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Great Heath Academy gets top Marque for languages curriculum

In recognition of its strong Modern Foreign Languages curriculum, Great Heath Academy in Mildenhall has received the Bronze Linguamarque accreditation.

Staff at the academy worked closely with Dr Marina Dixon, School’s Choice languages adviser, to embed French language in to the curriculum. The Marque was awarded following an assessment of the quality of teaching and learning including a learning walk, lesson observations and a portfolio of evidence.

Modern Foreign Languages became a statutory part of the Key Stage Two primary curriculum in 2014, and forms part of the ‘broad and balanced’ curriculum sought by Ofsted. The Linguamarque programme supports the development of Primary Languages within the curriculum, and provides a benchmark to assess provision and embed best practice.

Great Heath Academy’s Linguamarque journey began in September 2016 when all Key Stage Two children received a folder setting out the key skills they need to achieve before they leave the academy. From lessons held once a fortnight, language learning at the academy has been transformed with French now embedded in daily activity and cross-curricular topics to promote continuous opportunities to learn the language. The academy has also created a French lunchtime club where children can explore books, create posters and use their own French vocabulary.

The achievement comes as part of the wider languages strategy of sponsor Academy Transformation Trust. ATT recognises the importance of language learning from an early age and is committed to raising standards in modern foreign languages. The Trust embed learning experiences which go beyond the classroom in its curriculum to improve literacy, cultural understanding and the world of work. This curriculum recognises that it is important to expose pupils to different languages and cultures to gain essential skills for future success.

Cara Macfarlane, Year 4 teacher at Great Heath Academy said: “Linguamarque has highlighted the importance and the benefits that there are to learning a language. Our children certainly enjoy it – they are always asking when the next lesson is and showing great enthusiasm for the subject. On the playground, I often get children coming up to me and telling me the new vocabulary they have learnt.”

Steven Vincent, Principal at Great Heath Academy said: “Our pupils have found Linguamarque very motivating and they are now confident in their languages ability and focused on learning new skills. It’s fantastic to see and hear pupils exploring languages in class and around the academy. Teachers and pupils have been really enthusiastic and are continuing to practise and develop their language skills as we progress our journey to Silver”.

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