Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Year 6 on their way to meet friends in Spain!

This afternoon I have received the wonderful report below from the Languages Coordinator, Tina Charnley at Latchford St James CE  Primary School, Warrington. Supported by our very own JLN Spanish language teacher Jose Maria Jimenez Year 6 are preparing for the annual week in Spain with their partner primary school in Rincon ,Malaga!

Take a look at the school website which is beginning to fill up with exciting news for the children, teachers and wider community to read about the visit and the preparations that have been taking place! 

Just before Year 6 broke up for Easter they were reminded on the website that it is ......................................

Nearly time for Spain

We will soon be going to Spain, so all year six should be practising their Spanish phrases over the Easter holidays. Buena suerte!

First a little context! 

Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to   other cultures..................... It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes
(new KS2 POS for languages)

Who would have thought that such an amazing opportunity for the children from this town centre school could have developed into something so magnificent! The school has developed a whole school Spanish language learning programme from Nursery to Year 6 and have established productive and purposeful language and cultural links with a primary school in the Rincon de Victoria, Andalucia.Who would have thought back in 2006 that a headteacher initial link visit funded by the the TDA would lead to such a dynamic link!

Latchford St James CE link school project is about two dynamic head teachers, one from Rincon in Malaga and  one from Warrington,deciding that there was no reason why their  10 and 11 year old children couldn’t meet each other and spend time together! There is a lot that goes in to making this link so successful and all the members of staff and business administration teams in both schools work hard to make the visits so successful every year. All year round the children in the whole school contribute to keeping alive and real the letter, project based and virtual contact .It's most definitely a whole school focus.

The project started about 8 years ago and has grown from a small group of year 6 parents agreeing for their children to go to Malaga for a week to now the whole class expecting at the end of their six or seven years of learning Spanish in primary school to go to Malaga and spend time with the friends they have been skyping! The system works well . One week is spent in Malaga and several weeks later their Spanish friends come to Warrington and stay at the Peace Centre and spend a week at Latchford St James.The children go to school together,take part in traditional cultural activities together,visit castles and beaches here and in Spain and speak with each other in Spanish and English.By the end of the first week they are all best of friends!
The school has invested in Spanish language assistants trained and supported by JLN and currently Jose  works in the school every Wednesday. The programme runs the  whole year round and he delivers lessons from Nursery to Year 6 in line with the JLN SOW.All the children make tremendous and noticeable progression in learning a foreign language …. and what a reason to learn to they have! 

So now over to the school and their report about how Year 6 are preparing to fly over to Malaga and visit their Spanish school friends !

This term we have been working really hard to prepare for our visit to Malaga and since the whole class are coming we have spent some of our Spanish time working on basic conversation to help us whilst we are there. Our Spanish lessons have become something the children really look forward to, especially during the SATs preparation time.

We have been skyping our Spanish school frequently and now the children feel that they know the children that they will be meeting and spending their days with. 

We organised ourselves into three groups- to break the ice- and we chatted about Computer games, music or sport. As the children became more confident they also chatted about families and favourite TV shows. We all enjoyed learning a Spanish song and dance which we performed alongside the Spanish children and staff!

We will be visiting a market whilst we are with our Spanish friends and so we spent some time learning about the phrases we might hear and need when we are there. We had a great day when we set up a marketplace in the Year Six classroom, with various stalls all containing items which we would find in a typical market. Jose made sure that the room became a noisy one to reflect a real market place and the children all thoroughly enjoyed it.  Year Six then invited all of the other classes to visit the marketplace where all the children used their Spanish to ask for items, how much they would cost and then describing what they had bought.

As we are lucky enough to spend time on the beach we feel it is important that the children can all  buy their own ice-creams etc from the Kiosko and so we also spent time role-playing this whilst also getting used to using Centimes.

Some of our year six children are very competent now in everyday Spanish and have enjoyed assisting Jose with the younger children. We have put some of their work and photos on our website and hope to upload photographs daily whilst we are in Rincon de la Victoria(Spain)

This is primary language learning with a clear purpose and I look forward to following Year Six and their week in Spain on their website! 

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