The CLIL Dream Team, Reunited

I have many work-related things on my mind this week, despite it being half term; I have developed a complete lack of ability to switch off my school thoughts when I am on holiday. This isn’t helped by the fact that most of the people that I know in Reading are teachers so when I meet up with them, conversation invariably turns to our main mutual interest; education.
Topics on my mind this week are more numerous than normal as I seem to have so many fingers in so many pies this year what with my temporary promotion to Assistant Head Teacher adding to to the pile of MFL- related balls that I need to juggle. They range from the mundane (marking books, controlled assessment for the GCSE, new timetables for the PGCE students….) to the more interesting; the Olympics (I have until Friday to fill in an application form for a BBC-British Council organised initiative), interactive whiteboard training that I want to get up and running (I conducted a survey at the end of last term and have some useful data and a list of willing participants to kick off my initiative) and CLIL.
The colleagues and friends in the photo are linked by CLIL – Content & Language Integrated Learning ( i.e. the delivery of a non-language curriculum subject through the medium of, in our case, French). Ellie, on the left, now works at Little Heath School in Reading. She was a GTP trainee teacher at Gillotts last year and was involved with our initial efforts with CLIL. Kerrie, in the middle, is the other CLIL teacher at Gillotts. We planned and delivered the lessons last year for two groups of Year 7 students in history and art. Johnny, on the right, was a PGCE student at Gillotts last year and has now found a job at Piggott School in Wargrave, just to the east of Reading. He is keen to get CLIL up and running in his new school. We actually spent very little time discussing CLIL as we ate our  steaks of various tenderness and chips. But is has got me thinking about how we can take forward our CLIL work in 2010/11. We will repeat our lessons in art and history for the Year 7s after Christmas. But we want to develop a new strand for the students who are now in Year 8 – current thinking is that we do something based around PE – to build upon last year’s successes. Problem is that we have, as yet, done bugger all planning. In addition to the nitty-gritty of lesson planning, I also want to set up a CLIL group of interested parties in local schools to meet from time to time to share good practice and ideas. This is something that came out of the CLIL meeting I attended with Kerrie in Southall a few weeks ago (see post below) but, just like the classroom activities, it remains firmly in the unplanned column of my life…. Holiday? What holiday?

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