We are delighted to have been awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award 2021 – 2024, in recognition of our work to bring the world into the classroom.
The International School Award celebrates the achievements of schools that do exceptional work in international education. Fostering an international dimension in the curriculum is at the heart of the British Council’s work with schools, so that young people gain the cultural understanding and skills they need for life work in today’s world. Embedding an international dimension in education ensures that students truly become global citizens and helps prepare them for successful lives and careers in an increasingly global economy.
The International School Award encourages and supports schools to develop:
- An international ethos embedded throughout the school
- A whole school approach to international work
- Collaborative curriculum-based work with a number of partner schools
- Year-round international activity
- Involvement of the wider community
The International School Award reflects the international ethos that is embedded in st John fisher RC Primary School, with year-round international activity and collaborative work with international partner schools, and fittingly celebrates the broad ranging international learning demonstrated right across our school.
The intention at St John Fisher is to teach French to all pupils from Year 1 to Year 6 and to encourage a love of language and of language learning. All pupils have a discrete French lesson each week taught by Mrs Taylor, a language specialist. This ensures progression through Key Stages and accuracy in the French taught.
Two main Schemes of Work are followed with supplementary materials added; Little Languages in KS1 which introduces the children to French through games, songs and reinforcement of British traditions, tying in with other customs around the world and particularly in France. In KS2 Early Start and the Catherine Cheater Schemes of Work are used.
St John Fisher has a long-standing partnership with a school in Denton’s twin town of Montigny-le-Bretonneux and letters and videos are exchanged regularly between the classes in Upper KS2, as well as exchange visits. This broadens the children’s horizons and allows the children to experience another culture at first hand.
Year 6 host an annual French Café to which all the classes are invited and encouraged to order in French, while the older pupils serve in French. Parents, carers and the wider community are also invited.
We want to help prepare our pupils for high school and the next stage of their learning by providing a good foundation in the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing French.
We strive to embed the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing necessary to enable children to use and apply their French learning in a variety of contexts and lay the foundations for future language learning.
Children are encouraged and supported to develop their speaking and listening skills through conversational work, singing activities and games. As confidence and skill grows, children record their work through pictures, captions and sentences. They perform short plays and role plays for their classmates and other productions to the whole school.
The emphasis is on learning a language through fun and encouraging a love of language and fluency in speaking. Children thus gain confidence in speaking and use their language easily and without inhibitions.
Letters and cards to France form a real focus on writing French and place the written form in a real-life situation that the children can relate to. Familiar stories are read in French and enacted to allow the children’s fluency with the written word to develop.
The impact of our MFL curriculum is that children are encouraged to understand the relevance of what they are learning in languages and how it relates to everyday life and travel. Through our exchange programme with Ecole Paul Verlaine in Denton’s twin town of Montigny-le-Bretonneux, children communicate through video, letters and cards with native French speakers of their own age. Each child in UKS2 have a named penfriend in the French school. As a school we foster enjoyment of languages through varied lessons including games, songs, roleplays and interactive online activities.
All children from Year 1 through to Year 6 have discrete French lessons, building on progression and acquisition of vocabulary and grammar relevant to their age and ability.
Members of our wider school community are invited to our French café, are served by Year 6 in French, and entertained by all classes singing French songs. Foreign language songs are often sung in Whole School Singing Practice.