Thursday, 22 May 2014

Transition between KS2 and KS3 in languages


Yesterday evening after the @guardian live chat on how to teach the new languages curriculum it was time to take stock and consider all the points raised and discussed.

What do we have to do?

In the new DfE POS teachers of languages are required

at KS2 
to provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries. 

and at KS3 
should build on the foundations of language learning laid at key stage 2, whether pupils continue with the same language or take up a new one. 

Local solutions and different approaches are being generated it appears. 

Keep ourselves informed!

Maybe some of these links will help to inform help to inform the learning journey

What is it looking like out there in the real World?

Well I am sure we can all share examples of transition and good primary practice and this all needs sharing too!

Here are two blog posts about two local developments to try to tackle the local challenges of transition.These are not necessarily solutions for everyone but are ways of setting off on the journey and approaching the demands of keeping continuity and building upon prior successful learning.

One high school is able to have a French learning continuum from Y3 to Y7 and is now holding meetings together with their primary colleagues to understand what the children can do.Simple projects that are easy to manage and deliver have been set up and are supporting developing dialogue about language learned and skills being developed.

The second high school has an alternate year French/Spanish Year 7 learning programme and is looking at transferable skills and links between French and Spanish that allow the pupils to access language. 

What we are learning .....

  • Share models that you create. 
  • Accept that they won't work for everyone
  • Be willing to listen, adopt and adapt 
  • Be willing to trust and have meaningful dialogue
  • It takes time!
  • It takes commitment
  • It's slowly slowly dripping tap...small steps forward and adjustments are required. 
  • Establishing networks both virtual and  face to face keep the dialogue and developments moving forward
  • Remember that when the children move to Year 7 it's a gap of six weeks in language learning but on entering secondary school the children will need time to adjust.
  • When it works, then the teachers on both the primary and secondary side of the fence feel valued and willing to go forward with the next steps.
My current conclusions?

Should we not accept perhaps many roads that lead to Rome! and maybe too this is at the moment necessary?

In our network we have schools starting off, schools who have children who have been learning to speak a new language from Nursery , schools where the children already have languages they speak well as home languages and schools where other priorities have meant that here have been staff changes etc. 

It's certainly challenging but we can address the demand of effective transition if we go step by step and support each other.

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