We are all authors, editors, poets and performance artists.
A high-quality education in English and French will teach pupils to speak, read and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others.
At the Fulham Bilingual, we aim for a very high standard of language and literacy, by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
As a bilingual school, spoken language is developed in pupils’ learning across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing.
Children at The Fulham Bilingual benefit highly as they are permanently immersed equally in English and French.
It is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read, write and speak fluently, and with confidence, in any subject (and in both languages) preparing them for their forthcoming secondary education and lives as bilingual young people.
The writing at the Bilingual centres around exciting genres and quality texts. The children get the opportunity to explore fiction, non fiction and poetry each term. We encourage the children to critique different genres of text and create writing checklists. These help the children to recreate a genre successfully and give them the ability to self assess their own writing. Each week, the children write an extended piece of writing and then edit and improve it using their next step comments. A pupil in CM1 said, "The checklist helps me know how I am successful and where I need to improve, I enjoy writing". Writing is enriched at the Bilingual through Drama. Miss Emily, our specialist Drama teacher, brings texts to life and works on whole school end of year productions.
Daily sessions happen in MS-CP where the children learn the sounds and apply this when spelling unfamiliar words. There are many differences in the French and English language and these are openly discussed with the children who are taught various strategies to ensure they remember which sound is the correct one for each language.
At the Bilingual, we use the programme, Little Wandle Revised Letters and Sounds to teach synthetic, systematic phonics which is a method of teaching where words are broken up into the smallest units of sound (phonemes). Children learn to make connections between the letters of written words (graphemes) and the sounds of spoken language. At the Bilingual, we follow the Little Wandle Revised Letters and Sounds phonics programme. This programme aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.
The techniques of segmenting (breaking words into phonemes) and blending (saying the phonemes together to create a word) are taught and practised frequently, especially for unfamiliar words, which is known as a decoding strategy. Children then progress onto sight reading (reading words automatically) to become fluent readers and spellers.
In fact, the children do not begin to learn how to read in French until CP. This means the children can fully engage during English weeks, applying it across the curriculum. During French weeks, the children cement their phonetic knowledge by reading at home in English.
From Year 2, the school reading scheme follows Collins Big Cat books. The books promote cultural capital and provides the children with another chance to embed their knowledge of the world around them through high quality non fiction. Guided reading happens everyday; the children are exposed to a variety of texts with a weekly focus on a new reading skill.
This year some classes are trialling DEAR - Drop Everything And Read. Throughout the day, the class teacher announces a dear moment. For older children - who are free readers - the class library is full of age appropriate and varied texts. Key fiction which we feel the children should have exposure to has been added to ensure by the time they leave the Bilingual, we are confident that they have had the opportunity to explore quality literature.
Being bilingual, the children need lots of exposure to unfamiliar words everyday. We have found that there is a strong link between a rich vocabulary and a strong reader. Because of this, the children are explicitly taught new vocabulary each week, we use Mrs Wordsmith and Never heard the word techniques and resources.
The children at the Bilingual visit the two libraries that are based in our school. A French library and an English library. Children visit each library once a week, which is full of wonderful books, comics and magazines. The children can take out up to three books a week.