The Language Magician
QKA is supporting local primaries by providing free training and support in introducing and embedding The Language Magician into their schools. There are 12 schools in Peterborough and surrounding area that are currently being supported by the Academy in this. The support includes 3 in-school visits over the Spring term and a collaborative workshop at QKA in the summer.
Apart from support with The Language Magician, the Academy also supports primary schools in the city to access free, quality language resources that have been developed for primary practitioners.
English as an Additional language (EAL) Hub Peterborough
Peterborough is a hugely diverse city and at Queen Katharine Academy there are at least 41 different languages spoken by our students and staff, in addition, most of our non-native students were not born in the UK and are, therefore, still developing their fluency in English. Although QKA may be unique in the number of newly-arrived migrants, EAL is an issue affecting the city and surrounding area as a whole. The Academy has already carried out a lot of research and development in this area and, as such, has recently received funding from the Big Lottery Fund to develop an EAL Hub for Peterborough based at Queen Katharine Academy.
Below are a few of the research and events that have and are due to take place in the Academy:
Parallel Lives Roma Cultural Awareness Peterborough Workshop delivered by Roma Support Group - Weds 13th February 10:00 - 13:00hrs
This workshop is delivered in conjunction with The East of England Local Government Association as part of their Parallel Lives project. It is a workshop for those working in Children's services including adoption / fostering teams, Adult social services, Family intervention and support services, Children's Centres, Schools, Health services including safeguarding leads, Police, Fire Service Youth services, voluntary organisations, etc.
The workshop delivers interactive presentations including films and facilitates seminar discussions. The session also provides the opportunity to meet other practitioners working with Roma and share examples of good practice. Follow the link for further details and to register: http://smp.eelga.gov.uk/events/parallel-lives-roma-cultural-awareness-peterboroug/
Erasmus+ Right to Roma – 2017 - 2019
Queen Katharine Academy has been lucky enough to gain funding from the European Union Erasmus+ grant fund to carry out research into education in Central and Eastern Europe in Poland and Slovakia. The reason for this research is that many students within the Academy originate from these countries and the Academy feels that it is very important to understand, not only their home country culture and traditions, but also their education systems. By understanding the educational diet and experiences that our students will have had prior to arriving in the UK, allows us to better support them in their transition to the UK system.
The project consists of 4 in-country visits: 2 to Slovakia and 2 to Poland.
- Slovakia – March 2018
In March 2018, Lynn Mayes (Head of School) and Jane Driver (Assistant Principal) visited Prešov in Eastern Slovakia. The trip was supported by Petr Torak MBE who facilitated the trip and acted as a translator. During the visit the group visited the village of Jarovnice, which houses approximately 10,000 Slovakian Roma inhabitants. Mrs Mayes and Miss Driver visited a large secondary school Základná Škola (https://zsjarovnice.sk/ ) as well as a small special school in the village. As well as visiting the two schools, they also met with the Mayor of the village who talked to them about the challenges facing many Roma families in Jarovnice. The Mayor also took them around the ‘settlement’ which is a large area of the village where substandard, makeshift housing has been constructed. Mrs Mayes and Miss Driver were very saddened and quite shocked to see the terrible living conditions that the population of this village were forced to live in.
- Poland – May 2018
In May teaching staff Bethan Griffiths, Marcin Hajdecki and Assistant Principal Jo Hammond visited QKA’s Polish partner school ‘Primary School Number 1 in Tuszyn’. During the visit they learnt about the educational system in Poland and the curriculum spread. They also looked at the diversity of the cohort compared to QKA, the timetabling of the school day and how the school liaises with parents. A further visit to the school is planned for May 2019.
- Slovakia – December 2018
In December a number of staff members from the Science Department, Computer Science, Accelerated Curriculum and Senior Leadership Team visited Nitra in the west of Slovakia, During the visit the team visited QKA’s partner school to plan for a student project which will take a group of the Academy’s Y7 students to Nitra for a week in March 2019. Apart from visiting our partner school, the team visited a large secondary school in the centre of the city, a primary school attended by Slovakia Roma students and the University of Nitra’s Roma Studies Department.
The visits highlighted the plight of many Roma families in Europe and helped the Academy to understand students’ prior life and educational experiences and to put tailored support in for our Roma students to ensure that any educational gaps are filled and that they understand that they have the same opportunities for success as anyone else. This has led to a series of initiatives:
- ROGA Mentor Scheme – An aspirational scheme for Roma students to increase their knowledge of careers and educational pathways. (See International Projects Page) http://www.compas.org.uk/roga/
- PEALit Whole Staff Training – A series of PEALit (Prepare for EAL and Literacy) workshops and presentations have been carried out with the whole staff at the Academy to ensure that staff understand the difficulties that may have been experienced by our EAL and Roma students. The workshops and presentations are ongoing throughout the academic year and so far have focussed on Roma history and statistics, Roma values and traditions, etc..
- Association for Language Learning World Languages Special Interest Group – Queen Katharine Academy hosted a stakeholder workshop on 20th June 2018 focusing on supporting EAL and bilingual students. The event was very well attended by teachers and educators from across the city and the East of England.