During this observation I saw evidence of children explorong verbs, teachers and teaching staff working in the classroom as a team and children being well supported in their learning. Christ Church CE have been part of our language learning programme for atleast seven years now .The school's language learning is organised by Lynsey McHugh the Subject Coordinator .Weekly input is divided beteween class teacher input (15 minutes a week- often follow up reading and writing) and a 30 minute French language practise session per week with Jayne Dewsnip ,one of our associate language teachers.The photo above is of Jayne and the Year 5 French class I observed yesterday. It is part of my annual observations of the Associate Primary Language Teachers for Primary Languages Network. Lynsey and Jayne work closely together and plan together.They adjust the planning to suit the year groups so at the moment for example there is a Year 5 class ( here in the picture) and a Year 5/6 smixed age class too. We are sharing these snapshots as our own associate group CPD and also with our Primary Languages Network coordinators so that they too can take a look and see what language learning looks like- snapshots of actual lessons.
I am certain that some of you who read this blog post recognise this spider! It is a verb spider and works really well with languages where the present tense paradigm of the verb has eight components - therefore eight legs.The Year 5 class were working on the verb "avoir" in the present tense with Jayne. Jayne was secondary trained and has worked in primary with me for five years and during this observation I realised to what extent Jayne has learnt her new craft ."The craft of the primary classroom" .It is very noticeable in her pace and approach and the way she adapts her planning and supports or challenges the children's learning and works with thre teaching team around her.
So the chldren had already begun their spiders ...for the class display .The teaching assistant in the class had prganised the display (apparently the children and her have called the spider "Gustave!!)
At the end of the 30 minute input from Jayne, the class continued with their class teacher completing their spiders and thei spells for the class display. Jayne moved on to her next class.The planning and time spent organising learning between Lynsey and Jayne is paying off and is enabling the school to find more focused French learning time.
The lesson allowed me to see how our children are coping with working toward the DFE Attainment Target challenge "Understanding basic grammar" .Over the course of the last couple of weeks the children have been exploring a wizard's spell with the verb "avoir".First they looked at the nouns in the text and annotated the text of a spell (from our PLN SoW:
Then the children had looked for the masculine and feminine nouns - a recap activity , as they children began to look at nouns in Year 3 and can now identify masculine,feminine ,singular and plural nouns. Jayne asked for class examples of nouns and definite articles as they started their work in the lesson too.The children were able to refer to their spell cauldrons. (part of the follow up work with the class teacher from a previous lesson) ...
First the class looked at the simple paradigm Jayne had already written on the whiteboard.She worked with the children so that they could identify the phrases came from their spell and that the phrases were in a certain order.The class looked at the personal pronouns and then with Jayne read aloud the paradigm.I found this particularly interesting as all the children read well and were used to seeing and reading aloud in French and I could see that this helped the chldren's confidence in being able to say all the parts of the verb. Jayne elicited from volunteers which verb this is the equivalent in English and asked the children what title or important name we give to a verb when we say "to have" or "avoir".Some of the children gave back the answer "infinitive".The children discussed English examples of infinitives with Jayne.There were a couple of responses such as "I have" or "I see " before the responses became "to get" "to see" and "to dance" for example. I found this reassuring as the children were working through their own understanding and making links and connections.
The lesson challenged some of the children as they worked through the links between languages and links with literacy.The children discussed the personal pronouns they could see ( most already understand and can identify je/tu/il/elle and nous).Jayne and Lynsey actively encouraged the children and Lynsey was on hand and actively involved around the classroom supporting children. I loved her comment about being "brave" and linking this to an assembly the class had listened to in the morning.One child's response " I will have a try" made us all smile! So the children had discussed the verb, read loud the 8 components of the paradigm, looked at the personal pronouns and now in grouops created rhythm performances of the verb which they shared with the class.Each table or group came out and shared their rhythm performance and even Jayne and Lynsey performed their rhythm verb too!
I think this final section of my blog post should start with "Who says Year 5 don't like cuddly toys?! " It was the mouse, the bat and the spider that made hands shoot up to be volunteers in the avoir sentence game!
The avoir sentence game allowed the children to "Speak in sentences using familiar vocabulary,phrases and basic language structures" , to "develop accurate pronunciation" and "broaden their vocabulary" (une chauve souris was a new word and some of the components of the verb avoir were less familiar than others) and to explore and develop their "understanding of basic grammar".Jayne asked the volunteers to hold up their animals and the class were asked to suggest a number (associated with and written next to one of the component parts of the verb avoir" on the board) and to say one of the animals in French.The volunteer had to locate the part of avoir and say a complete sentence using the animal noun too.The class listened and supported each other as they formed their sentences. It was at this point thjay "courage and bravery" played a role and house points were won as one of the kless confident French language learners volunteered to create a spoken sentence using the verb avoir! One of those golden moments ...( I am sure you understand!)Jayne's time was up and it was over to Lynsey and the Year 5 class
Time for follow up and 15 minutes completing spiders and starting their own wizard's spell sentences........preparing work for their French "Gustave" the spider display!