Teaching Languages at Burnt Oak Primary School

The MFL and Classics Faculty at Chis and Sid decided to share their knowledge and love for languages with the neighbouring Burnt Oak Primary School. A number of year 12 students, having studied either Latin, German or French, attended and taught at these weekly sessions.

Every Wednesday the Chis and Sid team would go to Burnt Oak Primary School, building a close relationship with the students there, who had chosen to take part in the programme. They were introduced to a variety of topics in each language, some of which included numbers, animals and colours. Along with the group work that the students would do with the year 12s, they would also be given some time to complete activities on the topic in that session, testing their own knowledge as well as giving them some independence in their learning.

Each week the year 12s would have a meeting with Ms Nongbri and Miss Franz, who would then see the progress that they are making and support them with any resources that they might need for those sessions. Not only did the year 12s build a close bond with the pupils at Burnt Oak Primary School, but they also were able to grasp a better understanding as to how to teach a language, possibly giving them an insight into the job of a teacher.

One year 12 said, ‘the programme gave me the opportunity to share my language skills with others and emphasise the importance of learning another language. For me personally, languages is going to be an influential part of my life, when looking for jobs and when I’m going abroad; therefore being able to give some of the pupils at Burnt Oak a head start at learning a language that they might not have learned before is pivotal for me’.

At the last session it was decided that the year 12 students would merge together all 3 languages to create a fun and interesting lesson for the pupils. This included ‘Simon Says’ in French, ‘Match the Pairs’ in German and ‘Roman Numerals Bingo’ in Latin. Cake was shared and sweets were distributed, and it must be said that some of the year 12s were enjoying the games more than the Burnt Oak pupils! After this experience, all involved would agree that it was worthwhile to their studies and knowledge in their languages.

By Millie Smith.