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Celebrating partnerships at Wimbledon High

Celebrating partnerships at Wimbledon High
Partnerships Languages

We were delighted to see Wimbledon High School’s partnerships work recognised in the Independent Schools Council’s ‘Celebrating Partnerships’ booklet this year, with Head of French Claire Baty attending the launch event at the House of Commons, along with our partners Harris Academy. Kicking off a week highlighting the importance of cross-sector links between independent and state schools, the event was a reminder of the benefits of collaboration “to develop an understanding of each other, make friendships and connections whilst pursuing joint adventures”. 

The ISC article focuses on one of many partnership programmes taking place at Wimbledon High (Years 11 and 12 go off-timetable every Thursday afternoon to allow time for these): our modern foreign language teaching with local schools Ricards Lodge and (as they do not currently have French on their curriculum) Harris Academy Wimbledon.  

Flickr album: ISC Celebrating Partnerships Week 2023 | Height: auto | Theme: Default | Skin: Default Skin

You can read the article in full here:    
   "The initiative aims to improve social mobility, academic achievement, and student wellbeing; inspire more pupils to study languages beyond Key Stage 3; and create opportunities for student and staff collaboration. Many students at Harris Academy Wimbledon are keen to learn French; Alex Treseder, a French teacher at WHS, works in close collaboration with a member of staff from Harris to deliver weekly French lessons for these students from Years 7, 8 and 9 as part of the French Teach Together programme. She is also supported by Year 11 and 12 WHS students, who plan and deliver the activities. 

The positive impact of these lessons is felt by all. Staff have greatly appreciated the support and opportunity to share ideas and expertise. WHS students have enriched their own understanding of the language through the teaching of others, with the girls involved in the partnership opting for A-level French next year. Participating in the club has helped Harris students to feel more motivated towards language learning in general. 

In addition, 12 WHS students and Year 10 students from Harris attended Wimbledon High’s inaugural Linguistica Conference in May 2023. Linguistica is a student-led magazine and blog featuring articles from WHS students across Years 7-13. The event, which featured a keynote speech from journalist and author Alex Bellos, encouraged students from both schools to think collaboratively about language beyond the confines of their exam board specifications. Students also took part in a series of workshops: create your Hanzi, the art of translation, sign language, invented languages, poems in translation and Linguistics Olympiad-style language puzzles. 

And finally, when it comes to languages collaboration, 20 students from Harris Academy Wimbledon and Ricards Lodge High School joined Year 9 WHS students in a Modern Foreign Languages Partnerships Day. There, they completed a series of workshops designed to build their confidence and develop their oracy in the target language, as well as introduce them to new languages they had not experienced before. The day began with a codebreaking task, where students used clues to decipher a poem written in Dutch. They then took part in a language speaking activity, working with a partner from another school to produce model answers to GCSE style questions in French, German and Spanish. This was followed by an introduction to a new language – these included Norwegian, Finnish and Chinese (delivered by teachers at WHS who speak these languages) and Korean, Croatian, Italian, Hindi and Russian (delivered by Year 9 WHS students who speak these languages at home). In the afternoon, all the students discussed the wider importance of language learning as part of a question-and-answer exercise, and their work will be published in the next issue of the Linguistica magazine. By stepping outside of their comfort zone – using unfamiliar languages, interacting with new people – students had the opportunity to look beyond their own experiences, learn from one another, and take part in fun, confidence-boosting activities. "

ISC Celebrating Partnerships 2023  (Pages 16-17 )

READ MORE about our partnerships work at WHS here

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Celebrating partnerships at Wimbledon High