Early Years Programme and Primary Curriculum
Bilingual Education in Early Years and Primary: A bilingual curriculum with French and English activities every day!
Parents often ask us when children should start learning another language? Our answer is always: As early as possible!
Studies show that the language acquisition skills of a child are better, and more deeply rooted, at an early stage of their life when their most strenuous efforts relate precisely to language learning (see our video here).
At Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill, students can now start and benefit from our unique early years’ dual language immersion programme from three years old, guided by two teachers who each use their mother tongue or native language alongside each other. This setting creates the ideal conditions for the very nature of bilingualism to flourish naturally in a safe and nurturing environment.
Within a short period of time, children will effortlessly switch from one language to the other with each teacher and acquire the culture and love of each language.
"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge" - Albert Einstein
It is a great pleasure to welcome your child to our Bilingual Early Years Programme, which is based on the latest and most comprehensive research on early learning.
Early Years offer the first school experience for our youngest students: it is therefore paramount that it be safe, joyful and rich. Our child-led approach is based around their ideas and interests which enables them to explore a range of activities which provide multiple opportunities for open-ended learning in both languages.
"Les enfants ne comprennent vraiment que ce qu'ils inventent eux-mêmes." - Jean Piaget
"Children only fully understand what they themselves have created" - J. Piaget
At Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill, we believe that every child is a valued contributor, both to their own learning, and their surroundings. Each child’s inquisitive mind is developed through play scenarios (Harvard University, 2008), and differentiated learning opportunities which follow the EYFS framework.
"Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn." - O. Fred Donaldson
To guide them through their educational journey, we recruit highly-trained teachers who can provide a nurturing and supportive environment based on positive interactions in a balanced bilingual setting. Because our youngest students need to feel safe and secure to achieve their full potential, classes welcome a maximum of 16 students who interact with two native Early Years specialists (French and English).
"Spiel ist nicht Spielerei. Es hat hohen Ernst und tiefe Bedeutung" - F. Froebel
"Playing is not an amusement. It is a most serious endeavour with the deepest meaning." - Friedrich Froebel
Through proven, yet innovative, pedagogical methods, children are encouraged to discover, articulate and express their own ideas and thoughts, and work collaboratively with others.
In order to develop self-directed and confident young learners, children will experience:
- Active project-based learning through innovative methods
- Inquiry activities through provocations
- Interactions in a safe environment dedicated to experiential learning
- Positive interactions - relationship - learning from others (Hattie, 2008***)
"Per insegnare bisogna emozionare. Molti però pensano ancora che se ti diverti non impari" - Maria Montessori
"To teach, one must spark emotion. Too many people still believe that while playing, one learns nothing." - Maria Montessori
Creating Bilingual minds: Dr. Naja Ferjan Ramirez, Department of Linguistics, University of Washington
The Benefits of the Bilingual Brain Mia Nacamulli
The Linguistics Genius of Babies Patricia Khul (U. of Washington, 2010)
** Hakuta K, Bialystok E, Wiley E. Critical evidence: A test of the critical-period hypothesis for second-language learning. Psychological Science. 2003
** Brain architecture, University of Harvard, Center on the Developing Child
*** Hattie, 2008. Visible learning for teachers
The French curriculum is divided between two class teachers. English is taught 50% of the time from GSM (Year 1) to CM2 (Year 6). Each year group will meet every day with one French teacher, one English teacher and will coordinate with specialty teachers (PE, Language, music).
Bilingual curriculum, International education:
Our school has developed a unique, shared curriculum that encompasses statutory elements of both the French and English curriculums. Pupils benefit from an education in French and in English, thanks to two teachers, one French, and the other English, who work in close partnership.
Our bilingual curriculum is enhanced by creating links between topics, by dividing subjects between teachers and common themes. This is further enhanced by different teaching methods and practices from all over the world, which address critical thinking, collaboration and risk-taking.
We also benefit from specialist teachers with a background in EAL and FLE (English as an additional language and French as an additional language) to support beginners of English and French.
From September 2020, we will be opening our Early Years Programme, for 3 and 4-year-olds.
The History and Geography curriculum is divided between the two teachers according to the local environment. Links are made through literature, texts, pictures studies between the two languages so that both cultures are intertwined. This allows students to better understand and acknowledge diversity.
In order to be able to achieve their tasks, students learn how to make researches, do hypothesis and write a synthesis. They also develop specific vocabulary in both languages and feel more confident when presenting their work in front of their peers.
