Modern Languages (French and Spanish)
Head of Department
C.Williams, S. Dawson
Introductions, numbers, dates, birthdays
School subjects and opinions
My Family and character, pets,
Home and House
Free time activities
Dia de los muertos
All students study Spanish. The Accelerated Pathways study French as well.
All four skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are practised equally and assessed every 10 weeks.
We aim to develop confident speakers through use of target language.
People and hobbies
Making plans and inviting others
Students study French or Spanish depending on Pathway.
All four skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are practised equally and assessed every 10 weeks.
Students study French or Spanish depending on Pathway.
All four skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are practised equally and assessed every 10 weeks, preparing students for GCSE study the following year.
KS4 Exam Board and spec
Edexcel GCSE Skills: Listening and Responding, Writing, Reading and Responding, Speaking
We believe languages should be accessible for all students. The new Pearson Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSEs (9–1) in French or Spanish have been developed to help students of all abilities progress and develop a passion for languages, through culturally engaging content.
It is a relevant, engaging and inspirational course of study that will enable students to use the target language effectively, independently and creatively, so that they have a solid basis from which to progress to A Level or employment in areas as diverse as tourism, business, hospitality, teaching, interpreting in courts and many other areas of working life.
Dictionaries, iPads, interactive text book, language website subscriptions
Dictionaries, iPads, interactive text book, language website subscriptions
The local NCS (National Citizen Service) team spoke to Year 11 students on 14th December 2016about the opportunities that are open to them during the Summer holidays. Places are filling up fast, so if you have not signed up yet, you can do so on their website here:
What is NCS?
We’d like to tell you about a once-in- a-lifetime opportunity which your son or daughter can sign up to take part in this summer. National Citizen Service (NCS) is a government-backed, four-week programme which is supported by our school and takes place in the summer holidays. Students at the end of Year 11 and 12 have the opportunity to sign up and then will be placed in teams of 12-15 young people with their friends and other students from local schools and colleges.
Week 1: Adventure – Outward bound residential to focus on team work, problem solving skills and getting out of their comfort zone
Week 2: Skills – A second residential to learn independent living skills and to learn about their local community
Week 3 and 4: Social Action – Work from a local community base to plan and implement a 30 hour community project that benefits both young people and society
Graduation – Celebrate their NCS achievements and be presented with a signed certificate from the Prime Minister.
Government support means the whole programme costs no more than £50 to take part in, with all meals and activities covered. There are also bursaries offered to those who need financial support and support is provided for young people with additional needs. The extra investment from government means a place on NCS is actually worth £1,300 per person.
NCS helps young people build their confidence and gain new skills for work and life while having fun and giving back to their community – the best possible springboard for their future. Whether they’re about to start sixth form or college, or preparing to enter the working world, signing up to NCS is one of the best decisions a teenager can make.
For more information, check out the NCS website www.ncsyes.co.uk
EFFECTIVE TEACHING OF EAL LEARNERS
EAL teaching has its own distinctive pedagogy. It aims to teach English using the mainstream curriculum as the context. This involves developing specific resources which make the language of the curriculum accessible through, for example, increased use of visuals and scaffolding, while keeping the cognitive challenge and interest level high.
One of the most important aspects of effective teaching of EAL learners is the need to support and develop the child’s competence in the mother tongue alongside the learning of English. Linguists have concluded that we all have an innate ability to learn language and that the ‘surface features’ of all languages derive from a common underlying proficiency. This means that the knowledge developed in the first language can easily be transferred to the second or third languages. The pedagogical implications of this are that full bilingual education is the ideal and, where this is not possible, learning in the mother tongue needs to be encouraged and supported as much as possible.
Another important aspect of effective teaching of EAL is to pay attention to the links between language acquisition and cognitive and academic development, and understand the importance of providing work that is sufficiently challenging for all learners, both those who are new to English as well as more advanced EAL learners.
KEY EAL TEACHING PRINCIPLES
Five principles of good practice in EAL teaching and learning have been identified through research and endorsed by Ofsted.
Based on these principles, a number of key teaching strategies can be seen to be particularly helpful for EAL learners. Many, if not all, of these strategies are also useful for other groups of learners, e.g. learners with a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, or for all learners.
The 5 principles with some key strategies are:
Activating prior knowledge in the learner
- finding out what learners know about a topic through questioning
- mind-mapping in pairs or small groups
- use of first language
- relevant curriculum taking account of learners’ cultural background
- discovery tasks
- KWL charts (what we Know, what we Want to know, what we have Learned).
Providing a rich context
- tables and grids
- graphs, charts and pictograms
- flow charts
- computer graphics.
