BIENVENUE 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.
Over the last year Bromet School has been awarded two British Council “International Awards” at Foundation and Intermediate level. These were awarded in recognition of our whole school international policy and activities such as last summer’s International Week. We have also established partner schools in India, Italy and Spain and a number of our key stage 2 children have been writing letters and communicating by email and video with children in these countries.
Further to the above, in November 2016 Bromet was awarded the Primary Languages Quality Award, silver level, in recognition of our commitment to language learning and the “substantial progress” being made by our children. 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”.
In September 2017 Bromet Primary in Watford was awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom.
The International School Award celebrates the achievements of schools that do exceptional work in international education. Fostering an international dimension in the curriculum is at the heart of the British Council’s work with schools, so that young people gain the cultural understanding and skills they need for life work in today’s world.
DAY TRIP TO FRANCE
On Friday 9th June our annual day trip to France took place with 70 children from years 5 and 6 heading off to Boulogne-sur-Mer. After a 4.30am (!) start and the excitement of a journey through the Eurotunnel, we visited a boulangerie where the children made croissants and baguettes before heading off to the beach. In the afternoon we did a walking tour of the old, fortified town taking in, amongst other things, the castle, the cathedral and the ramparts before finishing the day once more at the beach. The weather was kind to us and a great day was had by all!
AROUND THE WORLD DAY
Thank you to everyone who helped out with last Friday’s “Around the World Day”. It was a really lovely day, enjoyed by children, staff, governors and parents alike. The day began with an International Breakfast attended by children with their parents. Then there was an assembly to introduce the day before the children were issued with passports. They spent the rest of the day "visiting" the different "countries" including Russia, Sweden, India, China and Spain and completing activities in each room. We had lots of parents come in to help, sharing their own knowledge and experiences of different languages and cultures and additional colour and flavour were added by the national costumes worn by some staff, parent helpers and the pupils themselves.
It was a day of awe and wonder where, together, we were able to learn about difference and diversity whilst at the same time celebrating our common humanity. Children were inspired to share experiences from their own diverse backgrounds and travels.
Days like this place a value on difference and encourage children to share and value their varied backgrounds in a secure and enabling environment. It helps to link the school with the wider world and builds on Bromet’s initial work with its overseas partner schools.