BBC Active Languages
BBC Active has years of experience in producing bestselling language resources. Designed by language-teaching experts, our courses make the best use of today's technology to deliver a thoroughly up-to-date experience for teachers and learners alike.
To find out more, sign up to our free newsletter or explore our free teacher support, visit: www.bbcactivelanguages.com
Teaching and Learning North West is an educational consultancy organisation based in Manchester.
We are involved in everything to do with schools and learning – from how schools work, to how pupils learn best, and how teachers can get the best out of them.
We believe that everyone benefits from continuing professional development – CPD. Hearing someone else's experience, finding out what works, getting new ideas, refreshing practice, finding out how to make new technology work effectively, acquiring a great range of professional skills – these are the things that make a difference to people's day to day working lives and have a long term effect on the outcomes for children. We also aim to enable professionals to make good well-informed choices: picking the bits of technology that will have lasting use and value; keeping up with new research and information; revisiting and re-honing skills.
Over the years, teachers have become used to sudden change – government policy, planned reform, and different ways of measuring success. All this puts demands on schools, teachers and pupils. Over the years we have become quite expert at spotting which reforms and changes are likely to be followed through, and which ones won't. We believe firmly that a good school is a good school – and want to help schools to be able to show their best side at inspection, well-prepared, open and honest, and doing the best for their pupils.
We have a bit of a fondness for debunking myths. There are quite a few underdressed emperors out there! We know that pupils who receive free school meals are not somehow less able nor have less potential than pupils who don't. We know that whatever freedom some schools are given to decide their own curriculum, they will still be assessed by the same inspection criteria, enter pupils for the same examinations, and be expected to produce young people with the skills needed for the same 21st century workforce.
We have to admit to not being very fond of the other myth that equates success with results, regardless of other circumstances. Schools in areas of social deprivation or particular challenge, dealing with a particular demographic need strategies to help approach those issues based on specific analysis and focused planning. This is our area of strength, based on many years of experience.
On behalf of the National Network for Languages we run CPD Networks for Primary and Secondary Language teachers. For an annual subscription of £500 (varies according to area) we offer four afternoon workshops and a full or half day conference. See our special page for further details.
School Support Packages
We can offer support for a wide range of subject area or whole school issues across Primary and Secondary schools. These include (not an exhaustive list!)
- Behaviour Management
- Schools in Categories 3 & 4 (Requirement to Improve and Special Measures)
- Leadership and Management
- Lesson Observation (how to do it well and what to look for and make everyone benefit)
- Preparing for inspection
- Raising pupil achievement – removing barriers to learning, improving teaching and learning
- Training for Lunchtime Organisers (Raising Achievement in the Afternoons!)
- Individual department CPD
For co-ordinators and subject leaders, headteachers or teachers new to language teaching, this is the way to sustain energy, ensure good practice and keep up with developments.
Preparing for subject inspections, getting that whole-school 'vibe' and sorting out succession planning – as well as hopping on one leg, singing lots of songs and producing timeless puppets!
Projects and Initiatives
- LEAP (Learning Engagement and Accelerating Progress) - for Good to Outstanding lessons – is the brainchild of David McDermott and has had particular success in several Liverpool and Merseyside schools. It is a cost-effective and sustainable way of building capacity and capability among teachers, using supported action research, coaching and mentoring, peer observation and analysis of classroom practice. This leads to shared planning, cohesion and consistency which have beneficial effects on pupils' learning and impact on their achievement.
- CALL (Communication and Active Language for Learning) is our latest support project for the curriculum from 9-14. It is based on the skill that the most successful teachers have in listening to what pupils say, using it as a basis for analysis and assessment and enabling progress. We offer training to teachers to hone and refresh this skill, a chance to understand the psycholinguistic theory behind it; we are working on building structured language development into all subject areas, and using linguistic development as a means for the assessment of both progress and potential.
