Tag Archives: Education

Technology for Inclusion Conference

Technology for Inclusion

Technology for Inclusion

Janet Chapman who was shortlisted for an Education Resource Award for her Leadership in Education this year is organising an inclusion conference.

In Enfield on 3rd July come and meet one of our sponsors EMASUK and well known speakers on inclusion including Dr Rona Tutt.

For more information please contact Janet at janet@centralenfieldclc.org.uk


Activities for foreign language acquisition

Visit this blog for a range of activities to support language acquisition maybe the judges and I will see examples of these in next years awards.

http://frenchteachernet.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/50-writing-activities-for-mfl-classroom.html or see summary below. Thanks Steve.

Below is a list of common writing activites in the target language which can be carried out in a classroom or in some cases online. Most of these would be done within a sequence of activities, often following oral activities to improve comprehension, embed vocabulary or syntactic rules, and improve accuracy of speech and writing.

Much writing will be done at home so as to maximise classroom time for listening and oral activity. Writing should nearly always be in the target language, although there will be times when using English makes more sense e.g. when taking notes on a harder spoken or written passage. The teacher will alsways need to adapt to the needs of the particular class.
•Copywriting from a book or the board to establish simple spellings
•Writing down words spelled out orally
•Writing down answers to oral questions
•Writing down answers to written questions
•Filling gaps (with options given or not given)
•Writing down corrected answers to false statements given orally
•Writing down corrected answers to false statements written down
•Writing down the correct one of two or more alternative statements provided orally
•Writing short phrase statements or just true/false on a mini whiteboard
•Taking notes to an audio or spoken source
•Completing an information grid based on a written source
•Completing an informatiom grid or transcription based on a spoken source
•Writing sentences or a narrative based on a picture or picture sequence
•Writing sentences from short notes (e.g. diary entries)
•Completing a sentence or text with the correct form of a given verb or adjective
•Transposing sentences or text from one person to another
•Putting jumbled words into a correct sentence
•Summarising from an English text
•Summarising from a target language text
•Writing down solutions to anagrams (either written ones or ones provided orally)
•Dictation: transcribing words, phrases, sentences or passages from audio or read by teacher
•Paired dictation e.g. running dictation”
•Writing a traditional discursive essay
•Translating into the target language from a written source
•Translating into the target language from an oral source
•Writing a passage from a template
•Writing lists e.g. shopping lists, desert island game, strip bingo game
•Word association – teacher gives a word, pupil writes first word to come into head
•Antonyms – teacher gives a word, pupil writes down opposite meaning
•Writing short accounts from a given word list. Every word must appear in the account
•Completing sentence starters from an oral source
•Completing sentence starters from a written source
•Starting sentence ends from an oral or written source
•Noting synonyms or antonyms in a written passage
•Writing poems or music lyrics
•Writing calligrammes
•Writing definitions of words
•Completing a crossword or acrostic
•Making up original sentences to show a grammatical structure
•Completing a vocabulary list e.g. finding words in a target language text
•Writing for a purpose e.g letter, news article, job application, obituary, diary
•Transforming a text message into full sentences (or the reverse)
•Underlining errors in a transcribed text and inserting the correct word or phrase
•Writing social network messages to a foreign speaker
•Writing words as part of a game (e.g. baccalauréat – find a word in each category beginning with a given letter)
•Writing sentences for a game of “consequences”
•Writing on the board or with a partner e.g. “Hangman”
•Code breaking games
•Writing “never-ending sentences”
•Writing nonsense or silly sentences

Maindee Primary School Winners made the local news. Yay!

Well Done, Maindee Primary school everyone will know how special you are now in South Wales. Some great ideas to inspire those wishing to enter next Year.

ARABIC, Czech, and Turkish are just some of the languages you might expect to hear spoken at an international airport.

But things aren’t too different in the classrooms of one Newport primary school, where pupils speak a total of twenty different languages.

Of the 411 pupils at Maindee Primary School, at least 85 per cent are from an ethnic background and speak English as a supplementary language.

But despite it not being their first language, youngsters are excelling, and the school has been recognised at a UK-wide awards ceremony.

The school impressed judges at the Primary Language Classroom Awards, coming top in the English as an Additional Language award.

Berna Pullen, of the Gwent Education Multi-Ethnic Service, nominated the school because she wanted to share the things they do well. She and 14 other GEMS staff provide regular support in the classroom to help pupils integrate.

Youngsters who are new to English are taught alongside all other pupils, as this is the best way for them to learn she said, but they will also get additional help if needed.

Teachers use a number of interactive tools such as iPads, and have developed an application to help teach pupils newwords and phrases.

One they use regularly shows videos of pupils speaking in their native tongue describing regular classroom tasks, such as writing the date or topic heading, which they can play to translate the words they routinely hear in class.

Teachers also encourage students to create comic strips in their first language and them help them translate them.

The school also celebrates all religious celebrations, such as the Islamic festival of Eid, to ensure all youngsters are aware of each of the many cultures they represent.