Encouraging learners to communicate in speech and writing
- peer tutoring and coaching
- collaborative learning activities
- drama and role-play
- questioning strategies (asking questions where detailed response is required, allowing sufficient waiting time before expecting an answer)
- scaffolded writing activities (using writing frames, modelling, using notes, tables or planning boxes)
- opportunities to rehearse language orally before writing.
Pointing out key features of English explicitly
- drawing attention to specific grammatical forms used in texts or in speech
- providing oral and written models
- modelling and extending their use, providing opportunities to practise them
- scaffolding speaking and writing through the use of speaking and writing frames
- making links between specific features of English and the learners’ first language, or encouraging learners to do this.
Developing learners’ independence
- providing opportunities to model and extend what has been taught
- scanning texts to look at subheadings and diagrams prior to reading
- note taking and note making.
And for advanced EAL learners:
- focusing on key phrases rather than key words
- encouraging learners to develop strategies to decode unfamiliar words, including using dictionaries (English and bilingual) and thesauri, asking a teacher, etc.
- encouraging learners to make adventurous vocabulary choices in speech and writing.
IDEAS FOR SUPPORTING EAL LEARNING
Dictogloss is type of supported dictation that integrates the four skills of language learning. The principle of dictogloss is that the teacher reads a short, prepared topic-based text several times and the learners try to produce their own version as close to the original as possible. It can be used in a subject learning context at all levels. It is easy for the teacher to prepare and set up and is a very effective language learning tool as it requires learners to listen, talk, collaborate, take notes, redraft and present orally.
Barrier games/ Information exchange
These are activities where two or more learners can see/are given different information and they have to communicate it to each other. They are a useful way of providing an opportunity for speaking and listening for a real purpose.
Bilingual dictionaries/translation software
The use of bilingual dictionaries and translation software can support EAL learners in using bilingual strategies to support access to the curriculum and build on their existing knowledge.
Collaborative activities provide an opportunity for exploratory talk as learners work together. They are a useful way of providing an opportunity for speaking and listening for a real purpose.
Directed Activities Related to Text (DARTs) are activities which lead learners to interact with texts in a way which enhances understanding. They can be a valuable way of making the curriculum accessible to beginner EAL learners, and of checking understanding.
Drama and role play
The use of drama and role play creates an opportunity for the EAL learner to hear good models of English in a meaningful context. Role play demonstrates how to use language in real life with a focus on communication.
Flashcards are great for memorising, revising and consolidating vocabulary and concepts, and for stimulating discussion.
Graphic organisers are a key way of encouraging EAL learners to organise their ideas and develop higher-order thinking skills and language functions.
Introducing new vocabulary
How you introduce new vocabulary to an EAL learner requires careful consideration, to ensure that it is taught in context not in isolation. There should be a focus not only on key subject-specific vocabulary but also on the language forms and structures associated with particular curriculum areas.
Jigsaw activities are great for promoting interactive, collaborative group work, and provide an opportunity for purposeful communication with peers who can provide good language models. They encourage EAL learners to develop speaking and listening skills within the context of a curriculum topic.
Drilling is a way of memorising language by repeating it. It is an effective approach for learning new vocabulary or language structures. Through drilling, EAL learners internalise language and are more likely to be able to use it independently.
Modelling appropriate language forms and structures for a particular task is very helpful to EAL learners. This often involves analysing the language demands of the task, providing a written model of the response you are expecting and pointing out key features of the language used in the model answer.
Reading for meaning
Fluent readers use a range of strategies to decode and understand text. Many EAL learners have good literacy skills in their first language that they can build on in order to become fluent readers of English. Different teaching methods will be needed according to the learner’s level of literacy in their first language and how similar or different the written form of that language is to English.
EAL learners need activities to be scaffolded in a range of ways through the provision of linguistic and contextual support. Scaffolding activities can include providing enhanced visual support, graphic organisers, modelling, collaborative learning, speaking and writing frames or grouping EAL learners with supportive peers who can provide good models of English.
Speaking and writing frames
Speaking and writing frames are useful scaffolding to enable EAL learners to structure their speaking and writing, to use new language forms and functions appropriately and consistently and eventually to speak and write independently using appropriate genres.
A substitution table is when a teacher provides a table giving model sentences with a range of choices for learners to select from, using a set pattern.These are a type of scaffolding resource which extend the speaking or writing of EAL learners. They are useful for encouraging learners to develop and extend speaking and listening skills within the context of a curriculum topic and can be used as a reinforcement of newly acquired language.
ICT can be very powerful when used effectively with EAL learners. In particular using ICT with pairs or groups of learners engaged in language-focused collaborative tasks can promote exploratory talk as well as motivating and engaging learners.