- Niveau Bleu – click here
A quick run-down of what we offer:
- CPD for Language teachers (via the Network for Languages – primary and secondary), or through whole department CPD
- CPD for all English teachers at KS2/3/4 who are interested the teaching of contextualised grammar and language structure (ref the new SPaG test and updated GCSE),
- RE and school ethos training for Primary Schools
- SEN/SLD support for pupils with language related learning difficulties
- LSS training (Raising Achievement in the Afternoons) – for primary schools
- Behaviour Management – for individual teachers and for whole school systems
- Good to Outstanding teaching (via LEAP Project) – embedding good practice
- Building potential and making progress (CALL Project)
- Timetable and Curriculum Design service
- Skill acquisition, upgrading, refreshing: classroom observation, classroom management, lesson planning, learning environment, event planning;
- Assembly and SMSCE package
And an idea of costs:
- £450 pa for Network membership (reductions for existing members and recruiters)
- £500 per day for the LEAP project
- £90 per hour consultancy
- £95 for an afternoon CPD session
- £180 for a CPD day event
Primary languages programmes from KS1 where sounds and symbols, intercultural understanding, knowledge about how language works, pre-loading the language centres of their brains with lots of useful information – good teaching, good resources, and the use of a language based assessment system, which builds in continuity.
Year 7 – the testing and organising station in each secondary school – offering one core language, but building in tasters, clubs and experiences for other languages – heritage, cultural, ancient and modern.
Year 8 – the year of challenge: engage interest, build skills, expand knowledge
Year 9 – the hormone rush is a clue – their brains are growing, as is the rest of them – their language centres are growing bigger as well: this is where we get them into position to glide through KS4.
Key Stage 4
KS4: a friendly assessment programme that does no testing of pre-learnt chunks of language, but uses classroom based tasks, mainly based on speaking to determine where pupils are on the European Scale. Everyone has to do some language learning, and assessment is based on aptitude – from the minimum (enabling pupils to 'pass out' of school) to multi-language opportunities for the talented, or those wishing to formalise their knowledge of heritage languages. Point scores and weighted and given to schools based on uptake and levels of achievement.
Introduce a Linguistics GCSE – where those identified as good linguists through aptitude testing could develop their understanding of the theories behind their learning, do a bit of forensic investigation, get an overview of the linguistic landscape and prepare the ground for learning more challenging languages (eg for military, diplomatic, commercial purposes) and be a pre-teaching qualification (I could so write this syllabus!) with attached funding...
Post 16: there are again optional guided language programme choices for all students – a change of language, development of language skills in their specialist language preparing for university entry to study language either for its own sake or to go with something else. Using the European Framework as the means of assessment, and identifying how well students could manipulate the language, apply what they know in appropriate contexts, or for the most able how well they can use their target language as the means of learning, and expressing their own arguments and thoughts. And of course a Linguistics post-16 qualification, particularly for any who might ever think of teaching as a career, and as a pre-vocational qualification for other professions – eg nursing, police...modern apprenticeships...
University and beyond...
University: linked pathways to languages including - continuing to pick up and develop new languages, cultural and literary studies, applied study for specific contexts (eg medicine, science, commerce, media) and pre-teaching pathways. Focus on employability and application, as well as intercultural understanding and developing a functional groundwork of expertise.
Hilary Jones is an experienced teacher, manager and school leader who has worked in challenging schools in the North West for over twenty years. For the past two years she was regional manager for Links into Languages where she organised CPD and support for schools. Over 100 teachers attended briefings on the EBac led by her, at venues across the North West, and submitted their thoughts to the government consultation process.
Hilary's experience as a linguist, language teacher, literacy co-ordinator, deputy headteacher, trainer and consultant and her continuing research into the importance of linguistic development for pupils and their teachers has given her particular insight into the needs of schools. Her mission, working as a new venture, Teaching and Learning North West, within the nationwide Network for Languages - is to find and share painless and sustainable ways of improving teaching and learning for pupils based on an understanding of where their linguistic development is holding them back or making life more challenging.
