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Arsenal Double Club hosts first CPD session

Arsenal Double Club CPDThe Double Club Languages programme, with the support of Cultural Partners, is offering CPD to primary and secondary teachers.

In light of reform to the National Curriculum and the critical need for skilled teachers to implement policy in modern languages, the Arsenal Double Club is very well placed to make a significant contribution to extending language learning in primary and secondary schools. The interdisciplinary approach combining language learning and football skills offers teachers and learners a fresh perspective on language pedagogy.

Each CPD programme will involve a presentation of Double Club materials, a demonstration of how to use the resources effectively and a practical training session, where teachers will participate in football-related skills and learn coaching techniques through active use of the language (and the ball) on the football pitch. The two-hour long training session will prepare teachers to use the materials directly in their language lessons and in their PE classes back in school.

The inaugural session at Holy Trinity Primary School in Hackney was very successful and highlighted a number of key principles and pointers for the future development and wider dissemination of the CPD programme for the year ahead.

The pedagogic session focused on Spanish and was conducted by Jesús M. Hernández González, Education Advisor at the Spanish Embassy’s Education Office, and the practical session was led by Steve Eadon, Project Coordinator for the Arsenal Double Club.

The length of the session was two hours and involved approximately 20 teachers from local primary schools, including language teachers, general teachers and PE teachers.

Key findings:

  • The length of time is sufficient to make this programme worthwhile and feasible to deliver to primary teachers attending the CPD session directly after school hours.
  • The availability of a first class artificial pitch at Holy Trinity made the delivery of the practical training possible and teachers found this highly motivational, as they could put in practice the pedagogic principles that had been presented in the theoretical introduction.
  • The division between the presentation and the practical session works very effectively overall.
  • he presentation in Part One focused on information about the programme and provided a very professional and coherent overview of the materials and additional resources available in the programme.
  • The practical session in Part Two involved teachers playing with the ball. They were actively applying and consolidating language skills, practising football skills, getting into teams and playing a competitive game with refereeing in Spanish.
  • The practical session convinced the teachers that the approach was valid and relevant to them and to their learners.
  • They may not have been fully aware of how the materials and approach dovetail with the requirements of the National Curriculum.

The following insights were gathered from feedback from the evaluation sheets carried out by teachers from the pilot:

MFL Teacher with 10+ years’ experience: “The materials are visually attractive and good quality. They are appropriate for Key Stage 2 and would appeal to pupils who are normally not inclined to learn languages. I would expect improved motivation and well-being among pupils if we were to run the programme, as well as increased awareness to languages in general. I would be highly confident to use these materials in school.”

Student Teacher at Secondary School: “The resources are very well made and encourage spontaneous language use as encouraged by the new GCSE specifications. The programme would especially impact motivation of boys to learn a language. The teacher’s notes appear to be very clear and I would be confident to use them in school.”

Secondary School MFL Teacher: “There are varied activities that incorporate lots of different skills. The materials are motivating for less able students and have a good link to football. The topics covered are relevant to the National Curriculum and are engaging. The programme would impact pupils’ enjoyment and motivation, especially if there is the opportunity to visit Emirates Stadium. The lesson plans, resources and drills are easy to follow, so I feel confident to use them after the demonstrations. The CPD session was very positive and well-run; it was useful to get some ideas.”

Newly-Qualified Primary School Teacher: “The learning materials are very valuable, very extensive and filled with fantastic ideas for lessons. They fit nicely to the objectives for the teaching of modern languages. Running the programme would provide a great hook – particularly for boys who can sometimes be reluctant language learners. The CPD session was very well delivered and with some work on my own Spanish, I’d be very confident to use these materials in school.”

We believe we have established an appropriate mix between giving information and demonstrating delivery methods in the classroom and during practical sessions, all of which is intended to not only inform and give ideas to teachers, but crucially to stimulate creativity.

Keep an eye on our Twitter page to find out when future CPD sessions will take place.