you will find a small section of resources and activities in Mandarin and some in Italian too. These two sections will no doubt grow over time.
The VLE Network Blog is up and running with alerts on national, regional or topical resources etc.
And there are already 17 shared network news items in our Network sharing Area-thanks to St Barnabas who added a blog post this afternoon too! Some fabulous activities taking place already and the more we share the more we learn and can grow as a support network- so thank you to everyone! What makes this special... is that it is linked to work schools in the network are really doing!
I think this is what you call the tip of the iceberg really .We have transition pages and cluster groups , associate teacher pages and language learning skills PDFs, not to mention the online tutorials (when they are put up) .Yes the bunting is up and the VLE is definitely alive, kicking and growing!