Primary school teachers can now harness music and drama to help their pupils learn Spanish and Welsh by using a new, free to use website.
The Cerdd Iaith website includes more than 30 activities, such as simple drama games and songs in three languages. Everything teachers need to lead pupils through the activities is provided, including full instructions, demonstration videos, downloadable sheet music, lyrics, audio files and suggestions for extension and reflection.
Rebecca Gould, Head of Arts at British Council Wales, said: “Cerdd Iaith is a powerful new resource for primary school teachers that aims to tackle the decline in modern foreign language learning in schools. The activities will inspire and stimulate children to learn actively and begin speaking new languages confidently. The site is packed full of engaging, original content. It’s easy to use and we hope teachers will take some time to explore the site. I think that they will find it is an ideal resource to help with the challenging job of teaching children at home. I’d also recommend the site to parents who are looking for fun educational activities to explore with their children".
Visit the Cerdd Iaith website
The resource has been designed for use with primary school pupils age 7-11. It will be especially useful for Year 6 pupils who are preparing for the transition to secondary school and the introduction of modern foreign languages, but can also be used with younger learners.
How it began
Cerdd Iaith began as a creative learning project exploring new approaches to music and language learning in primary schools in South and West Wales. The original project was delivered by British Council Wales in partnership with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Yr Athrofa – the Institute of Education, and Ein Rhanbarth ar Waith (ERW). It was funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation's Teacher Development Fund.
The songs were created especially for the site by poet Mererid Hopwood.and composers Gareth Glyn and Tim Riley.
Teacher training programme
The Cerdd Iaith resource supports teachers to build on learners’ knowledge of Welsh and English to introduce a third language to the classroom, as required by the curriculum for Wales within the Languages, Literacy and Communication Area of Learning and Experience and will inspire and stimulate children to learn actively and begin speaking new languages.
The project leaders have been working with musicians, linguists, drama practitioners and teachers from South and West Wales for the past three years. They deliver training both in and out of schools as part of teachers’ continuing professional development. This training consists of ‘on your feet’ creative learning activities and can also include creative practitioners coming into schools to demonstrate the activities directly.
Due to the restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are now offering online training. During two 2-hour training sessions, teachers are introduced to the project, the online resource and the methodology, and how to use the content, both in the classroom, or via virtual learning.
The Cerdd Iaith resource has been designed to complement and extend the training programme we offer, but can also be used independently.
If you or your school are interested in finding out more about the project or want to register for training sessions, please contact us TeamWales@britishcouncil.org