A 1+2 Approach

Our 1+2 newsletters aim to support Development Officers in implementing the policy across Scotland.

June 2018


Dear colleagues

Welcome to the last 1+2 newsletter of session 2017/18. This session has been one of reflection for many of us, particularly in light of the changing educational landscape effected by the governance review and the resulting education bill. We at SCILT are determined to ensure a quality service that delivers positive impact and represents best value for the public purse. To this end, we recently commissioned an external review of the organisation led by Bruce Robertson OBE. Many thanks to those of you who as important stakeholders gave up your time to offer your thoughts and ideas that contributed so fully to the recommendations of the report. As we move towards embracing the regional collaboratives, it is very important to us that SCILT offers the profession the kind of support that meets its needs and is fit for purpose. We can only do this by engaging fully with those of you leading language learning, listening to your voice and acting on your advice. What is clear is that there is a huge amount of collective goodwill towards SCILT and an agreement for the need for a national centre. The challenge for us is to ensure that SCILT is fully positioned within the “strengthened middle tier” that will provide support for schools to move language learning forward. Certainly, there is no “one size fits all” solution and SCILT will have to be adaptable and flexible enough to meet a range of local requirements. For example, our professional learning offer is being developed to include blended and distance learning, professional learning partnerships, webinars, practitioner enquiry, peer-to-peer learning, knowledge exchange and a newly revised menu of workshops led by SCILT staff.

In the interests of openness and transparency, the review report will be published on the SCILT website by the start of the new term and I would encourage you to read it. We aim to be as consultative as possible and welcome your thoughts on how best we can add value to our work so that collectively we can move language learning in Scotland forward.

Fhiona Mackay, Director

SCILT news

author Meryl James, SCILT/CISS, ()

Thousands of primary school pupils from P5, P6 or P7 have been rehearsing and performing an opera about the exciting voyages of 14th century Chinese Admiral Zheng He. The opera, called ‘The dragon of the Western Sea’, has been composed by Alan Penman with lyrics by Ross Stenhouse. Pupils learn the words and songs in their own classrooms and then work with a Scottish Opera team to prepare for a performance in front of classmates, friends and family.

‘The dragon of the Western Sea’ tells the story of Admiral Zheng He and his vast fleet of ships with 28,000 crew which set sail from China to Indonesia, India, Arabia and the grasslands of Africa in search of trade, treaties and treasure. The Emperor of the time was keen to create a maritime Silk Road between China, India and Africa.

The Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools (CISS) provided free workshops to schools who took part in the partnership, exploring the words of the songs (such as bei (North), nan (South), dong (East) and Xi (West)) and how the words relate to present-day place names such as Beijing, Nanjing, Dongjing and Xi’an. The opera provided a rich context for learning about the language and culture of China, as well as the culture, geography and history of other countries Zheng He explored.

At the end of last year, Hanban Council in Beijing, the headquarters of Confucius Institutes worldwide, named Scottish Opera a Specialist Confucius Classroom Hub. Scottish Opera is the first opera company in the world to be selected for this accolade, and is one of four new hubs in Scotland that are not based in a school setting.

CISS received feedback on the workshops they provided. This feedback included:

  • the workshop was an excellent addition to the programme
  • it consolidated the understanding of Zheng He
  • the enthusiasm and knowledge of the presenter really brought the subject matter to life and inspired the children to learn more
  • an excellent experience for the pupils and evaluated very highly by both pupils and staff alike

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News from partners

author Thomas Chaurin, Institut français d’Ecosse, ()

Over the past four years, and in the context of existing education co-operation between France and Scotland*, most local authorities have initiated or are strengthening a partnership with a regional education authority in France. These partnerships have allowed education communities from both nations to communicate, work together, learn from one another and develop new skills.

School-to-school partnerships are developing everywhere in Scotland, connecting learners and staff, through eTwinning. The feedback is very positive: the language we learn becomes real, teachers in France and in Scotland share practice, teachers and learners build greater international awareness and cultural understanding.

These partnerships have also brought together staff of both nations thanks to Erasmus+ funding. Inspectors, head teachers, curriculum leaders and teachers have had the opportunity to meet and reflect on their practices in areas of common interest such as attainment, citizenship or parental engagement. Learners too have taken part in exchanges. A formidable example is ‘How to be a European Citizen’**, an Erasmus+ project led by Collège Hector Berlioz, in partnership with Castlebrae Community High School and the Instituto Bilingüe de Leganés. This project has enabled learners of these three schools to meet once in Paris, then in Madrid, and soon in Edinburgh. Learners have engaged in a variety of activities, including rugby, to develop common values and build a sense of European citizenship.

