Mrs. Linda Dupret, Headteacher,St. Paul’s Primary Brighton. Saturday 17th November, 2012 University of Westminster Developing a Bi-Lingual Spanish school and using Spanish teacher trainees and volunteers, to support this development.
How were we chosen for this development!• We have been teaching Spanish for seven years, initially in Key Stage two but from 2008 key stage one and from 2011 reception and nursery.• Our practise from 2006 was recognised as outstanding. Ms. Morgan our Spanish teacher teaches every class, ensuring continuity and progress.• We have been part of two university projects to track children’s progress in language learning.
The ELLIE project• In October 2010, the headteacher, was invited to the research finding conference, of the above project, in Warsaw, Poland. She met Hugh Baldry from the TDA (now TA) and Therese Comfort from CILT. (now CFBT)• In January 2011 they came to visit our school to see our practice and observe the opening of a Mexican Connecting Classroom Project.
The First Steps to becoming a Bi-Lingual Spanish School.• Invited to the Department of Education for talks about the project with the TDA and Spanish Embassy.• We agreed to begin the project in September 2011. Teaching Spanish in all classes but with a clear focus on year one and three, who would start to learn Spanish in other lessons eg. Art, Music and PE.• We needed to look for other linguists we could not rely on just one teacher.• We contacted a range of universities in Spain and now they contact us!
Hearing and Speaking Spanish Everyday!• We agreed as a staff we all needed up skilling.• Whole staff inset day on 31st October by Spanish Embassy.• Many signs and symbols around the school, all in Spanish.• All teachers and head to greet children in Spanish every day.• Headteacher, researched and found universities, willing to send Spanish trainee teachers for prolonged periods, enabling us to have a native speaker in key classes.• Also found Spanish speaking volunteers to support in classes, including Brighton and Hove Albion player, who’s wife helps three days a week, an au pair and a TA from another school, plus several parents. Lots of native speakers around so children practice their Spanish and understand culture.
The Universities• We now have three universities involved.• Valencia University• Salamanca University• Alcada University• Brighton University are also very much involved and are sending us PGCE and GTP students with a Spanish specialism.
How do these students enrich the language learning?• Each focus class has a native speaker – helping with pronunciation.• The children hear Spanish around all the time, with variation in dialect and accent.• They have a clear opportunity to converse.• They explain their culture and learn ours.• Writing and reading is more accurate.• They read whole stories in Spanish and encourage Talk for Writing.• They can complete class demonstrations in focus subjects.• They take able pupils groups, challenging the most capable linguists.• They constantly reinforce new vocabulary.• Even after they have left, they keep email contact with the children, encouraging the use of the Spanish Language.• They are in school for a term at a time, building very positive relationships.• They send pictures of their home and school, especially festivals, so they help with resources.• They help the class teacher and train all staff!• They are in their last year of teacher training so they are very experienced in class procedures and teaching and learning.
Examples of Spanish TraineeTeachers supporting at St. Pauls.
The Benefits to Classes.• Extra teaching support in class.• Individual and group work with the children.• Whole class opportunities to speak Spanish.• Support to main Spanish teacher, less pressure, as it is reinforced constantly in class.• New vocabulary taught correctly.• The children move on with their language learning more quickly, securing progress.• It helps meet the brief of becoming a bi-lingual school.• Early assessment shows real progress in year one and three.