Online teaching solution

Project Background

Wickersley Partnership Trust (WPT), founded in 2014, is a multi-academy trust comprising eight primary schools and five secondary schools in Rotherham and neighbouring counties. The schools within the WPT needed access to experienced French teachers and a scaffolded approach to a Key Stage 2 French curriculum. Their students had already been learning French since Year 3 and so they needed their learning extended to the end of Year 6.

How Dragons Teaching were able to help

Representatives from both Dragons Teaching and the WPT met at the Schools & Academies Show, Birmingham, in November 2021 and had further consultation calls to discuss the provision of French curriculum resources to support the WPT. Dragons Teaching had all the resources to support the Trust, but our French curriculum is designed to be completed at the rate of one hour of teaching per week. The WPT schools, however, can only allot 30 minutes per class, per week to modern foreign language teaching.

We took a two-pronged approach, identifying the current level of ability of each year group and deciding how to adapt our content to meet the needs of the schools and to fit their timetables. To satisfy the first point, we asked a sample of students in each year group at the schools to complete a proprietary online placement test based on our FrenchConnect curriculum. Meanwhile, to satisfy the second point, we adapted our content by splitting the hourly lessons into two 30-minute sessions and altering the timings of the teacher-led and student-led activities accordingly.

The outcome

The placement test showed that the majority of students in Years 5 and 6 scored around 60%. This suggested that the students were comfortable with the basics in French (greetings, introductions and personal information) but more support was required with noun gender and descriptions. Based on this information, we decided to place them at week 5 of a starter ‘crash course’ before moving on to their respective Year 5 and Year 6 curriculum tracks.

By tailoring our content to the students’ abilities, we ensured greater engagement and inclusivity. Our approach to adapting the curriculum to fit the schools’ timetabling needs is part of what makes Dragons Teaching a flexible and reliable company, delivering high-quality teachers and teaching content.

“Can I also let  you know how enthusiastic the children are about the sessions. I had chance to speak with some of our Year 6 students and they were very excited about it, had nothing but positives to say about the teacher and were genuinely interested in French culture and learning the language.” Lucy Hartley, Year 6 Teacher