This year, it will add a newone to its calendar when it holds a Romany celebration in the summer.

Head of Key Stage 2 Selina Wells said the children were ecstatic to have won.

She said: “We took to the school committee to the ceremony at the NEC in Birmingham and when they read out the winner, the children just erupted.

“We are really very proud. It shows that the commitment from all the staff at Maindee is paying off and the children appreciate it.”

List of languages spoken at Maindee Primary School

Arabic   Bengali   Czech   Slovak   Italian   English   French   Hindi   Kurdish   Polish   Punjabi   Romany   Roma   Russian   Somali   Turkish   Urdu   Welsh   Lithuanian   Latvian

With special thanks to the South Wales Argus for sharing this.


Thank You from Glasgow Academy Prep School

I opened my email box and read this lovely thank you.  I just have to say thank you for such lovely words but they are the ones doing a great job so deserved to be honoured in this way.

Congratulations everyone and especially Patricia for sending in her application during the Christmas holiday.  If I am not mistaken it came in just after Christmas but before New Year.

What a memorable occasion the Primary Languages Classroom Awards ceremony was!  Thank you so much for all the hard work and dedication from all the team for organising and promoting this event and to the sponsors for their generous prizes.  Primary Modern Languages is a highly specialised, but often neglected, field of expertise so it is wonderful to celebrate achievement in this area and place it firmly in the spotlight.  I thank all the pupils of the Glasgow Academy for wholeheartedly embracing this area of the curriculum and helping me turn my ideas into a very enjoyable reality.

EAL winners more than 80% of the pupils at Maindee Primary School have English as their second language.

Brilliant to see this news article about the EAL Winners Maindee Primary.

Mrs Wadsworth said for more than 80 per cent of the pupils English is their second language and praised their ability to master it so quickly.

Head teacher for the past eight years, Carol Wadsworth, says the school celebrates many occasions on the calendar, most recently pancake day, as well as religious days and holding an eisteddfod.

When asked what she hopes her pupils will take with them when they leave, Mrs Wadsworth says: “I hope that we equip them with a set of skills in literacy, numeracy and personal and social skills in  order to live in this multi-cultural world that lies in front of them.”

“Our vision is learning and living in harmony and our success is framed around that.”

Read more about the worthy winners at:


Uk Census celebrates languages spoken in the UK

I read the report on the most recent census and saw what a diverse linguistic country we have. There are many students and teachers involved with languages other than English. I am beginning to wonder if we should not start introducing more categories to the awards to ensure all primary language classrooms are represented fairly.

It is nice to see this year an entrant for Japanese and another for Cornish so perhaps we are reaching everyone we want to.

The recent census shows:

Some 4 million – or 8% – reported speaking a different main language other than
English or Welsh.

This will be reflected in schools and extended support or supplementary schools as well as Saturday schools.

Also we should see confident language learners arising particularly in those who keep up their first language as well as learning their second, third etc.

In Wales, 97% – 2.9 million of residents – reported English or Welsh as their
main language and 19%, 562,000, reported that they could speak Welsh.

The top 10 reported languages were English, followed by Polish, Panjabi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, Arabic, French, Chinese (excluding Mandarin and Cantonese, which were the 27th and 40th most commonly-used languages) and Portuguese.

The figures also showed that not all languages were spoken – with 22,000 people using sign language.

I am glad that the awards reflect this trend and this years introduction of sign language demonstrates our wish to reach all language learners.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21259401 and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20681551


Good Luck and Well Done to all our shortlisted schools they have a tough job that they are doing really well.





Supporting schools…supporting EAL and language learners

I saw this and thought it is a little old news but one of our sponsors is Manic Monkey and one of the speakers at the Language Information point is Hilary with her Luton Education Officer Paul and the story is still similar except that now a few years on with support from a range of packages Tennyson Road were this year given an EAL awards for their support of their EAL pupils in the school by EMASUK and also had level 4 SATs results for all children in Year 6…what an achievement.

This year Little Bridge (Manic Monkey) will be sponsoring  a relevant language software solution  for five of the categories. EMASUK will be offering 6months of membership to their language resources. ALL will also be offering membership whilst Brilliant Publications will be offering  selection of Welsh Books. Hobbycraft will be supporting one category with a voucher to get teaching resources to support language development and BESA will be providing a huge box of resources again to support language teaching. The French Embassy and The Goethe Institute will be supporting their respective languages and finally Little Linguist will be offering  range of resources to one of the categories. All in all over £500 of resources per category and over  £2500 in language support resources overall.

Brilliant Marketing will be ringing all of our successful shortlist in the next few days  and inviting them to find out if they have won at the Education Show 15th March 2013.  Everyone is welcome to attend at the BESA stand.

The Education Show must also be thanked for sponsoring the space which we will inhabit for the Language Information Point  (LIP) at the Education show and Mango Marketing for supporting all of our marketing of the awards and the Language Information Point and the SSAT for also marketing the awards and supporting the LIP.