The English and French teachers work in collaboration on projects that are ambitious and motivating for the students; making bridges between both languages. Each project follows set procedures to reach realistic conclusions. This allows the students to be active participants in their learning. Teachers are responsible for delivering theory-based learning to act as a tool for pupils to utilise in their experiments to reach their conclusions. As a result, students become practical researchers in an ongoing journey through science.
Our literature plan allows students to progress through their journey from GS to CM2. All the literature themes from the curriculum are studied across the Primary school.
Teachers work in close collaboration to engage students through a common theme which allow students to make links and learn vocabs in both languages. Detective stories, poems, myths and legends, tales… many ways to use common resources with different books so that students can develop their critical thinking and feel eager to read in both languages. Creative writing is linked to the theme, sometimes created on interactive support, those projects help students to foster their imagination, their critical thinking to reach excellence
We always choose books that have a well-structured story which is satisfying and rewarding to read, and therefore provides a good model for children to consider when they are writing their own stories.
Differentiation in lessons is a key component. Teachers adapt their approach for different students so that every pupil has the chance to perform to the best of their ability. We provide the very best of British education through a distinctive enquiry-based curriculum, and encourage ambition and confidence in all our children.
In GSM, the main goal is to develop student’s curiosity regarding writing and empower their phonics skills: students understand that a sentence is made of words and that each of them is made of sounds.
Thanks to a daily practice, students are encouraged to write and read by playing with words/rythmes/syllables and sounds
In order to cater to all students needs for our GS students, we offer a tailored reading programme as well as differentiated activities.
Reading is one of the most important things each child will learn at school (starting in GSM in English). In English, children are taught to read the words using phonics. Phonics is an approach to reading that focuses on building words from sounds. We use a proven synthetic phonics programme called Read Write Inc Phonics that ensures early success in reading, writing and spelling. We also use the UK’s most successful reading scheme, Oxford Reading Tree, which is currently used in more than 80% of primary schools, and has helped millions of children from all over the world learn...and love...to read.
In CP, reading is taught through daily practice of sounds linked with rich albums. Reading is also taught through writing and the importance of the coding of oral messages.
All year long, we use individualised plan, reading competitions tailored to our students needs.
ESL teachers create an environment where students new to English feel confident and supported in learning a new language. Our aim is to develop students’ Oral and Aural skills in order to gain confidence and understanding - to integrate into the main English class. Once this stage is passed, the ESL teachers work in close collaboration with class teachers to pre-teach vocabulary on topics used in the main class, or to follow up on class work with consolidation activities, so the content is fully understood. Our aim is to integrate pupils as quickly as possible so they can cope in the classroom full-time.
Through Task-based learning and technology (students can record themselves), we are able to differentiate learning to cater to students’ needs. Using online-Apps, we are able to communicate with families and aid students in their learning outside of school.
Our FLE program is tailored to help non-native French speakers adapt in their main classroom. Following the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), the interactive lessons focus on learning new vocabulary and speaking first. The main goal is to build students’ confidence in French and to aid them to access the vocabulary of the main French class. Progressively, some grammar and reading are introduced to support and cater to their needs. Through games and fun lessons and in collaboration with the main class teacher, students are given the perfect platform to grow and feel confident speaking and reading in French.
The programme also helps groups of non-native students to reinforce their writing and reading skills, while learning new vocabulary. Every lesson is adapted to students’ levels and provides them with differentiated instructions.
Our maths curriculum is based on the French curriculum from the French Department of Education. The English and French teachers share the curriculum allowing students to experiments different approaches and ways of operating. It allows students to have a better/deeper understanding of mathematics concepts. Beyond the mathematical and cultural understanding, students learn to express themselves with ease using a precise mathematical vocabulary. Participating in many competitions or international mathematical games is also a way to strengthen our curriculum as well as adding elements of the Singapore mathematics curriculum.
Modern Learning in Primary:
Modern learning is defined by the way we engage students through differentiated and challenging activities.
Technology, in the Primary section, is used to enhance learning. Pupils sometimes use iPads in class to access resources, showcase their work and understanding through visually attractive presentations. Technology integration allows teachers to differentiate more effectively and enables pupils to work at their own pace and collaborate on projects.
The use of technology, as a tool, empowers pupils to become digital citizens, engaging them in 21st century skills to enhance their learning. Technology is always used under teacher’s supervision.