Finally, the Scotland-France regional partnerships have enabled the development of a network of support that helps teachers to engage internationally. Development Officers in Scotland and their equivalent in France, eTwinning staff and ambassadors in both countries, Education Scotland, French Ministry of Education, British Council and Institut français are all supporting school communities to build their partnerships and offer their learners more opportunities to engage and learn.


* Following the 2004-2008 Declaration of Intent, France and Scotland signed a further four-year Statement of Intent in 2013. A new agreement for 2018-2021 took effect in January 2018.

** To find out more about this project, see @NoOneOffside and @CCHS_NOO on Twitter.

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author Gerry McIntosh, British Council Scotland, ()

The British Council is still welcoming applications to host a Modern Language Assistant (MLA) in schools for the 2018/19 academic year. We are currently processing those applications that we have already received and thank you if you have already submitted your application to the programme. In order to apply for a language assistant, please visit Apply for a language assistant in Scotland.

In Scotland, MLAs are helping schools deliver the 1+2 Approach to language learning, as well as contributing to the wider aims of Curriculum for Excellence and the agenda for developing global citizenship. Not only that, but a recent study has demonstrated that MLAs can make a huge difference to students’ exam results. Furthermore, MLAs bring a fresh perspective and engaging approach to language teaching via their enthusiasm and eagerness to share their culture with pupils. You can find further information about the benefits of hosting a language assistant in the following articles:

MLA success in Edinburgh (video)

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author Sylvia Warnecke, Open University, ()

The Open University and SCILT are delighted to announce that enrolment for their jointly delivered course ‘Learning to teach languages in primary school’ will be open until the end of June 2018. The course is available to teachers in all local authorities and will be offered for the following languages: French (LXT192), German (LXT193), Spanish (LXT194) and Mandarin (LXT197).

The fee for the course starting in October 2018 is £240.00 per student.

The course will be available to all primary practitioners but also secondary teachers who teach at primary level. We have produced a short video with teachers speaking about their experiences studying this, and an FAQ document with further detail about the course for information.

In order to make the enrolment process as smooth as possible, we advise that in the first instance Development Officers or Head Teachers contact Sylvia Warnecke at the Open University with a list of the names and email addresses of teachers planning to study this in their local authority/school. As we aim to complete enrolment by 30 June 2018 to allow time for planning staffing and timetabling, please submit all information by that point or contact Sylvia expressing interest.

We are planning to offer teachers who enrol on the course a summer school experience, which will allow further immersion in the language to boost confidence and provide ample opportunities to learn more about the cultures in which the language they are studying is spoken. The summer school is not part of the course, it is optional and can be booked separately. More information on this will be published in due course.

This very fruitful OU and SCILT collaboration has been recognised by the nomination of the course for the Herald Higher Education Awards 2018 in the partnership category.

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author Sandie Robb, The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, ()

“Finding out about the wildlife of a country, the geography, investigating habitats, classifying animals, learning about life-cycles and linking all this to language learning – that’s what our ‘Science in the language class’ series provides” says Sandie Robb, Senior Education Officer for The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS).

‘Science in the language class’ is an educational programme which provides resources that link language learning to RZSS conservation projects across the world, or to the conservation breeding programmes within RZSS sites. It builds upon the success of RZSS’s ‘Beyond the panda’, an award-winning programme that links to Chinese language learning.

‘Beyond the panda’ is an extensive giant panda and Chinese programme with a China mobile library, Chinese outreach sessions and the first science specialist Confucius Classroom in the world! In February 2018, we were delighted to launch the RZSS Confucius Classroom with support from CISS.

For Spanish and French, we have language packs designed for cross-curricular learning, where pupils investigate and discover more about Spanish and French speaking countries – their culture, geography, wildlife and language. The Spanish pack includes materials on South America and Spain, focusing on our South American giant armadillo and giant anteater projects. The French pack includes materials on France, French Polynesia islands, Madagascar and Canada, looking at the Eurasian lynx, Partula snails, lemurs and the polar bear. Both packs include five games, all with language activities. This is also supported by Spanish and French sessions, available to book at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo.