Using learners' first language ability
This supports access to the curriculum and the acquisition of additional languages. Bilingual strategies enable EAL learners to build on their existing knowledge and make it possible to increase the cognitive challenge of work undertaken. It is easier to understand concepts in your first language and transfer your knowledge to your second language.
Using resources with a lot of visual content provides context and access for EAL learners who need to make sense of new information and new language in order to learn. Visuals enable the language demands of a task to be reduced without reducing the cognitive demand.
THE FOLLOWING LINK IS AN INTERESTING REVIEW OF RESEARCH IN EAL:
Challenge all learners
‘Ensuring that the brightest pupils fulfil their potential goes straight to the heart of social mobility, of basic fairness and economic efficiency.’1
A report published by Ofsted “The most able students, Are they doing as well as they should in our non-selective secondary schools?” – June 2013, focussed on the progress of high ability students in both selective and non-selective schools.
- 65% of high ability students attending a non-selective school do not gain A/A* in Maths and English GCSE.
- 27% of high ability students attending a non-selective school did not gain a B grade in Maths and English GCSE.
The gap continues to grow at Level 3 provision, and even further in applications and admissions to Russell group Universities. The report notes that “In too many lessons observed by inspectors, teaching is not supporting our highest attaining students to do well.”
The key findings through inspections were:
- In many schools, expectations of what the most able students should achieve are too low.
- Schools do not routinely give the same attention to the most able as they do to low-attaining students or those who struggle at school.
- In over two fifths of the schools visited for the survey, students did not make the progress that they should, or that they were capable of, between the ages of 11 and 14. Students said that too much work was repetitive and undemanding in Key Stage 3. As a result, their progress faltered and their interest in school waned.
- Students did not do the hard work and develop the resilience needed to perform at a higher level because more challenging tasks were not regularly demanded of them. The work was pitched at the middle and did not extend the most able.
If children are pushed to achieve this will:
- Inspire and motivate them
- Enable them to fulfil their potential
- Maintain their engagement
Why does it matter?
It allows us to provide a differentiated curriculum with children aiming for their best. It ensures that all students are suitably engaged in their learning and hungry for improvement. Higher expectations are for the benefit of all: “a rising tide lifts all ships”.
What characteristics are seen in lessons where learners are challenged?
- Teachers ask open ended questions and where necessary set open ended tasks
- Pupils are encouraged to develop higher order thinking skills (HOTS)
- Pupils are encouraged and given responsibility as leaders & facilitators
- Teachers help pupils to develop skills which critique their own and others work
- Pupils are encouraged to have a go and not fear mistakes
- Teachers give expert guidance on what exemplar (eg A*) answers/responses look like; this approach is adopted for pupils across all groups
- Pupils literacy skills are constantly tested orally, in writing and with reading
- Teachers use specific techniques such as “SOLO” (Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes) (About SOLO taxonomy)
- Teachers ‘flip the classroom’ so that pupils prepare work at home and arrive to lessons ready to apply their knowledge; this ensures no time is wasted
- Pupils are encouraged to experiment
- Feedback on pupils work makes it clear how to improve including next steps
- Teachers make time in lessons to give this feedback
1. A Smithers, and P Robinson, Educating the highly able, Foreword by Sir Peter Lampl, Sutton Trust, 2012; www.suttontrust.com/research/educating-the-highly-able/.
CPD Briefing: Literacy/Numeracy
To be able to increase progress in the curriculum, it is essential that we as teachers are teaching Literacy and Numeracy within all subject areas. The question is, how do we achieve this?
For most teachers, we include Key words and pick up on spelling and grammar for literacy and for numeracy we try to include the use of data and use statistical.
There is nothing new about the focus on whole-school literacy. As a headteacher commented in The Times Educational Supplement:
If you want a sure way to provoke a collective groan in your staffroom, announce that you are intending to hold a training day devoted to whole school literacy. ‘We did that five years ago!’ someone will shout.
