Title of the Project
Skills for life and work
Working with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and business partners Halcrow Engineering, Novotel and John Lewis Department Stores, St Roch’s Secondary School Modern Languages Department and Faculty of Business Education have together developed a teaching programme that combines language learning with workplace experience and the opportunity to gain valuable qualifi cations.
Initially targeted at pupils aged 15-16 with little interest in language learning, or learning in general, lacking in self-confidence and with low expectations of themselves, the project has seen participants blossom into confident learners with new skills and plans for their future. It is now open to all pupils in years S3 to S6 (age 14–18) and forms part of the school curriculum.
The programme is designed to allow pupils to develop language skills within the context of their own personal and career development. Practical skills such as CV writing, interviews, customer service skills and the use of ICT are taught alongside problem solving and tackling new challenges. Pupils also complete the SQA qualifi cations Language for Work Purposes and the National Progression Award in Enterprise and Employability.
The project business partners introduce the pupils to real-life employment situations in which languages are an important skill, giving them the opportunity to experience French in use in the workplace through visits and videoconferencing. Assessment is conducted by the business partners through job interviews in English and French.
Vocational Education and Training
THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
The project began and is continuing at St Roch’s Secondary Roman Catholic Secondary school, which serves the north of Glasgow in an area of high deprivation. It has a school population which reflects the cultural and ethnic diversity of Glasgow. The initial target group of 20 students aged 15-16 were not enthusiastic about learning in general and language learning in particular. In later years the courses was opened to all students at the school between 14 and 18 nad is now open to all from 11-18.
This skills based course aims to increase the confidence of the students and their belief in their ability to gain employment by imporving their presentation and communication skills, their familiarity with interview situations, their foreign language skills, and their awareness of Europe
The course is truly innovative, teaching pupils language skills within a work- related context. It combines teaching of modern languages (French, and now German too) with business education, which is the context for much of the content of the course. In addition strong partnerships have been cultivated between the school, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and the school's business partners. Our partnership with the SQA led to a combined approach to assessment, in which the course curriculum drives assessment and not the reverse. For example, job interviews (as assessments) are conducted by business partners. The language learning is carefully handled to allow pupils to develop their language skills within the context of their own personal and career development.
Pupils gain a qualification in Language for Work Purpose. Selection for this is based on ability within the language and their own interests, but they also gain a National Progression Award in Enterprise and Employability. This award is based on topics such as preparation for work, self evaluation, customer care and enterprise. In 2012/13 pupils will also obtain the Skills for Language, Life and Work Award at SCQF levels 3 and 4 from SQA and this is being trialled in German, a second language.
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Posted by Kati Valtonen (Finland)
Message: The project outcomes have been integrated in the curriculum which strenghtens its long-term sustainability and impact. The target group has been enlarged to cover a wider number of students and students of different profiles. The qualification in the end of the studies gives also more credibility for the learning process. Networking with authorities and companies makes the project more related to the working life and provides more authenticity for learning.