Links into Languages – Leading Primary Languages

11 Nov


On Tuesday morning, after a rather stressful start to the day (I broke down on the Leeds ring road in rush hour traffic!), I attended a great Links into Languages Primary course.


The course was entitled ‘P01 – Leading Primary Languages’ and led by a lovely trainer, Geoff Swinn.


The day was broken into 2 modules.

Below is a summary of what we discussed throughout the day.

Module 1 – Developing the strategic role of the subject coordinator & classroom teacher


  • The need for a strategy
  • ‘Leading from the Middle’ (high level)
  • Know WHAT you are doing and WHY
  • Policy to be established (fits with national and school priorities)
  • PL development plan
  • *Plan: realistic achievable challenging and sustainable – living document
  • HUGE BENEFITS OF PMFL EMERGING – even without PL being statutory
  • Linking benefits to the Every Child Matters statements
  • Key aspects of PMFL are enjoying and achieving and making a positive contribution
  • 92% schools in UK are doing PL – question of QUALITY
  • NFER report ‘Primary MFL: Survey of National Implementation of Full Entitlement to Language Learning July 2009 & OU et al report Language Learning at KS2 Jan 2010 – handout
  • National Languages Strategy – framework still in use
  • Little evidence of intercultural understanding objectives being met!
  • Why should students study languages?
  • Consider curriculum models – which year groups, teachers, languages, how many languages…?
  • Efficient use of staff and resources
  • Leadership and Management John West Burnham (ref. on slide)

Module 2 – Self evaluation : Monitoring impact and building capacity in languages

 In this module, we talked quite a lot about the need for support and … Ofsted!


  • National and local picture
  • School’s strengths and Areas for Development
  • Ofsted criteria for making judgements
  • Where are we now slide – NFER Survey 2009
  • Main challenges: lack of staff knowledge, assessment, transition to secondary school
  • ‘The changing landscape of languages’ 2008 document – new document due to be published any time
  • Lots of positives – over ½ surveyed making good progress
  • Real learning – enjoyment of language learning
  • Sustainability, assessment and progression – key issues
  • Monitoring and language upskilling also feature in this report
  • Ofsted – download subject specific inspection guidelines
  • Document: Implementing languages entitlement in primary schools – self evaluation tool
  • Focus on student outcomes
  • Controversial issue of TL use by teacher!
  • Languages ladder “I can do…” statements
  • R Redfearn – relective journals Wakefield LA
  • LA Self evaluation examples : Coventry, Solihull, Kent
  • Video clip from CILT Primary Languages Training ‘Corners’ – reminder of what we are doing and what is all REALLY about in terms of classroom practice and pupil engagement and learning


If you are interested in finding out more, do contact me or even better get yourself booked onto a similar Links event in your local area.  At £50, how could your SMT / HoD say no? 

Check out the super resources section especially the 10 minute guides which are well worth a read!




One Response to “Links into Languages – Leading Primary Languages”

  1. Marko Bespalyj November 12, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    great stuff – cheers

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