Read about parental engagement and family learning in languages at St Winning's Primary.

St Winning's Primary Case Study

The case study can be read in pdf format or via the dropdown sections below:

Authority: North Ayrshire CouncilSt Winning's school logo
Case Study Focus: Community Learning
Establishments: St Winning’s Primary School
Learners’ stage/s: Primary 6/7


About the educational establishment and the learners

St Winning’s Primary School is a denominational primary located within Kilwinning, North Ayrshire. It serves approximately 110 children. The majority of St Winning’s Primary School’s pupils live within the most deprived data zones according to The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD).

The school enjoys success in a wide range of curricular areas. St Winning’s Primary School has obtained the Scottish Education Award for ‘Numeracy Across Learning’ on two occasions and in 2017 received the Scottish Education Award in the ‘Making Languages Come Alive’ category. It forms part of the St Matthew’s Secondary school cluster in Saltcoats where learners have the opportunity to continue studying Spanish and select French as an additional option.

Photo from the Scottish Education Awards

Progressing towards the “1+ 2 Approach”

School background

St Winning’s Primary School began its formal implementation of the 1+2 policy in August 2015, delivering French as L2 from Primary 1 to Primary 7. To ensure an even uptake of Spanish and French, the St Matthew’s High School cluster opted to divide its 10 associated primary schools evenly into French and Spanish primaries.  At this point, the L2 being delivered in St Winning’s changed from French to Spanish. Children in St Winning’ s Primary School learn in an environment where language learning is widely regarded as a context in which lifelong skills can be developed. During the infant years, language learning is more informal with a focus on daily use of basic vocabulary. From Primary 5 upwards there is continued daily use, as well as a timetabled slot to further develop linguistic skills and knowledge.

In order to ensure success in the implementation of the 1+2 policy, the school has two in-house trainers who have received training from the North Ayrshire Council 1+2 team. Both trainers have been educated to degree level in modern languages and plan and deliver CLPL to staff during  collegiate activity time to ensure all school staff are confident in the use of the language. The cluster as a whole has a dedicated approach to ensure consistency and there are regular cluster meetings to discuss transition and share best practice.

Authority background:

The North Ayrshire Council 1+2 team provide a high level of on-going support for all primary schools. The team have created progressive planners to ensure consistency across the authority and provide twilight CLPL opportunities. Schools have access to high quality resources in the form of ‘High 5’, which includes an additional resource ‘Coffee Break’ for staff to continue to enhance their language skills. The 1+2 team visit schools regularly and deliver planned lessons to scaffold ideas for class teachers to utilise. North Ayrshire Council has a 1+2 Glow Page and are active on Twitter (@languagesnac) which allows the 1+2 team to share information with practitioners and families. The 1+2 Team also attend and offer support for any planned cultural or themed days within the authority’s schools. The 1+2 Development Officer secured ERASMUS+ funding which has provided the opportunity for practitioners to attend language schools, immersion visits abroad and offer job-shadowing opportunities with partner schools in order to upskill staff.

Planning and Implementation

Parental engagement and family learning feature as key elements in the School Improvement Plan. St Winning’s successfully achieve a high level of parental engagement in language learning through a creative approach featuring a series of well-planned and focused BOATS days (Bring Our Adults To School). Focusing on the cultures of Spain, Europe and Latin America, these cultural events provide a stimulating context for children, their families and friends to develop their knowledge of La Tomatina festival and the Mexican Dia de los Muertos celebration. The latter was the most successful BOATS day to date, with over 85% of children represented by a family member or friend. To support learning at home information sheets and newsletters are issued regularly which contain key vocabulary. These opportunities for families to learn together are enjoyable, accessible and contribute to learning for the whole family.

To strengthen links with the local community and to facilitate the development of learners’ skills, St Winning’s opted to take language learning beyond school. An advert in the local press for a Spanish speaker led to the first intergenerational project with Lingo Flamingo.

Lingo Flamingo is a social enterprise which aims to make language learning immersive, fun and accessible for all. The central way the company does this - and the reason they were founded -  is through offering a unique language learning experience to older adults and to those living with dementia in care homes, day centres, and community locations across Scotland. The Lingo Flamingo team was keen to collaborate in a project with Buckreddan Care Home in Kilwinning with whom the school had an existing link through Primary 7 World of Work Week placements. The class teacher worked with the Lingo Flamingo tutor to plan a series of lessons. The children worked in small groups to reinforce the basic greetings and numbers which the Lingo Flamingo tutor had already covered with the care home residents.

In order to prepare for the task, the class teacher ensured that learners were confident in using a range of  simple, familiar vocabulary and resources which they would deliver in the care home. The children’s teaching inputs focused on clear delivery, importance of visual aids and the need for flexibility when teaching individuals with various needs. This afforded pupils the opportunity of developing their linguistic skills within a completely new and unfamiliar context.

The Lingo Flamingo intergenerational project increased learners' confidence in delivering language lessons out with the school environment. Just as importantly, this collaborative project provided the children with an invaluable opportunity to develop a range of interpersonal skills in their interactions with the older adults in Buckreddan Care Home. The class teacher was later able to strengthen existing links within the community by planning and delivering further intergenerational projects in Chalybeate Sheltered housing and in the church’s Over 60’s Club. The project was also extended to include a local nursery. Take a look at the video on the Lingo Flamingo website, outlining what the organisation is all about.

Photo of pupils with elderly learnersPhoto of staff engaged in the project

St Winning’s Primary School is situated in Kilwinning, on the west coast of Scotland, in an area that has historically experienced issues with sectarianism. The school decided to try and tackle these issues within the context of language learning. Pennyburn Primary, a local non- denominational primary school offers French as an L2 experience to learners. In collaboration with the Primary 7 teacher, a project was devised whereby children would undertake the responsibility of teaching each other their respective L2 languages in order to build stronger foundations between the schools and build a platform upon which mutual respect could be built. The use of languages in this project meant children were undertaking peer learning and developing their understanding of global citizenship.

Throughout the school there is a passion for learning Spanish and children are motivated to succeed. The overall impact of the projects is visible in the following areas:

  • Language embedded throughout whole school
  • Strengthened links within local community
  • Higher level of parental engagement in language learning
  • Development of essential employability skills
  • New partnerships developed with Lingo Flamingo and SCILT
  • Winner of Scottish Education Award - Making Languages Come Alive
  • Finalist in North Ayrshire Achieves- Skills for Lifelong Learning

Photo showing feedback comments

Photo of pupil and resident of BuckreddanGroup photo of pupils and residents of Buckreddan

As with any school increased demands and staffing are a challenge, however the school has a positive ethos to learning languages. Our next steps are to:

  • Continue to increase areas where language is embedded across school
  • Continue with existing links within community and create new ones
  • World of Work week focus - language jobs
  • Implement French as our L3
  • Build on links with our partner school in Spain
University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages