Primary school pupils at Ayton and Reston are getting a helping hand in picking up a new language - and their teachers are learning too!
Henry Stelter, a trainee teacher from the University of Mainz, has been living in the area since September, helping local schools towards the Scottish Government’s Language Learning in Scotland initiative which requires all primaries to deliver language learning by 2020.
Head teacher, Louise Sanders said: “Henry has really engaged the children from nursery to P7 and has supported teachers to learn German alongside their pupils.
“We have always valued language learning here for the cognitive and social benefits it brings for our pupils and Henry has complemented this. Children are speaking German with more confidence and we wouldn’t have been able to progress as quickly without Henry’s input.”
Principal teacher, Ross Maunder added: “Having the support of a German language speaker is having a huge impact on staff language skills, giving them the confidence to take forward the initiative. Henry has helped us to formulate our vision of how we can take forward 1+2 and embed it into daily teaching and learning.”
Caleb Bewsey, in P7 at Ayton said: “It’s good having Henry here because while he teaches us his language, we are teaching him ours. He is an expert and you feel like you’re learning from a professional.”
“Henry is working with children in our schools, and he is providing resources that we will be able to use even after he has finished his spell here at Easter, including things that pupils can access online.”
And learning Kinderreime, or German nursery rhymes, is just the start.
“The idea is that English is language one,” Head teacher Louise continued.
“From there we add two other languages - that’s the government’s aim.
“This is our German expansion, and then soon we want to add French as well.”