Birmingham Primary Languages Conference #1
I’ve spent the day at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, taking part in the annual Birmingham Primary Languages Conference. A lovely venue with views out of ‘patio doors’ across the ground – we even got to sit outside in the midday sunshine and eat the delicious hot buffet. All added to a really informative day – I’ll tell you all about it over the next few posts.
Paul Nutt (Birmingham Advisory and Support Service) opened the day with an overview of why we teach Primary Languages and the situation in Birmingham. He emphasised the interim steps being taken to arrive ultimately at a sustainable model where the class teacher (ideally) delivers the PL.
Some key principles were highlighted:
- a free choice of languages is given to schools, encouraging …
- diversity of languages (reflecting the nature of Birmingham),
- an inclusive provision ..
- as part of curriculum time
- goal of class teacher delivery
- support at present is focussed on building capacity
- links and exchanges are being encouraged.
The support offered was explained:
- when schools sign up to be part of a ‘Cohort’ they receive £1200 in year 1 then £400 in year 2 to be spent on developing and sustaining PLL;
- 5 days equivalent support from a trained coach;
- half termly network meetings across the city, offering the opportunity to ask questions, share concerns and pool resources and ideas;
- a generic scheme of work and guidance;
- resource base at Woodview Centre (Comenius West Midlands) where the ELL library can be viewed;
- a programme of courses and taster days;
- in school consultancy (at a cost)
- FLAs (can be shared between several schools or ‘borrowed’ from another school)
- List of places where you can find more help including RSGs, Training Zone, British Council
Joe Brown then delivered the keynote address …..