Pupils at La PEF are given more hours of English lessons than the French curriculum requirement. As a result, the school week comprises of 26 hours as opposed to the recommended 24 hours within the French curriculum.
The hours of lessons taught in English increase progressively from the petite section (PS) to the CM2. PS have 3 hours per week and by the time they are at the end of the primary school in CM2, a quarter of the school week is taught in English.
Our two English teachers are both native speakers. They teach English grammar and literacy but also cultural aspects and topics within the French curriculum.
Maternelle section and CP
Our English teacher for the Maternelle section, Marie, is a native English speaker and is employed full time at the school. In addition to the regular English lessons, she spends a full morning per week with each class. During these morning workshops the regular class teacher also speaks in English to the children.
The teachers work together to put in place programs covering logic, art and science (discovery of the world) and these sessions have turned out to be a great success. For example, the Moyenne section has done a project on the life-cycle of plants, which the children greatly enjoyed. During these classes, Marie takes digital photos and creates an ‘English Book’ for the children to take home and share with their families.
In the afternoons, Marie teaches English to groups of nine children at a time, twice a week. She works with them on their spoken English, reads stories and teaches them songs. The aim of the English class is to promote participation and for each child to express themselves confidently. In order to do this she uses her knowledge of the British programs as she has a diploma in Early Years Education. She also teaches ecology and sustainable development with the collaboration of her French colleagues. In addition to English lessons and workshops, the dance classes are conducted in English by teachers who are also native speakers.
Primaire (CE1 to CM2)
Our English teacher Tavishi Parikh – who works with the CE1 to CM2 classes – is a native English speaker and is also fluent in Gujarati. She works at the school three days a week. Tavishi has over 9 years of teaching experience working in English schools, has a Certificate in Therapeutic Play and has also taught English as an additional language to children in South East Asia.
During her time at the school, Tavishi works closely with the class teachers putting provisions in place to make sure all the topics are being covered. She also refers to the English National Curriculum to plan her lessons, thus making sure that all children are working at the correct level. Furthermore, her lessons are differentiated so that every child is achieving their full potential.
During her lessons, Tavishi encourages the children to only speak English with her and their peers. She uses Phonics as a way to get the children to read and write. The class watches Newsround regularly to generate topics for discussions. Tavishi works on both fiction and non-fiction writing and often links the topics with the French teacher. Tavishi uses a wide range of materials to interest the children; these include books, posters and videos.