Each of the primary schools now also has its own languages co-ordinator, to act as a first point of contact in each school for all matters relating to languages teaching and enrichment activities, the latter being an area which has developed significantly of late in our feeder primaries, as they seek to address the global dimension both within and outside of the classroom. Several primaries have participated in international activities, including Comenius and Connecting Classroom projects, which have seen staff and pupils from a wide range of countries visiting South-East Leeds, as well as teachers and children visiting a variety of destinations. Three of our primaries, Robin Hood, Woodlesford and Rothwell Primaries, have also been successful, with our support, in achieving full International School status.
As part of our languages transition work, groups of year 6 pupils are invited in to year 7 languages lessons at the end of each term, giving them the opportunity to have an advance taste of some of the language learning topics and activities that will await them when they come to Royds, as well as viewing presentations specially created for them by year 7. These visits also give the primary pupils the opportunity to explore some of the various exciting applications that can be made use of in Royds’ languages lab.
A further well-established feature of our primary languages programme is the annual hosting by Royds of performances by visiting theatre companies. In the past few years, well over a thousand local youngsters in total have enjoyed plays as diverse as Le Cirque Magique and Cendrine Bio (a modern re-working of the Cinderella tale, with an environmental twist), performed by the London-based International Theatre Company;the enchanting Contes Dorés by Théâtre sans Frontières; and, in 2011, Le Bistro de Dan Roro, presented by the multi-talented one man act of the same name.
Finally, the media have not failed to pick up on goings-on locally. French lessons at Rothwell CofE Primary featured as part of a report on the last government’s plans for primary languages on BBC Television morning news a couple of years back; ITV Calendar news reported on Woodlesford pupils setting off for a Comenius exchange visit to France; and Teachers TV featured a programme focusing on Oulton Primary’s link with an Indian school.