Kennedy School Language Policy

“Language is fundamental to learning, thinking and communicating. Learning best takes place in authentic contexts, and literature plays a special role in enabling this to happen. Each aspect [of language] is only relevant in relation to the whole.”
IBO 2007, Making the PYP Happen: A Curriculum framework for international; primary education pp.68

Mission Statement
This document seeks to lay out the language philosophy of Kennedy Primary School, a multi cultural Primary Years Programme School offering education to children from Year 1 through to Year 6. The purpose of this document is to inform teaching and learning in the classroom, to guide curriculum and to involve families in our goal to educate children.

Statement of Philosophy
At Kennedy School we believe that every teacher is a language teacher and that oral language is the foundation for effective communication. It is truly transdisciplinary and therefore central to all learning.

We believe proficiency in language fulfils children’s potential as life-long learners and promotes intellectual, social and emotional development. 

As an IB school we are passionate and committed to providing an inquiry based approach to learning with authentic contexts which should be representative of, and interrelate, all strands; reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing and presenting. At KS we believe that development in language is best achieved by; learning language, learning through language and learning about language.

Children have the right for their language and cultural background to be acknowledged and respected.  The language that children learn and use helps them to establish their own personal identity, contributes to an understanding of culture and facilitates international-mindedness. Learning more than one language enriches personal growth and facilitates international understanding.

The Language of Instruction and Additional Language Instruction
English is the language of instruction at Kennedy Primary School. Learning more than one language enriches personal growth and facilitates international understanding. Kennedy School offers a daily Chinese programme for all students in our learning community. Taught in Putonghua, the programme also embraces aspects of Chinese history and culture. It is part of our commitment to raising the standards of Chinese education at ESF. We aim to maximise the opportunities for our students to develop their language skills, both oral and written, to a level that would help them to live and work in a Chinese speaking community if they so wished.

Central to all tiers is the empowerment of students through a fruitful and enjoyable learning experience. Regardless of linguistic background, learning ability and education orientation, every student will be provided an opportunity to learn Chinese, which has the largest number of speakers in the world, to a desired level. We aim to achieve this by a differentiated curriculum, effective pedagogy and above all, a learning-centered environment with opportunities to excel.

Mother Tongue
Kennedy School values the development of Mother Tongue language and believes it is crucial for maintaining cultural identity and processing information and concepts. It enables young people to participate more effectively in the global community.

  • Families are encouraged to use their mother tongue to support their children’s development by speaking, reading and writing in their native language.
  • The school library contains a growing number of books in a variety of languages.
  • Additionally, mother tongues are supported by after school activity offerings.
  • Children are encouraged to identify with and use their Mother Tongue in school.

We believe students learn best when they:

  • Are aware of the relevance that language concepts have to all their learning
  • Have a curriculum that is relevant, meaningful and engaging to their current context
  • Read and write authentic literature from many genres including digitally
  • Take responsibility for their learning by self-assessing and reflecting
  • Have teachers who constantly review their pedagogy for 21st Century learning through relevant and targeted CPD
  • Learn through modeled, shared, guided and independent practice: Gradual Release of Responsibility Model
  • Use language for creative problem solving, critical thinking, analysis and processing information in an authentic context
  • Have time for inquiry into explicit language concepts
  • Have instruction that considers student’s multiple learning styles and individual development
  • Learn in a well-resourced and stimulating learning environment
  • Have a carefully differentiated approach to meet all children’s needs 

Assessment and Reporting
In order to provide the quality of language experience we aspire to it is important that assessment practices form a key role in our planning for teaching and learning. Therefore we ensure that;

  • There is regular and prompt feedback on learning
  • Teachers track progress and use a range of assessment methods using meaningful and relevant data
  • Assessment informs further teaching and learning in all strands of language
  • Pre- assessment guides learning and quality assessment tasks provide the feedback as to whether learning intentions have been achieved
  • There is regular and school wider reporting to parents; parent-teacher meeting, 3 way conferences, written reports