Presenting to a wider audience at the Network for Languages London conference has been a good way to develop as a practitioner and this experience will be useful in my role as a Senior Leader in Education.
Professional Language Networks
The Professional Language Networks Hub aims to enhance language teachers’ subject knowledge and leadership skills. It does this by using evidence-based approaches to develop their practice, building upon the work already accomplished by the University of Westminster through the London Schools Excellence Fund. Through the project, the development of local hubs is overseen by a team of mentors from the University of Westminster. Mentors provide lead practitioners in each hub with the training and academic knowledge needed to confidently develop their own and other’s practice through evidence-based approaches. The project includes a complementary programme of continual professional development and allows for networking and sharing of best practice through termly hub meetings. There are opportunities for peer teaching and observations, as well as lead practitioners having the chance to plan and deliver sessions at bi-annual Network for Languages London conferences. It is hoped that lead practitioners will be equipped and empowered to sustain their hubs and continue to support and upskill colleagues. Lead teachers received the Association of Language Learning’s Language
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As a school we have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the hub. We have benefited greatly from the support offered and have attended four hub meetings since last summer, as well as the Network for Languages conference in November. These events have allowed our staff to network with other practitioners who are equally passionate about languages. It has proved to be an essential way to keep up to date with new initiatives and share good practice. At the June conference, our Spanish lead will have the opportunity to present a workshop to other schools on raising cultural awareness in MFL lessons. She’ll do this alongside a newly qualified teacher who she has been mentoring this year, as well as a lead practitioners from Rutherford House School. They will talk about our partnership with a school in Spain and the impact it is having on our pupils. The hub has also provided us with support and advice on the Erasmus+ application process. We can now send 10 members of our staff on this amazing CPD opportunity in Spain. Taking part in the hub has directly impacted all of our staff. Our MFL lead has been able to talk to other schools about teaching strategies and now uses more authentic resources as a direct result of this training.