BIENVENUE A BROMET!
¡BIENVENIDOS A BROMET!
AN INTRODUCTION TO MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES AT BROMET
Studying a language in primary school provides children with skills that are essential for the twenty-first century. As well as giving them the opportunity to learn a second language, an increasingly important skill in our globalised society, it also helps to promote and develop a broader intercultural understanding. The study of a second language also supports children’s general literacy and oracy, by raising awareness of their own language and thereby enriching their understanding of both. Furthermore, primary languages are about fun, communication, confidence building, developing learning strategies, learning about similarities and differences and respecting others.
Since September 2014, learning a language is a statutory foundation subject and a national entitlement for every pupil in KS2. The new National Curriculum in Primary Languages requires, amongst other things, that substantial progress be made in one language across the key stage. At Bromet we go further by teaching French across both key stages, starting in Reception. Furthermore, we also introduce Spanish in Year 6 to show our pupils how language learning skills can be transferred and to prepare them for the variety of languages they are likely to encounter at secondary level.
Our aim, which is at the heart of the programme of study for KS2, is to develop an enthusiastic and positive attitude to other languages and language learning. We hope to encourage a life-long love of language learning among our pupils in order to enhance their understanding of the world and their future economic well-being.
APPROACH TO LANGUAGE TEACHING
All pupils in KS1 learn French for 25 minutes per week whilst pupils in KS2 have 55 minutes of weekly language learning. These are dedicated language lessons with a specialist teacher. Lessons are taught in the target language which showcases the language in a real life situation as a tool for communication being used for real purpose in a daily classroom routine and it gives our pupils the chance to pick up incidental language in addition to the vocabulary and structures being studied.
Homework is set once a term. This is in the form of a topic booklet which serves a variety of purposes: they are a useful link with home, informing you of what your child is doing in school, they also provide a “dictionary” of the vocabulary and grammar taught in that topic, they reinforce the work being done in the classroom and give pupils the opportunity to work independently. Booklets are given out halfway through the topic at half term. They are a fun way to revise the work that has been covered and show the children how much they have learnt. They also provide pupils with an occasion to evaluate their own progress through self-assessment grids. It is made clear to pupils that they can choose which activities they complete and great care is taken to ensure that tasks are differentiated and that there is “something for everyone”, including tasks which move pupils beyond what they have learnt in the classroom therefore stretching the more able. The booklets also give an indication of language assessment levels.
Bromet is proud to be a British Council “International School”. Since working our way up through the foundation and intermediate levels of the prestigious British Council International School Award, we obtained the full award in 2017. International studies are now firmly established in Bromet: embedded in our whole school curriculum and giving an international dimension to all our whole school activities. We are currently applying for re-accreditation and have already completed a variety of successful whole school activities such as our recent Mother Tongue Day and food festival, our heritage box exhibition and our work with partner schools in Tenerife and Cordoba as part of our ERASMUS+ project. We have also established partner schools in India, Italy and the USA and a number of our children have been writing letters and communicating by email and video with children in these countries. Please see our International Pages for more information.
Further to the above, Bromet was recently awarded the Primary Languages Quality Award at gold level, one of only a small number of schools to achieve this. The award was given in recognition of our commitment to language learning and the “substantial progress” being made by our children in both French and Spanish. In particular, we were commended for our “exciting commitment to the use of the target language”, the “impressive quality of (our) international work” and “the obvious enthusiasm and excitement of (our) pupils for the subject”.
The above awards were instrumental in Bromet’s success in applying for an EU grant to run an international cultural heritage project. In March 2018 we were awarded an unprecedented grant of almost 200,000 Euros to complete a project entitled “Who Do We Think We Are?” The project is co-funded by ERASMUS+ and Bromet is the lead school of four in the UK (Bromet, Oxhey Wood, Parkgate and Holywell) and two schools in Spain (in Tenerife and Cordoba).
The aim of the project is to broaden pupils’ horizons whilst celebrating who they are and where they come from, to help the children discover their personal family stories, learn about their local heritage and consider how this relates not only to a shared national story but also an international one.
To achieve these aims we have implemented a wide range of activities across all schools. Every class is linked to a class in Spain and has spent the last year exchanging information, completing projects and sharing learning. For more information please see the ERASMUS+ pages on our website.
DAY TRIP TO FRANCE
Our annual day trip to France has been running for over ten years. Each year we take Year 5 to Boulogne-sur-Mer to visit a boulangerie (where the children make croissants and baguettes) before heading off to the beach and then finishing the day with a walking tour of the medieval, fortified town. This has always been a successful and popular trip which gives the children the opportunity to take their French out of the classroom and to try out their language skills in a real and meaningful context. Unfortunately this year due to Covid-19 we have had to cancel the trip for the very first time but we hope to reinstate it next year.
STUDY TOURS TO TENERIFE AND CORDOBA
As part of our ERASMUS+ project last year we were very excited to take 15 of our Year 5 and 6 pupils to visit our partner school in Tenerife. We spent 5 days on the island where we visited the British School of Tenerife and worked on a project to compare BST with Bromet. We discovered the history and geography of the island through a visit to the volcano “Teide”, we discovered how Tenerife leads the world in animal conservation through an educational visit to the Loro Park and we discovered the cultural heritage of the island through student participation in Canarian Week. The children had an amazing time and on their return they led an assembly to tell the school all about their adventures and they were also invited to visit other schools in Watford to share their experiences.
This year should have seen a second study tour heading off to visit our second Spanish partner school to discover the culture and heritage of the Andalusian cities of Cordoba and Seville. This was to be followed by a group of Spanish students from Tenerife and Cordoba coming to Watford to learn about our school life, our local area and the history of London. Unfortunately Covid-19 has put all these visits on hold. However we remain committed to the project and plan to run the visits next summer.
In addition to the postponement of our foreign visits, study tours and ERASMUS+ project work due to the impact of Covid-19, MFL in line with other curriculum subjects will ensure that students catch up on missed work in the autumn term. We will start with some revision of basics including classroom vocabulary, greetings and numbers as well as simple questions and answers before revisiting the summer term topics that children have been working on at home using their language topic booklets. If children wish to go deeper into these topics in preparation for the return to school they should log on to Babelzone using our school subscription where they will find a variety of stories, games, songs, grammar and phonics tasks in both Spanish and French.