Wendy Newman, ALL Professional Officer
What the ALL Connect project has managed to achieve in its first year, and what is planned for the second…
ALL Connect has developed training modules on major curriculum themes fundamental to the work of teachers of languages in KS2 and KS3. In year one of ALL Connect, 15 module writers got to work on four KS2 modules, five KS3 modules and one KS2-3 transition module. Each module contains materials for one twilight session and specially selected follow-up sessions for teachers, using French, German and Spanish as languages of example, to enable them to reflect on the ideas and methodologies presented, and introduce them to their teaching practice.
These modules have now been written, finalised and uploaded to our ALL Connect Blog (http://allconnectblog.wordpress.com).
ALL Connect has delivered face-to-face training, by teachers for teachers, in three regions (the East, North East and North Midlands). Regional coordinators in each region delivered training to teams of ALL Connect lead teachers, who then returned to their local centres and delivered the training to teachers in their local areas. Training sessions have now taken place in all three regions, in around 30 local centres – that’s up to 300 twilight sessions, benefitting around 4,000 teachers across the country!
Feedback on ALL Connect training has been very positive, with teachers identifying mutual support, confidence building, subject knowledge and new teaching ideas as key benefits of the programme. Central to our planning of the project was to give teachers the time to reflect on their practice, and the space to collaborate with colleagues in the primary and secondary sectors – with the aim of creating local networks and working together on transition issues. One participant told us that: “The KS2 training made it clear to secondary colleagues that there needs to be dialogue between primary and secondary schools. One secondary colleague who has attended all sessions to date has now been given half a day each week to coordinate primary links and work with primary teachers to oversee a coherent programme of progression in all feeder schools. Another secondary school has invited all primary schools in and they are also working on a similar programme.”
ALL Connect training and follow-up materials will continue to be openly accessible online in 2015/16. New resources will also be developed for teachers in collaboration with lead teachers in the Eastern region:
- A KS2 Transition Toolkit, with an associated training module; and
- A KS2 Coordinator’s Handbook, with an associated training module.
The ALL Connect team will also create new interactive wikis, connected to the ALL Connect Blog, allowing teachers to upload examples of their own resources for each module, and providing further support materials for colleagues in KS2 and KS3. The existing ALL Literature wiki will also be developed and extended as part of this process. All materials will be completely open access.
ALL Connect face-to-face training in the existing 10 modules, and the two newly developed modules, is set to continue – and will expand into new areas, such as the southern part of the North East region, and in the Midlands region, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire. In addition to this, ALL Connect will appoint a new Regional Coordinator from its existing team of lead teachers, who can train two lead teachers in completely new regions of England – so entirely new groups of teachers can benefit from the training.
We hope that ALL Connect will continue to benefit participants across the board by:
- Extending and expanding the CPD offered to local teachers in existing ALL Connect areas;
- Giving a whole new generation of local teachers in new areas access to high-quality CPD;
- Providing important personal development for lead teachers, who will gain experience in training their colleagues;
- Building a sense of community in local areas, re-engaging a range of schools on a common path;
- Encouraging the creation of local networking structures, and supporting these to become established; and
- Creating a sustainable structure for local CPD delivery.
Building confidence, promoting best practice and laying the foundations for a coherent seven-year programme of study for languages across Key Stages 2 and 3 is vital work. We want to create a lasting structure of new local networks and hubs in a range of regions, which will provide CPD and networking opportunities far beyond the life-span of the funded project – as part of ALL, their professional subject association.
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