Erasmus Plus is the European Union’s programme for education and development of knowledge and aims to increase the quality and relevance of qualifications and skills. It provides grant funding for people to study, train and gain experience abroad; providing opportunities for teachers to experience the culture of a country as well as the language and translate that experience back in the classroom.
Alison Wilkinson, Modern Foreign Languages Coordinator at Sutton Manor Primary School put forward a bid to Erasmus Plus after encouragement from the Primary Languages Network, with the aim of providing a programme of immersion courses for 12 staff members, including teachers and teaching assistants, in Spain.
The successful bid secured over €30,000 in grants, with funding covering courses taking place in Santander. Teachers say the whole programme has begun to change the profile of Spanish within the school.
Through this project, the school has also made a strong link with a primary school in Torrelavega on the north coast of Spain, and children at Sutton Manor are now regularly communicating through letters with pupils at the Spanish school.
Alison said: “The whole project is an exciting step for the school! The main aim is to up-skillmembers of staff, create a link with a Spanish school and raise the profile of Spanish within the school and community. Already, our children are feeling the benefits of the project as linking with a Spanish school gives them a good reason to write in Spanish, improving their abilities and developing their confidence.”