For Japanese we have our ‘Snow monkey pack’ based on one of Japan’s most iconic animals, the Japanese macaque. The species can be seen at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park. Similarly, this pack contains five games with language activities.

All our resources cover Curriculum for Excellence Experiences and Outcomes in science, topical science, social studies, language and literacy. We work closely with SCILT, Institut français, Asesoría de Educación at the Spanish Embassy, the Japan Foundation and StampIT’s Language of Stamps. ‘Beyond the panda’ partners with CISS, the Confucius Institute for Scotland and the Scotland China Education Network.

Find out more about Science in the language class and Beyond the panda.

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author JohnPaul Cassidy, HMIE, ()

Following recent inspection activity, secondary school languages staff from Glasgow City Council and City of Edinburgh Council requested professional learning sessions to update them on recent inspection findings with a languages focus. JohnPaul Cassidy, HM Inspector, engaged with languages staff from City of Edinburgh Council in April, and languages staff from Glasgow City Council in May.

The focus of these sessions was on good practice and areas for further improvement as identified by HM Inspectors. The overarching theme of the sessions on these occasions was 1+2 languages (secondary phase of the broad general education).

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author Richard Tallaron, LFEE Europe and PowerLanguage, ()

Event: International PowerLanguage Conference - Monday 17 September 2018

This year, PowerLanguage is opening its annual conference to practitioners from all over Europe and beyond, and Australian colleagues have already booked their flight! The title of our 2018 Conference is ‘The 1+2 language policy: a Scottish model’. We will reflect on the reasons why Scotland embarked on this exciting language policy six years ago, and present some of the innovative resources that we have developed over the years to support the initiative. Practitioners, development officers and special guests from Scotland will share good practice with us, and we will ask participants from other countries to present their national model too. If you are interested in attending the event, please get in touch.

New training programme: Inter-connecting

LFEE Europe will run a three-day programme in November 2018 in Edinburgh, entitled ‘Inter-connecting: The internationalisation of schools’. The aim of this event is to inform practitioners, schools and local authorities of what European programmes are available for staff and pupils to participate in, to help them deal with the application forms, and for them to meet potential partners. This course is organised in conjunction with l’Académie de Montpellier in France, and we hope to attract teachers, advisers and policy makers from several different EU countries. Please register interest with us ASAP should you wish to attend (info@lfee.net). We will publish the full programme shortly.

Ongoing teacher training around Scotland

After a successful run of Primary Language Learning (PLL) courses in 2017-2018, our diary is filling up fast for the session 2018-2019! We look forward to training new groups of teachers in Spanish, French and German, and meeting former students during our new refresher sessions! Contact your local authority if you are interested in registering on the next PLL sessions! Please note there is a charge for these courses.

PowerLanguage online courses: L3 language resource packs readymade and good to go…

Our online programme to support the introduction of L3 into Scottish schools has been very well received by practitioners and local authorities. Over 200 schools will start with French, German, Chinese or Spanish as L3 from September 2018.

French for families #languagesforall #1plus2inthewidercommunity

One thousand families are currently enlisted on the course to complete six initial lessons with the option to explore 12 lessons in total. How could this work for your local authority? Find out more about the project on our YouTube channel and hear feedback on the project. You can contact Richard Tallaron directly.

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Local authority updates

author Sylvia Georgin, Aberdeenshire Council, ()

It is with great sadness that Aberdeenshire schools say goodbye to two Spanish and six French MLAs and three German Educational Trainees (GETs). These young people have been an invaluable asset to our schools and provided pupils with an up-to-date view of their home country, its evolving language and culture. They have been motivational and an inspiration to all our pupils, and their impact has been huge.

Despite the initial challenges of coming to an unknown place, working in unfamiliar surroundings and negotiating a very rural location, Neus Colomer Collell, a Spanish MLA, summed up her experience by saying: “This has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have learned so much and everyone around me has been so kind and helpful. I will really miss all the staff and pupils.”

Another assistant loves Scotland so much that she had decided to stay on and get a job here!

Thank you to all of them from all of us here in Aberdeenshire.

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author Marie-Claire Lyon, Aberdeen City Council, ()

February 2018 saw Aberdeen City Council schools welcome 12 student teachers from the University of Grenoble-Alpes. This is the third year that we have participated in a programme of visits by French teacher trainees, and this year we extended the programme to our Northern Alliance partners: Highland schools welcomed five students and Shetland Islands schools welcomed four.

