Early language initiative – Primary school UK

Author(s): European Schoolnet
Institution/Organisation: Whitehouse Common Primary School, Sutton Coldfield (UK)

1 Profile of school

1.1 Main characteristics

Whitehouse Common is a very popular two-form entry primary school and is highly regarded in the community for its achievement academically and across the wider curriculum. The school is a state funded mixed primary school situated in an urban setting. It has approximately 460 pupils.

1.2 Language teaching in the schools

The main language of tuition in the school is English, while the languages spoken by the pupils include Urdu and Punjabi.

The children are exposed to two languages in the school, French, which is taught during a lunchtime club and Spanish, which is taught throughout the school. All the pupils learn Spanish at this point within the curriculum. They average class size in 30. Extensive use is made of  ICT tools including an interactive whiteboard, Atantot and Babelzone websites; Voki; Voicethread; Youtube; Audacity; Powerpoint; websites; school wiki; podcasting; slideshare; Animoto; animation; sound recorders; webquests; digital cameras and video.

There are no language assistants in the school, however the teacher has a degree in Spanish (with Catalan) from the University of Sheffield. She has also been to Spain to present the projects approach and use of ICT tools to a workshop for teachers. She has also participated in Professional Development Workshops for eTwinning in Nottingham and Prague.

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