Author: Fiona Kerr, East Dunbartonshire Council
Training and implementation of policy
East Dunbartonshire Council’s implementation model has evolved through the delivery of an extensive training programme, in response to the audit of provision which was carried out at the beginning of 2013. To date all 36 primary schools have engaged in a variety of language courses, covering four languages (French, German, Spanish and Gaelic). These courses have been developed to complement the varied, existing linguistic abilities of primary staff. All primary schools are now fully engaged in implementing the policy through school improvement plans, and for most schools, French is being taught as L2. We continue to receive valuable support from SCILT, the Goethe-Institut and Institut français d’Ecosse and offer both full day training courses and twilight courses. Staff in several schools successfully applied to attend immersion courses in France during this school year through funding from the Erasmus+ programme. Support materials continue to be developed and shared with teachers via Glow.
Link with Brittany
Our link with primary schools in the Académie de Rennes, Brittany was established at the end of last year with 15 schools participating in the project. Support in setting up this link came from Institut français d’Ecosse and eTwinning training was provided by British Council Scotland. At the moment pupils and teachers are getting to know one another and are excited about the possibilities within this rich context for language learning. We look forward to sharing projects in the future.
Following guidance on L3 from Education Scotland, a strategy has been developed for all schools across the authority. Several clusters are piloting Spanish and German, and materials to support primary teachers are currently being developed and put on our Glow pages. As well as cluster initiatives, language diversity continues to be recognised and celebrated in many schools. Hanban teachers from the hub at St Ninian’s High School work in primary and secondary schools across the authority to teach Chinese language and culture and a number of primary schools are able to offer Gaelic as an additional language. This year all our secondary schools are offering pupils the opportunity to study a second additional language as part of the broad general education.
Advanced Higher immersion days
Recently, S6 pupils from our secondary schools participated in language immersion days in preparation for Advanced Higher qualifications in Spanish and French. These events were organised with input and support from Institut français d’Ecosse, Alliance Française and SALT Edinburgh. The feedback from pupils and teachers has been extremely positive and this is something we hope to build upon next year.
Return to March 2016 newsletter