The students spent two weeks in primary and secondary schools and the feedback we received from them and the schools was very positive. They enhanced the language learning experience of the pupils, bringing elements of culture and supporting teachers with interactive activities as well as pronunciation. They enjoyed a day at the University of Aberdeen School of Education, where they took part in workshops organised by Scottish student teachers. This also provided opportunities for Scottish schools to establish a link with French partners.

This programme of visits is part of the students’ training programme in France and they take advantage of their school holidays to travel.

The French course co-ordinator in Grenoble has confirmed that interest is increasing and we are now working together to plan next year’s programme.

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author Jacqueline Adam, Aberdeen City Council, ()

Aberdeen City Libraries hosted a family Global Storytime at the Central Children’s Library in March 2018 as part of the annual ‘Arts across learning’ festival fringe programme, organised by Aberdeen City Council’s Creative Learning Team. This was a fascinating opportunity to explore languages and stories from around the world and celebrate the diversity of cultures in Aberdeen.

Seven storytellers narrated stories or poems in Russian, German, Gaelic, French, Polish and Arabic. Hearing the language spoken by native speakers allowed the audience to appreciate the expressiveness of the languages and they could often grasp the essentials of the story despite not understanding every word. There was some very enthusiastic audience participation with the stories as we learned to count in Gaelic and interact with one of the best books ever written – ‘Press here’ by Hervé Tullet, told in its original French.

A traditional Russian story by Pushkin and expressive nursery rhymes in Polish left the audience wanting more of the rhythmic beauty of those languages. Well-loved children’s stories, ‘The very hungry caterpillar’ and ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’, were read in German and Arabic and enabled the audience to identify individual words from their previous knowledge of the books.

Feedback from the audience was very positive and some young members of the audience were lulled to sleep through the magic of the spoken word, showing just how powerful stories are in any language! While this was the first time Aberdeen City Libraries have held such an event, judging from the audience’s reaction, it certainly won’t be the last!


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author Stacey Arneil, North Ayrshire Council, ()

Across North Ayrshire, teachers have been confidently embedding the language content from Years 1-3 of the North Ayrshire Language Learning Framework. Most of this language is taught through daily routines.

As teachers began implementing Years 4 and 5 of the framework, we realised that embedding the language content at these stages was more challenging for class teachers. With this in mind, we developed a resource pack for pupils to become leaders in language in their own classroom. The Lingo Leaders programme aims to support teachers by allowing pupils to take the lead in consolidating language learning in the classroom on a daily basis.

The resource pack contains everything the Lingo Leaders need to get started. They lead their peers in a variety of fun activities to practise their L2 for 10 minutes a day. They are responsible for helping the class teacher remember to allow them 10 minutes a day for language practice in the class. Lingo Leaders raise excitement about language learning while encouraging their peers to learn. In addition, they are developing fundamental leadership skills and building confidence in languages in their school.

Currently we have eight schools that have volunteered to pilot the Lingo Leaders programme. To measure the success of the programme, we are gathering information from the class teachers involved in order to record their opinions before, during and after the pilot. In addition, we will be in touch with the Lingo Leaders themselves to get their views. After the pilot is complete, we will look at ways to improve the programme and develop packs to support language learning in Years 5, 6 and 7 of our framework. Next session, we aim to rollout the Lingo Leaders programme across all primary schools in North Ayrshire in order to provide teachers with essential support in their classroom for a sustainable future for 1+2!

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author Angela Noble, North Ayrshire Council, ()

In North Ayrshire ASN schools, the aim is to teach Makaton to pupils and their surrounding community in order to open up pupils’ world of communication for everyday needs, learning and play. Through this, we aim to:

  • facilitate reciprocal communication between all members of our community
  • allow children to communicate as fully as possible
  • use Makaton to enhance a system of total communication

Once Makaton is well-established within these schools and surrounding communities, we aim to teach Spanish alongside Makaton.

We have a very pro-active working party comprised of senior management, teachers, speech and language therapists and the North Ayrshire 1+2 Team. Every member of staff in each school is being trained up in level 1 Makaton this year and further training is already in place for CLPL twilights and in-service days next year. Parents are learning alongside staff.

Eglinton Park rangers and café staff are going to receive Makaton training, meaning Eglinton Park will be the first place of business in the community to be ‘Makaton friendly’. They will gain valid certification and look forward to being able to chat with young people who regularly frequent this beautiful space. We hope many more businesses will follow suit.