At its most specific and practical, the term applies to a set of skills that have long been accepted as fundamental to education. The Department for Education is clear and emphatic – the curriculum should offer opportunities for pupils to:
- ‘engage in specific activities that develop speaking and listening skills as well as activities that integrate speaking and listening with reading and writing’
- ‘develop speaking and listening skills through work that makes cross-curricular links with other subjects’
- ‘develop reading skills through work that makes cross-curricular links with other subjects’
- ‘develop writing skills through work that makes cross-curricular links with other subjects’
- ‘work in sustained and practical ways, with writers where possible, to learn about the art, craft and discipline of writing’
- ‘redraft their own work in the light of feedback. This could include self-evaluation using success criteria, recording and reviewing performances, target-setting and formal and informal use of peer assessment. Redrafting should be purposeful, moving beyond proofreading for errors to the reshaping of whole texts or parts of texts.’ (Ofsted)
‘Literacy’, however, is more than the mechanics of reading, writing, speaking and listening. The National Curriculum demands that connections be made between each strand and across subjects, which calls for thought and understanding, for recall, selection and analysis of ideas and information, and for coherent, considered and convincing communication in speech and in writing. All pupils should be encouraged to:
- ‘make extended, independent contributions that develop ideas in depth’
- ‘make purposeful presentations that allow them to speak with authority on significant subjects’
- ‘engage with texts that challenge preconceptions and develop understanding beyond the personal and immediate’
- ‘experiment with language and explore different ways of discovering and shaping their own meanings’
- ‘use writing as a means of reflecting on and exploring a range of views and perspectives on the world.’ (Ofsted)
For example using the writing instruction below:-
‘What’s in it for departments?
- Literacy supports learning. Pupils need vocabulary, expression and organisational control to cope with the cognitive demands of all subjects.
- Writing helps us to sustain and order thought.
- Better literacy leads to improved self-esteem, motivation and behaviour. It allows pupils to learn independently. It is empowering.
- Better literacy raises pupils’ attainment in all subjects.’
While most people have a reasonable understanding of what it means to be literate, one of the issues with numeracy is the many different definitions; it means different things to different people.
For some it is synonymous with mathematics, for others it is a subset of mathematics, while others will argue that numeracy lies only partly in mathematics and partly in many other disciplines. Some see numeracy skills simply as those needed to do a specific job (e.g. an engineer or a bricklayer, or for calculating invoices).
Many see numeracy as being essential for the ability to be a reflective learner (e.g. making sense of charts and information reported in the media).
Numeracy is a fundamental life skill that is needed in many ways – personal, leisure, social and work – in order for people to lead a confident and fulfilling life in school and beyond.
To raise standards in schools, numeracy needs to be seen as a practical capability that enables learners to apply their skills and knowledge to solve problems in a whole range of contexts across school and in real life.
- Numeracy is a basic life skill without which individuals will struggle in and beyond school
- As a life skill, the description of numeracy goes beyond mere computation – it includes essential abilities such as solving problems, understanding and explaining the solutions, making decisions based on logical thinking and reasoning, and interpreting data, charts and diagrams
Belief or a ‘Growth Mind-Set’: US professor of psychology Carol Dweck states that it is our mind-set, not abilities or talent, which lead to success (Dweck, 2008).
In a fixed mind-set, people believe that their abilities can’t change. In a growth mind-set, people believe that abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. They seek to learn from mistakes and embrace challenges. They have a can-do attitude.
To achieve growth, people must therefore believe that their maths abilities are not fixed, and feel confident that anyone can develop mathematical skill.
For teachers outside the mathematics department, how are we ensuring that we are using numeracy within our curriculum?
Dweck, Carol. 2008. “Mindset and Math/Science Achievement ". Teaching & Leadership: Managing for Effective Teachers and Leaders.
Congratulations and welcome to your new realsmart-enabled website
The cloud website gives seamless integration to Google Apps, the realsmart learning portfolio and loads of other great apps from the web – we have added a selection of these to widget menu on the right, you will see these when you log in.
To read about the vision behind your new school website read more here
Mathematics is the study of topics such as quantity, structure, space, and change. There is a range of views among mathematicians and philosophers as to the exact scope and definition of mathematics.
Mathematicians seek out patterns and use them to formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures bymathematical proof. When mathematical structures are good models of real phenomena, then mathematical reasoning can provide insight or predictions about nature. Through the use of abstraction and logic, mathematics developed from counting, calculation, measurement, and the systematic study of the shapes and motions of physical objects. Practical mathematics has been a human activity for as far back as written recordsexist. The research required to solve mathematical problems can take years or even centuries of sustained inquiry.
Rigorous arguments first appeared in Greek mathematics, most notably in Euclid‘s Elements. Since the pioneering work of Giuseppe Peano (1858–1932), David Hilbert (1862–1943), and others on axiomatic systems in the late 19th century, it has become customary to view mathematical research as establishing truth by rigorous deduction from appropriately chosen axioms and definitions. Mathematics developed at a relatively slow pace until theRenaissance, when mathematical innovations interacting with new scientific discoveries led to a rapid increase in the rate of mathematical discovery that has continued to the present day.
This year’s science fair will take place on the 19th July and will include volcanoes and flux capacitors.
The first person to solve this brain teaser in the comments wins a prize!