Erasmus+ is the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport. Many of the initiatives are based on opportunities for students and recent graduates, but funding is also available to help teachers, lecturers and non-academic staff develop their skills in schools, universities, colleges and adult education environments around Europe – through job shadowing, teaching and training activities.
After two years of trying, Seaford College secured a grant of more than €60,000 from the British Council which, over the next two years, will allow teachers from a variety of departments to spend one or two weeks in Santander in Spain or Rouen in France.
Our project aims, thanks to this funding, are to raise the profile of modern foreign languages (MFL) and attainment within our school, to increase the confidence of teachers from all departments regarding MFL, to increase pupil aspirations, and to create more cross-curricular links through languages.
During Easter and June 2016, the first few Seaford College teachers went to Santander and Rouen. During their time away, these teachers went on language courses tailored to their needs, visited local schools with the aim of forging long-term links with them, went on cultural visits, and had the opportunity to meet with teachers from other British schools to discuss their project and share experiences.
“This is an invaluable opportunity for our school,” said MFL teacher Helene Martin, who is overseeing the project. “Everyone has come back full of enthusiasm and ready to organise projects and activities that will benefit everyone at Seaford College.”
Several activities are planned for the new academic year and others are already taking place. For example, some of our pupils have taken videos of Seaford and have sent these to our partner school in Santander, which will reciprocate. We are hoping that these links will develop into potential exchanges and we are also planning on involving local primary schools in the project over the next academic year. With more teachers going on visits during the next few months, the amount of activities linked to our Erasmus projects will gradually increase.