Category Archives: Focus on Languages

St. Peter’s, proud host for Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) Training Event

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The group of trainers and teachers that attended the CIE training event

Last weekend St. Peter’s was the proud host for two Cambridge International Examinations training courses. The trainers came from the UK whereas the teachers came not only from other International Schools in Spain but also from many other European countries.

The IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Examination) is the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 – 16 year olds. It provides excellent preparation both for Cambridge Advanced (A Levels) and for subsequent Bachillerato studies.

The  courses  were  for Cambridge  IGCSE Information and Communication Technology  (ICT) , which  pupils prepare  for and take in Pre U Foundation (4th ESO.)  The other course was Cambridge   IGCSE Art & Design, which can be taken at the end of Pre U 1.

The courses were aimed at teachers of these two subjects in an endeavor to give them the opportunity to see how exam papers are assessed and how best to go about preparing candidates (exam pupils) for the  exams in question. St. Peter’s own subject teachers for IGCSE Art and ICT also took part in the training.

On the whole it was an enjoyable and worthwhile experience for all those involved and we hope to be able to host similar events in the future.

Sara Dowsett  –  International Exams Officer
Joan Rovira Sanz – Joint Venture Manager

University Workshop at Blanquerna: “Sharing how we teach literacy in the early years”

This week two of our teachers in Foundation Stage have given a workshop on Jolly Phonics at Blanquerna University. Katie Owen and Tracie Butler were invited to share their knowledge and expertise with the students who are following the Master’s in Teaching and Learning English in Early Childhood and Primary School.

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Katie Owen explaining how children learn to identify sounds

Included in the subject Teaching Methods (coordinated by Professor Salvador Rodríguez), the workshop was a practical approach to how we teach early literacy at St. Peter’s.

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Tracy Butler explaining a sounds game

The experience was a great opportunity to share our methodology and discuss it with the teachers and students who attended the workshop.

Adapting Jolly Phonics to our own needs
In fact, we don’t use a unique methodology when teaching literacy to children in early years. We started using Jolly Phonics about six years ago but adapted it to our own needs. This one of the ideas we wanted to share and discuss at the workshop: any school or class requires their own specific method, matching practice to individual context. It is not the same to teach literacy in an English Immersion school than to teach English in a Catalan school or in an English school in London. It was fascinating to talk about different ways and methodologies applied by the teachers attending the course.

If you want to know a little more about Jolly Phonics
You can have a look at our list of youtube videos, prepared for the workshop and related to these five skills:

How does Jolly Phonics work?
Using a synthetic phonics approach, Jolly Phonics teaches children the five key skills for reading and writing. The programme continues through school enabling the teaching of essential grammar, spelling and punctuation skills.

The five skills taught in Jolly Phonics:

1. Learning the letter sounds
Children are taught 42 main letter sounds. This includes alphabet sounds as well as digraphs such as sh, th, ai and ue.

2. Learning letter formation
Using different multi-sensory methods, children learn how to form and write the letters.

3. Blending
Children are taught how to blend the sounds together to read and write new words.

4. Identifying the sounds in words (Segmenting)
Listening for the sounds in words gives children the best start for improving spelling.

5.  Tricky words
Tricky words have irregular spellings and children learn these separately.

A synthetic phonics approach, Jolly Phonics teaches children the five key skills for reading and writing. The programme continues through school enabling the teaching of essential grammar, spelling and punctuation skills. At St. Peter’s we adapted this methodology but changed it to our needs and the cultural background of our school.

 

 

 

Santa Eulàlia compartida, festa grossa

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Avui celebrem Santa Eulàlia, una de les dues patrones de Barcelona, juntament amb la Mercè, i per conèixer-la una mica millor, el Departament de Català ha organitzat tota una sèrie d’activitats que han engrescat nens i nenes de primària i secundària i han acabat amb una gran xocolatada.

El dia acompanyava i tothom li ha posat moltes ganes. A les activitats han participat alumnes de diferents edats, que junts, han descobert una altra tradició de la nostra ciutat.

Us deixem un muntatge amb fotos i vídeos de la jornada. Gràcies a tothom per la vostra participació.

Si voleu més informació, al web santaeulalia.bcn.cat hi trobareu més detalls sobre la festa.

L’art de contar històries

Vós, mestre, per què ensenyeu? 
Ensenyo per aprendre!
Pere Quart

Vet aquí una vegada un enamorat dels contes i el relat oral a qui li agradava ben sovint compartir històries i aventures mentre els seus alumnes gaudien i aprenien noves paraules, formes de comunicar i expressions natives que guardaven amb cura per tornar a fer servir fora de classe.

Segur que a hores d’ara heu endevinat que parlem del Sr. Alcobé, a qui l’art de contar històries li és innat com el de voler ensenyar. Per això, sovint regala contes a les seves classes i per això als alumnes els encanta que ho faci. La setmana passada va ser un d’aquells moments a 3r d’ESO i vam tenir la sort d’escoltar en directe una llegenda índia que conta la història d’un viatge d’iniciació i creixement. Us en deixem una mostra:

I vet aquí un gos i vet aquí un gat, aquest conte no s’ha acabat. Hi haurà històries que contar i aventures que imaginar tots junts. Hi haurà professors com el Sr. Alcobé amb qui ens asseurem a terra o a la vora del camí per aprendre plegats.

St. Peter’s goes intercontinental!

Just over an hour ago a group of intrepid pupils from Class 6 and 1st ESO set out on one of the most exciting adventures St. Peter’s School has seen in many years! Accompanied by Miss Leahy and Miss Katie, Ana, Sara and Eduardo from 1st ESO, together with Xènia, Zaira, Sofía, Irene, Sander, Alex and Lorenzo, from Class 6 are travelling to New York City for a whistle-stop tour of “The Big Apple”, before moving upstate to Albany to spend a week at Robert C. Parker School, learning first-hand about the American way of life. They will attend classes, go on excursions with their new classmates and spent the rest of the day –and the night!- with their host family.
 
This fantastic cultural experience has been made possible by close collaboration between the two schools and much preparatory work on both sides of the Atlantic. We hope our Overseas Programme will be a great success and pupils from both schools will benefit greatly from it.
 
Our thanks are extended to Meg Taylor, Head of Robert C. Parker School, and everyone at the School -both staff and families- for making this visit possible.
 
You can follow their adventures on the blog created by one of our students: