Joanna Cairns, Head of MFL at Archbishop Temple School and Specialist Leader of Education for Preston Teaching School Alliance discusses NCELP SoW

NameJoanna Cairns
SchoolArchbishop Temple School
Languages taughtFrech & Spanish
Mixed ability / settedMixed ability Y7, Y8 is setted for English
Hours per week3 hrs a fortnight per language
Dual LinguistYes

How long have you been working with the NCELP SoW?

We were one of 9 Lead Hub schools, so we have worked with NCELP since the beginning and supporting 5 local schools in developing our pedagogy and practice.

Which features of the NCELP SoW do you particularly enjoy/appreciate?

It is hard to choose which of the features of the NCELP SOW we are enjoying most.  The team are thoroughly enjoying having a planned approach to phonics teaching with a clear route map of SSCs for French and Spanish learners.  We also like the recycling and retrieval approach to vocabulary.  All of our learners have iPads and access to our virtual environment Firefly so we have been experimenting with flipping the vocabulary learning and using online games and activities alongside the NCELP learning homeworks to promote the importance of regular practice. We also have enjoyed letting the functionality of grammar steer our curriculum and we are enjoying the new approach to using contrasting pairs and planned retrieval to ensure our pupils are not overloaded in their early experiences of learning a language in the secondary classroom.

What is the impact on your students?

Our Year 7 & 8 pupils are very much engaged in their learning and pupil voice reports they enjoy all elements of the lesson.  We have noticed much more engagement in grammar input listening and reading activities in all types of learner due to how carefully scaffolded these are, with pupils starting to loving spotting the patterns of each language.  Pupils are more confident reading aloud and much more able to retrieve meanings and vocabulary of a wide range of lexical items, especially verbs

Have you had to overcome any challenges and, if so, how have you done this?

Since we aim to give all our pupils opportunity to learn two languages at KS3, our curriculum time does not match that set out by the NCELP SOW, so we have had to carefully plan our progress through the curriculum to match our context.  We cover all elements in the sequence NCELP suggests as we believe in the reasoning for this and we know that trying to cut elements out or rush through the curriculum will comprise the efficacy of our ambition.  Instead we move at a slower rate through the curriculum, in effect taking 4 terms to cover Y7 rather than 3.  Having said this we are still sufficiently confident that the challenge is there for our pupils and also the support for all pupils to make good progress in two languages.

Have you innovated to suit your context? (e.g. creation of knowledge organisers, student booklets, differentiation of resources, assessments to suit your reporting schedule)

We have carefully set up pages for each lesson of the SOW on our VLE, Firefly which provide easy access to pupils for each element of the lesson including the main quizlet list and the 2 consolidation quizlet lists identified for learning that week.  We have also hyperlinked the Oak National video to each lesson page, the learning resources for the lesson and additional games we have made with the content using a range of educational apps so that pupils can explore the learning in a variety of ways before and after the lesson.  During lockdowns this proved invaluable as pupils were able to continue their learning independently with these resources and colleagues have easy access to each lesson resource to promote work life balance.  It did take an investment of time to get this set up, but in our second year of Y7 this year we have reaped the rewards and we are investing time this year in doing the same for Y8.  

We have also created a range of knowledge organisers, phonics games inspired by dobble and mini assessments to support pupils and also to fit our school context and ARR schedule.

If you are interested to learn more, download the SOW and resources for your language and/or access CPD opportunities, please follow these links.

The French KS2 resources are a collaboration between Dr Marie-Odile Guillou and me. The French phonics elements come with video inserts for practising mouth shape as well as sound imitation. The lessons draw on the NCELP French team’s (led by Natalie Finlayson and Cath Salkeld) KS3 SOW and resources, which are in turn informed by the research work of Professor Emma Marsden and colleagues, including Dr Rowena Kasprowicz.

Spanish SOW and resources are written by Paula Vázquez-Valero, Spanish teacher and SLE at Comberton Village College and me. The lessons owe much to the NCELP team’s KS3 SOW and resources (led for Spanish by Nicholas Avery and Amanda Izquierdo), which are in turn informed by the research work of Professor Emma Marsden and colleagues, including Rowena Kasprowicz.

The German KS2 SOW and resources are being developed in collaboration with PiPL (Progression in Primary Languages), a longitudinal study of language learning in primary school (French, German and Spanish), led by Dr Rowena Kasprowicz at the University of Reading. They are being created by Dr Heike Krüsemann, Helen Gass and me. Our KS2 SOW and resources in all three languages are being used in this project.

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