MFL at St Gregory's
As part of the National Curriculum it is compulsory for children in KS2 to learn another language. We believe that teaching MFL helps children to be RESPONSIBLE global citizens, nurtures their natural CURIOUSITY about other cultures and demands great RESILIENCE to keep building on previous language skills. We also feel that as a Catholic school, in is important we explore other cultures and learning a different languages helps us to REFLECT on how others live and communicate around the world.
At St Gregory’s Primary School we teach Mandarin. There are over a billion Mandarin speakers in the world and as China is becoming a world centre for business, we feel that learning this language will provide opportunities for pupils in their future careers. However, we recognise that children may excel in another language and we will also provide opportunities to dip into other language such as French, German, Spanish and Portuguese. We know that learning one language, provides skills to learn another.
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At St Gregory’s, we believe in connecting our children with the world around them as part of their experiences at school. We are therefore, developing several partners in schools from other cultures who will be both friends and learning partners. These links are supported by the British Council’s ‘Connecting Classrooms’ project and UCLAN’s TESOL and Confucius departments. These links are written into other areas of our curriculum to provide meaningful links for pupils when studying topics that affect us all globally. This work builds on our school’s previous work on Global Learning as we are now all studying a UN sustainable development goal as part of our curriculum.
Ruben Centre Nairobi, Kenya:
We are lucky enough to have been successful in receiving a grant from the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms Project. As part of this project we lead a cluster of local schools who are also linked with a school in Nairobi.
We are working on projects that involve our colleagues in Kenya and pupils are able to explore how others across the world feel about issues that affect them. As part of these projects all of our pupils are involved in work that addresses the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At St Gregory’s we have developed a real friendship with the staff at Ruben Centre. We are planning visits to their school and a visit from their Head Teacher to us. Take a look at the work they do here: https://www.rubencentre.org/
We are inspired by the work they do in their community and are excited about seeing our partnership develop – we know we will learn so much from each other. This is a friendship that we hope to continue for many years to come as we know it will enrich our pupils’ learning and enable them to become RESPONSIBLE citizens of the world.
We are very proud to collaborate with UCLAN’s Confucius Institute to deliver high quality Mandarin lessons across KS2. As part of this partnership, pupils are not only exposed to language lessons, but to high quality cultural experiences. For example, we have been involved in a Chinese dance festival, in which we enter a team to compete. We are also able to provide Chinese Calligraphy and Art lessons to our pupils through this partnership.
In addition, we are also very privileged to take part in a Chinese language exam (Youth Chinese Test). is an international standardised Chinese proficiency test, which aims to examine the ability of the Chinese learner under 15 to apply the language in their studies and daily lives. Most of our students will sit the Level 1 Written Exam, which indicates they have obtained the very basic vocabularies and sentence structures of the language and had a foundation for further study of Chinese. Level 1 test includes two parts: listening and reading, and lasts 35 mins in total. Every participant will get a certificate issued by the Headquarters of the Confucius Institute in China. There is a level 2 exam available for any students who have passed Level 1 and can take their learning further.
Language and Culture Festival:
Languages and Culture Week is celebrated in a Festival of Languages each year, the first taking place in 2019. This promotes positive attitudes, learning and celebration of other communities and cultures which we believe is vital for our children. Children enjoy learning language songs and rhymes as well as tasting food from around the world. All children showcase their love of languages in performance assemblies to parents. We invite visitors into school to celebrate different cultures and especially welcome our parents from other cultures, who come and share knowledge with us. Many of our parents have embraced the festival and delivered Polish culture and language sessions to the pupils. This festival is closely supported by our local secondary school, who bring students to us to deliver lessons in French and Spanish.