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East Renfrewshire update

Author: Judith Boulton-Jones, East Renfrewshire

Languages are alive and kicking in East Renfrewshire! This session we launched an Innovation Fund to allow schools to bid for money to support the learning and teaching of languages in schools. Schools were very creative with their bids and it has led to some interesting and exciting learning opportunities for our children, for example a trip to Jamie’s Italian restaurant by pupils at St Mark’s Primary, where they had a go at making (and eating!) focaccia. Eaglesham Primary celebrated a language and culture week, which included a P2 French breakfast, P4 learning how to make paella, P5 enjoying a Chinese dance lesson and P6 and P7 learning some Portuguese.

Technology was a strong focus in many bids and schools are using iPads and tablets to support the learning of languages across both primary and secondary.

CLPL for staff continues in French and Chinese and this has been positively evaluated by practitioners, who are supported by resources on the Modern Languages Glow pages. We also offered CLPL to support Erasmus+ applications, and two schools have now made a whole school application for funding. The British Council offered eTwinning training to staff and we are beginning to build links between schools in Versailles and East Renfrewshire.

At the beginning of the session we launched our Primary Language Learning Framework, which pulled into one handy document Es&Os, advice from Education Scotland, a skills focus, useful vocabulary and classroom language. This means that as staff embed French (L2) into their everyday routine, they can refer to this document to support learners and check progress.

This is the third year of implementing L3 across the authority, and we launched our pupil workbooks for Italian, Spanish and Chinese with new, embedded sound files. This means that staff and pupils can use the workbooks interactively on the Promethean boards and revisit language learning at any point in the week.

We welcomed seven French MLAs, two Spanish MLAs, 3 Hanban Chinese teachers, a German Educational Trainee and a Portuguese Educational Trainee to the authority, which means that schools have the opportunity to offer a suite of languages or taster lessons. We are delighted by the enthusiasm we see for languages across the authority.

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