The OAKS

"An outstanding secondary teaching training provider" (ofsted 2016)

French pupils attend MFL lessons at Abraham Darby.

On Tuesday 14th May, Haberdashers’ Abraham Darby welcomed 45 pupils from a partner school in France. The purpose of the visit was for French pupils to learn about British schools and compare it to their own school in France. It was also a chance for French pupils to practice speaking English in a native setting.

Unlike normal days, 45 French pupils circulated the school and attended French classes for year seven and eight. Despite prepared lesson plans, we decided to approach our classes differently on the day by creating more opportunities for English and French speaking and mutual engagement. In a year seven class, French and English pupils asked questions in French to each other. For our English pupils, it was a superb opportunity to put into practice French learnt in class. Many previously reticent pupils were overcome with joy and interest, searching for words in the dictionary to better communicate with their French peers. Afterwards, French pupils spoke with our pupils in English, and our pupils gained the chance to learn about language and cultural sensitivity. They acted as teachers to the French pupils.

The French school visit reignited an interest in French amongst some English pupils. They made friends, exchanged numbers and wanted to speak French. It made the language lesson more alive and personable. Indeed, Modern Languages needs more of these exchanges to draw more English pupils to learn languages and become more culturally enriched.

Julia Plant, Head of ITT and Recruitment at Haberdashers’ Abraham Darby, explained that “not only did Esme deliver two highly successful lessons to the French and HAD students combined, but she also created specific resources which she shared with the rest of the Department. I know this is merely indicative of the hardworking and committed approach she has shown all along, but I wanted to highlight just a snapshot of her achievements as she comes to the end of her time with us. She has shown herself to be a real team player and a very confident teacher under pressure.  Her school next year will be very fortunate to have her working with them”!

We’d like to thank Julia for her kind words, and everyone at Haberdashers’ Abraham Darby for this fantastic opportunity.  We’d also like to thank our wonderful Languages trainee, Esme, for her dedication and for illustrating the quality of The OAKS‘s trainees and their commitment to our Partnership schools.