Below are 10 research-backed recommendations from the recent ‘Research into Primary Languages’ White Paper:
1. Time allocation one hour per week, a non-statutory minimum of 140 hours over KS2;
2. Primary Languages Pedagogy: the DfE should invest in professional development for primary teachers by providing funded opportunities to strengthen primary language subject knowledge, pedagogical understanding and language proficiency;
3. Curriculum planning: commission non-statutory guidance on minimum core content defining what children should know and be able to do; strengthen links with literacy;
4. Transition: clear primary-secondary collaboration about transition from Year 6 to Year 7;
5. Assessment and reporting: agree and approve a nationally recognised benchmark by the age of transfer from KS2 to KS3, including the development and piloting of an e-folio;
6. Digital technology: develop more frequent and effective use of technology;
7. School accountability: Ofsted should include a focus on primary languages, in particular with regard to gathering evidence of intent, implementation and impact related to curriculum planning.
8. School leadership: develop effective partnerships between senior leadership and governors to strengthen school accountability;
9. Strategic role of research: The DfE should include a focus on the implementation of primary languages policy in the next round of social research aims, in order to garner high quality evidence to inform policy development and delivery of primary languages at key stage 2.
10. Create a National Task-Force for Primary Languages (NTPL): set up a National Task-Force for Primary Languages, to address the challenges inherent in fully implementing the statutory order to introduce the learning of modern or ancient language from the age of seven. Primary schools face particular challenges which are distinct from those facing secondary schools and which must be ad-dressed head on.
The full white paper is available here http://www.ripl.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/RIPL-White-Paper-Primary-Languages-Policy-in-England.pdf
(Thank you to Cara Bleiman from Harris Federation for sharing this with us in March 2019)