Working with a growing team of like-minded professionals, Hilary is pulling together the various strands of tested and effective strategies – look at where they worked and why they worked, how they could work better, how they could be refreshed and re-applied, and how they could make a real difference. Her team is made up of dedicated experts who have years of experience to initiating and developing change and improvement in primary and secondary settings in schools across the North West.
As regional manager in the North West for the Network for Languages and manager of Teaching and Learning North West, she has access to quality-assured, tried-and-tested training materials and a whole army of national experts. Working with universities she also has links to educational experts who can offer wider academic accreditation to the work of teachers and other professionals in schools.
Louisa Dawes is a former Languages AST in a Languages College with 18 years experience in education. She is passionate about providing the best possible outcomes for young people and developing them as active learners in the classroom.
Louisa's work in Manchester City Council has been diverse: she has worked successfully with both primary and secondary colleagues developing their classroom practice, subject knowledge and use of Assessment for Learning. She has also worked extensively using her coaching skills for school improvement.
Her training at school and Local Authority level has consistently been well received and she was MFL Subject Advisor for the New Curriculum in the North West.
Apart from extensive teaching and training experience, Louisa has been has been part of a senior leadership team with pastoral responsibilities including whole school CPD and running the induction programme for ITT students and NQTs.
Alongside her consultancy role, Louisa has worked for Manchester University in their ITT programme for several years and is currently involved the primary PGCE and Teach First alongside the Secondary Languages PGCE course.
Louisa was one of the first accredited National Trainers for the Links into Languages project and is an Associate for both Network for Languages North West, the National Network for Languages and Teaching and Learning North West where she has contributed to the writing of bids and the construction of training and course materials.
David, a native of the Ireland, has worked in North West schools for nearly 20 years. Originally a secondary MFL specialist, he moved
successfully into whole school improvement, particularly whole school teaching and learning. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, he was employed by Local Authorities on Merseyside. He operates at local, regional and national levels. He works in developing the capacity of leaders and learners in schools. He has a proven track record of delivering high quality support. People who work with him say he is well informed and highly professional, yet practical and sensitive.
His areas of expertise include:
- School leadership and the quality assurance of whole school Teaching and Learning
- Good to Outstanding whole school or departmental CPD
- Development of learning communities within schools
- Emerging leader development
- Coaching and mentoring of teachers
- Specific development of Languages provision
(currently on Maternity Leave)
Anna Zweck practices psychotherapy in Manchester and throughout the North West.
Formally trained in Transactional Analysis, Anna is interested in integrating other psycho-therapeutic approaches and art, drama and music into her therapeutic practice.
Working in education has given her particular insight into the balance of roles shared by supportive teachers, mentors and pastoral leaders working alongside trained counsellors and therapists and the benefit that this can bring to students, particularly those preparing for examinations, and those facing emotional challenges outside the school environment which can affect their well-being and progress.
As well as her private practice, Anna currently works with students at Aquinas College, Stockport and Credo Counselling, Manchester (www.credocounselling.co.uk).
She has worked as a regional coordinator for Links into Languages, and is an Associate Trainer at Teaching and Learning North West.
Lynne is a CILT Nationally Accredited Trainer having overseen the strategic development of Primary Languages in Stockport from its inception. Her teaching career spans more than 30 years. Having led a successful secondary MFL Department for a large proportion of that time, she achieved AST status in 2003 and began teaching Languages in primary schools via outreach work. Since then, she has taught primary children of all ages in a variety of school contexts on a regular basis.
A further appointment as Lead Consultant for Stockport in 2005 has meant that over the last 6 years, as well as continuing to teach, she has trained Head Teachers, Subject Leaders, Class Teachers, NQTs, RQTs, FLAs, HLTAs and TAs. She has also presented to a wide audience at regional and national events.
Her commitment to Primary Languages is driven by its inclusive nature and the enthusiasm of young learners as well as the responsibility to prepare our children to be the global citizens of tomorrow. She is keen to continue supporting schools, helping them to maintain their current level of success and to build further sustainable capacity for the future.
Our ideal... the perfect growing ground and fertile soil for languages to grow (and everything else as well).