THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
Scoil Carmel is a Catholic Junior School, which serves Firhouse Parish, in the southwestern suburbs of Dublin. The children come from diverse cultural, social and religious backgrounds. It is an area of significant demographic change. Children with special needs also participate fully in the life of the school. The school has a strong focus on inclusion. Education at Scoil Carmel is interpreted as a process in partnership between parents, children and teachers and board of management. The community has been one in transition and the school prides itself on a tradition of innovation.
The initiative sought to involve younger children in learning French through an integrated learning approach involving sport, physical education and language concentration. The emphasis was on fun and enjoyment and making French accessible and useful in the physical education curriculum. The idea was to make French accessible, useful and relevant to the young learners.
This project involved teaching pupils in Scoil Carmel Primary School, the games strand of the PE curriculum through French. The project involved CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) approach and Total Physical Response method, employed by the teacher. The objectives of both the PE and Modern Languages in Primary Schools Initiative (MLPSI) curricula were considered during lesson planning. The teacher only used the target language, French, when communicating with children. They benefited by being immersed in French in a fun, active and challenging way. Evaluation was undertaken by the school. The primary focus was on motivation and the strength of teacher commitment was a notable factor.
Regrettably the initiative has now been disbanded. Results were extremely encouraging for pupils, teachers and families. Potential for teacher engagement was particularly noted. The project was seen as very high energy and enjoyable as a dynamic learning experience.
The motivation was to showcase the experience and to gain acknowledgement for the work undertaken.
The initiative has not been continued. However the learning impressed both the National Agency and judges. The school is proactive and innovative.
Very positive experience. gave a strong boost to confidence and learning.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
THE NATIONAL AGENCY’S PERSPECTIVE
This has been a most interesting project. It is worthy of follow-up because the school was focused in an area of social inclusion. The initiative has now been disbanded but has significant merit if the learning could be structured and revisited.
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