Stacey and I are learning Makaton alongside families at Elderbank Primary. We will be able to sign alongside French/Spanish in all schools. This is a very exciting project, which is taking shape and making good sense for everyone.

Languages for all and all for languages!

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author Marie-Claire Lyon, Aberdeen City Council, ()

The Northern Alliance Learning Festival (formerly Aberdeen Learning Festival) took place in February 2018 in Aberdeen. We welcomed Janette Kelso and Meryl James from SCILT who ran a workshop for teachers.

We also organised an Erasmus+ workshop to inform teachers about opportunities and procedures to apply for grants for immersion courses and exchanges. A group of Aberdeen City Council teachers, who took part in the course in October 2017 at the Cavilam Alliance Française in Vichy in France, shared their experiences. They highlighted the ways in which it has enhanced their teaching practice and had an impact on their pupils.

The next group of primary teachers is preparing to go to Vichy this summer.


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author 1+2 Development Officer Team, South Ayrshire Council , ()

On 2 May 2018, South Ayrshire’s outdoor education centre, Dolphin House, was buzzing with the sound of primary pupils speaking French. Dolphin House is situated within the beautiful Culzean Estate, providing a stimulating, natural environment, which was fully utilised.

The event was composed of a variety of cross-curricular workshops which illustrated how to embed language learning throughout a school day. Although essential elements such as daily routines and classroom commands featured in the programme, these were used to support innovative and active experiences. In addition, aspects of learning for sustainability and outdoor learning were also included.

The five primaries in the Marr cluster were asked to participate. Each school sent four upper primary pupils and, as the day progressed, it was obvious that the interactions naturally added to established transition working within the cluster.

The first task was to make a fortune-teller so that the children could ask basic questions about colours, numbers and animals. This was a super icebreaker. Children from each school were then split into two groups for the morning session as each group would be experiencing different workshops.

One group started their morning with a fun game of L’arc de tir (archery). The language focus was on colours and numbers. Children were supported to speak as much French as possible: totalling scores, celebrating achievements, following instructions, etc. They then went back into a classroom setting where they learned how to establish a morning routine in French including days of the week, dates, months, weather and classroom commands. This involved the use of puppets, flashcards, active games and songs.

The other group spent their time on the beach where they carried out a conservation task. They were asked to hunt for natural and manmade items using a checklist with French vocabulary and picture clues. Despite the blustery weather, the children took to their task with enthusiasm! Back in the classroom, they practised their knowledge of parts of the body but with a twist – the Culzean Estate has recently become home to some Highland cattle. In recognition of this fact, a beetle drive activity had been adapted to accommodate this theme. The children took great pride in their artistic efforts!

Prior to lunch, the two groups came back together in order to share the learning with their peers. One of the main aims of the event was to enable the children to teach French in their own schools with confidence. This shared learning opportunity provided them with an initial experience of ‘being the teacher’! Through this feedback session, discussion followed about how to replicate these activities in schools – eg using hula hoops and beanbags for a colour and number target game, or carrying out a litter pick in French in the school grounds.

On the journey through the woodland area back to the bus, children had fun taking part in a military-style, French alphabet march. They were delighted to shout their French and give passers-by a wave!

Feedback from schools has been extremely positive and a week later children are already modelling French to their peers! The next step is to offer this event to other South Ayrshire clusters as we move towards full implementation in 2020.

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author Kate Findlater, West Lothian, ()

Lead Linguists from Whitburn Academy planned and devised a project for all P7s within West Lothian’s Whitburn cluster. Each school was given a different Francophonie country to research. Flags, characters, maps, fact files and more were created by the children and work was displayed for all to see! From this initial research activity, the Lead Linguists team developed a transition event, which took place at Whitburn Academy.

The P7s were encouraged to ask and answer questions as part of a ‘Find someone who…’ activity. After the initial icebreaker, teams were established and encouraged to look at all the different stands – from the French Polynesian Islands to Gabon, Senegal and more! They were given a quiz that allowed the children to utilise their reading for information skills. There was a great buzz about all the beautiful work that had been created and it was a fantastic opportunity for the P7s to meet their peers from other schools. After the quiz, third year pupils from Whitburn Academy did a presentation that outlined the value of learning languages. The event was rounded off with a video clip showing celebrities who speak a variety of languages such as Rita Ora and Hugh Jackman. Hopefully the day inspired young people to continue their language learning and become Lead Linguists of the future!

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