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.
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.