What great news that a school in Peterborough has improved so greatly in the past months that OFSTED have now deemed them as good. So remarkable that news papers Peterborough Today and the Daily Mail and even the radio station R2 have today run the story.
Readers of this blog will not be surprised that by embracing bilingualism and using it to benefit your teaching improves and speeds up the rate that the pupils learn English. I have gathered information about its benefits and the results are now starting to come through. The head teacher clearly supports this view of bilingualism and her results show that by embracing it results can be improved quickly. I believe this is the start of the educational culture change which so many schools and LA officers were resisting up until a year or so ago.
Head Christine Parker, 54, said: ‘More and more of the world is going bilingual. The culture at our school is not to see bilingualism as a difficulty.’
I am also hopeful that this great result will also make sure that gone are the conversations littered with I only have one or two! or what can I do I don’t speak their language? as an excuse is changing. Gone and evidently going are the teachers plodding along teaching what is comfortable for them in such a way that it takes longer than necessary for the children to pick up the language. Children pick up social language quite easily and it is the schools job to ensure the curriculum is taught and academic language is known and understood. In the future we should now be able to say that Every Student does Matter.
There will be difficulties along the way as the head describes here;
‘Sometimes parents have tried to help their children learn English but their own isn’t too good,’ she said. ‘The outcome is the children aren’t fluent in their own language. If they haven’t got a good foundation [in their own language] it can be very difficult to build on that.’
but by sharing and supporting each other we can ensure that this becomes the reality.