Everyone involved with the Primary Languages Awards hopes that perhaps a story similar to this one from Hilary in 2008 will mean improved success for the school and pupils in the future.

With thanks for teaching times for writing his article. http://www.teachingtimes.com/articles/helping-hand.htm

 The Issues

When I began my post at Tennyson Road Primary school, three years ago, one of my main priorities was that of EAL teaching, especially as 13.2% of pupils did not have English as their first language.

As Luton is an airport town, it has a high number of families who have moved to England from abroad; over the years this has been steadily increasing and is reflected in the number of EAL pupils at school.  By 2008, 22.2% of pupils at Tennyson Road Primary did not speak English as their first language, 2.6% higher than the national average.

With such a wide range of cultures at the school, from Afro-Caribbean to Romanian, Portuguese to Bangladeshi, it is important to find resources that suit the needs of the pupils, helping them develop their English skills so that they can access the curriculum and ultimately progress with their education.  When investigating potential EAL resources, the richest source of knowledge and advice may come from other schools in a similar situation.  However, often EAL subject leaders do not have the spare time to discuss effective resources with other schools.  Similarly, trying to discover the best EAL resources through trial and error methods can be costly and it could be easy to waste valuable money testing different resources.

How we support our EAL pupils

Tennyson Road Primary is very lucky in that we receive a lot of support from our local authority.  As the headteacher, I worked with my local authority School Improvement Advisor (SIA) who gave me advice on how to provide support for EAL pupils.  As a result, the SIA offered training for teachers and teaching assistants, recommended resources from their resource library and worked with me to implement a New Arrivals Policy.

The EAL pupils are encouraged to work with the teaching assistant that comes in to school for two mornings per week, these half hourly sessions take place out of class.  On some occasions we use a scheme called Talking Partners – a method that the local authority introduced to the school to target pupils that require focused attention.  One teaching assistant works with a group of three pupils – for twenty minutes, three times a week – to improve the pupils’ competence with speaking and listening.  Working in small groups also means that the teaching assistant can provide focused attention and understand the needs of individual pupils, what they are doing well at and what needs more work. When the children are not with the teaching assistant they are fully integrated in to the class, this may sound daunting for you and me but at that age pupils pick up and understand basic English very quickly.  It is also vital that the pupils are not seen as separate or different from the rest of the class to help them fit in and feel comfortable – factors that impact success at school.

At Tennyson Road Primary we have also set up a ‘New Arrivals Policy’, a set of guidelines created for the effective handling of new arrivals. This is managed by the school’s family worker liaising with the class teachers. New pupils are interviewed, along with their parents to find out about the child, their culture and how they cope with transition.  Knowing as much as possible about the child allows the teacher to ensure that integration in to the class is as smooth as possible.  Talking to the parents of EAL pupils however, is another hurdle that must be managed effectively.  As a result quite a proportion of the funding provided by the local authority must be spent on translation to parents.

In addition to the support that can be achieved through the local authority, there are also resources that schools can separately purchase if their budget permits.  After speaking at the BESA Summer conference 2008 about EAL funding, Manic Monkey sent me a piece of software called Little Bridge designed with primary EAL pupils in mind.  It is used with the children by the teaching assistants in the out-of-class sessions although it is equally effective in a whole class situation.  Little Bridge is an interactive 3D resource where English grammatical topics and vocabulary are covered through meeting the characters of Little Bridge, an authentic English village, and learning about their daily routines, hobbies and special celebrations. We’ve found that the children progress quickly using the resource and love the adventure games and songs.  One of our Chinese pupils even taught her little sister the Little Bridge song at home.

Pupil Progress

It is vital that teachers are aware of how all pupils are progressing; formal assessment is available for English speaking pupils yet there is no way of formally assessing EAL pupils in terms of how their language skills and understanding is developing.  Without assessing this, pupils could slip behind in class or perhaps not be stretched to their full capacity.  Tennyson Road Primary has benefited from an assessment programme developed by Luton Borough Council: Language Development for Bilingual Pupils.  The programme assesses listening, speaking, reading and writing skills by categorising progress in terms of six stages: from beginner to fluent.  The programme is particularly useful for teachers throughout the school as the criterion at each stage offers a standardised format.  In addition to this we also make use of the online Learning Management system available through Little Bridge which allows the teachers to store and track pupil progress.  The scoring system on Little Bridge is both formative and summative meaning that teachers can clearly see how a child is achieving, a useful tool to ensure pupils are given additional help in the areas in which they need it.

As headteacher of a school that has a high number of EAL pupils, I am aware of the need for good quality resources to help non-English speaking pupils develop their language and listening skills in order to be successful at school.  By liaising with our local authority and using engaging software packages, Tennyson Road Primary has been successful at implementing strategies to help these children cope in a foreign school.

Well Done Hilary and please come and talk to Hilary and Paul at the Language Information Point on Thursday at 1.00.