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KSA teacher is SLE for both primary and secondary schools

Kettering Science Academy’s German teacher Andrea White is so passionate about her subject that she is a Specialist Leader of Education offering guidance to both primary and secondary sectors.

Andrea, who has been teaching at Kettering Science Academy for four years, believes that the earlier children learn languages the better equipped they are at secondary level. Her SLE designation means that she can offer advice to colleagues at schools across the region who want additional support with Modern Foreign Languages teaching.

She said: ‘My passion is languages and I want to get as many students enthusiastic about languages and language learning as possible. Any school that wants or needs guidance is welcome to get in touch. It doesn’t matter what language it is, it is about engaging students and creating opportunities for them to see success.’

Andrea developed her love of German at university and lived there for a year before becoming a teacher: ‘The fact that I am able to work in a school where we have 70 students who are taking GCSE German this year and 80 taking German next year is amazing. I am really lucky that I am able to teach my first subject preference to such large numbers.’

She also works in a primary school and therefore teaches students from Years 3 to 13: ‘I have worked with a primary school in Northampton, making their French lessons more interactive and objective driven. Whatever anyone wants I would be willing to support, whether that is planning a lesson or helping them put a scheme of work together. With the new Ofsted requirements coming in in September, there is going to be a bigger focus on subjects other than English and maths.

‘One of the things that I am extremely passionate about is KS2 languages and starting languages from a very early age. Phonics knowledge is really important. When children are younger they have a much better grasp of how language sounds so the basic skills of learning a language lay the foundations for secondary learning.’

As well as being able to offer her expertise to other schools Andrea also works closely with colleagues across the Trust, under the leadership of Trust Director of MFL Melanie Navarro-Marin: ‘It is lovely that there is someone who champions language and her language teachers. It doesn’t matter which school you are from, she is interested in your career development. The languages departments met at a training day so we stay in contact and do joint moderation which strengthens the links between us.

‘I have fallen into a job that I love, I love German and imparting that to students. I work in a very cohesive department and, on a good day, teaching is the best job in the world!'