Our End of Year Round up of 2018

This year, we at MEaP have been busy preparing our application to the DfE for our Primary Free School with Nursery!

  • We consulted with key community partners on our vision
  • We assembled a team to help us materialise our vision
  • We had our first community consultation meeting in Manchester at the Windrush Millennium Centre
  • We are planning three more community consultation meetings next year:
    • In Salford, 8.2.19, venue: tbc
    • In Levenshulme, 8.3.19, venue: Highway Hope, 1 Matthews Lane
    • In Oldham, 11.3.19, venue: tbc
  • We are also working on an application form to officially enrol Members for MEaP. We hope that a members’ group will give us further opportunities to work in partnership with the wider ccommunity to continue to shape our plans for our school.

Advancing Equality Across Greater Manchester (GM) 28.11.18

Our Networking Activities in Oldham

Advancing Equality Across Greater Manchester (GM), Locality cluster took place on Wednesday 28 November at the Werneth Conference Suite in Oldham. The Roadshow was second of a number of events across GM to enable our communities to explore how a number of GM proposals can shape service delivery and support the health and social care needs of local people in a meaningful way to tackle health and social inequalities that currently exist in the Oldham, Rochdale, Bury and Tameside areas.

The event provided MEaP with the opportunity to review and evaluate how we will engage with the local communities in Oldham and other authority areas about our Education plans. However, we noted that we will need to be aware of the local politics as an ‘outsider’ as this will affect how we are perceived with other local organisations, schools and the local authority.

More about the Event

Advancing Equality Across Greater Manchester (GM)

The event was attended by approximately forty people from a range of voluntary community sectors working across Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and Tameside. Maqsood Ahmad opened the event by setting the scene across Greater Manchester. Beginning with the historic journey of the relationship between the VSCE sector and NHS/Social Care Partnership leading to the establishment of Memorandum of Understanding.

This was followed by a short address from Javed Iqbal the Lord Mayor of Oldham, who shared his life journey working as a taxi driver, to becoming an IT Graduate and consultant before his current role as Lord Mayor. He highlighted the importance for Oldham to become a place where its young people will stay and seek opportunities to develop their careers and influence policy after they graduate from University. Maqsood Ahmad then provided a snapshot of the Health inequalities across Greater Manchester helping to set the scene before workshops.

The workshops and roundtable discussions were facilitated by community practitioners Donna Miller from Associate Director and Policy and Development for Equality at BHA, Mark Nesbit from Voluntary Action Traford and Audrey Okere-Fosu Equalities Coordinator. We were also able to engage with Charles Kwaku-Odoi and Charles Maduemezia from the Caribbean and African Health Network (CAHN). Maqsood also introduced me to community practitioner Samina Arfan who is the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for the NHS and Social Care across Rochdale and Oldham.

The discussions centred on the proposed role of the new GM Equality Board. The key questions for discussion were ‘How could a GM equality board best add value to your work and what should its priority be moving forward?’ What would people like to see happening to improve equality issues locally, and who needs to be involved? ‘What are the examples of good practice can you share including the public sector? E.g. your experiences of services, access to services?’

The main feedback and findings will formulate a report to be published in early 2019.  Some of the themes from the discussions focused on for example ‘How those who are vulnerable are able to be fairly represented within the GM Equality Board and VCSE Devolution Reference Group?’ ‘How do we know that representatives on the Board are making a difference to help improve quality of life?’ ‘To what extent commissioners will take into account the social value/impact the VCSE sector is contributing to Social care.’

The discussions also highlighted the need for closer collaboration across themes and sector, such as within education, housing, welfare, employment and health and wellbeing (holistic approach). Looking at the cost benefits of early intervention and preventative measure for health and wellbeing/ mental health.

 

Academic Lead: Dr Ornette D Clennon I was invited to contribute to the policy forum discussion that explored the policy implications of the Being Black in Europe report. Report Launch in the European Parliament We’re getting started at our #BeingBlackinEU launch in the @Europarl_EN. @ckyenge, @MalinBjork_EU & @MichaelCJT to kick things off before we get […]

via EU Commission Report on “Being Black in Europe” 28.11.18 — Critical Race and Ethnicity Research Cluster

UPDATE: Our First Primary Free School Consultation Event on November 23rd, 2018

UPDATE: Our First Primary Free School Consultation Event on November 23rd, 2018

Introducing our Vision

Feedback

1stconsultation

Discussion

Teaching using Culture

Parents wanted to know more about how we would go about teaching in a culturally specific way. We explained how our curriculum will prioritise Mother Tongue and Cultural Heritage teaching as a core subject alongside English, Maths and Science and how it would be taught everyday with English and Maths. We explained how our overall ethos of Britishness as an Additional Culture worked, where Britishness would be treated as a culture alongside all the other domestic cultures of our children and would be taught as such. We also explained how we could for example use some ‘native’ agrarian cultures to teach enterprise, economics, mathematics, as practical examples – feeding into our Education for Global Citizenship curriculum.

Getting buy-in from Parents

We discussed how we could ‘sell’ our educational plans to other prospective parents as it was pointed out that until they were convinced about our ethos, they would most likely continue to send their children to other non culturally sensitive mainstream schools. We discussed the importance of making sure that our school was successful in terms of both wellbeing (a forthcoming new metric from OFSTED) and academic outcomes, which we believe will be increased as a result of strong wellbeing outcomes generated by culturally relevant curriculum teaching.

It was suggested that if we could provide an example of how we would embed culture in our curriculum teaching, this might help us to ‘sell’ the concept to parents who might be initially skeptical about our approach.

We have since taken that feedback on board, see here.

This linked to concerns around sustainability. Some parents were concerned about the prospect of funding being withdrawn from the school later down the line. We assured them that our initial funding contract was for 7 years within which time we would need to demonstrate sound financial management that produced our educational and wellbeing targets and outcomes. We emphasised to our prospective parents that if our school is well managed financially and is judged good or outstanding then funding is very unlikely to be withdrawn.

Homeschooling

Many of the attendees homeschool their children and wanted to know if our new school would be able to accommodate their children in some fashion. We discussed how these parents could first link into our supplementary school activities. We then discussed how they then could be involved in helping to shape our curriculum as well as taking advantages of the teacher training opportunities that we would be providing.

Admissions Criteria

We discussed how we would be able to shape our own admissions policies and how we could work in partnership with the community to do this but also how we would have to take into consideration potential requirements imposed upon us by our funding agreement with the DfE.

MEaPconsult

Please take our short survey, here.

Download our paper survey, here. Please feel to photocopy and distribute to your networks.

Oldham International Arrivals and English as an Additional Language (EAL) Conference, 18.10.18

Related Posts

Advancing Equality Across Greater Manchester (GM) 28.11.18

Our First Primary Free School Consultation Event on November 23rd, 2018

Primary School with Early Years and Nursery

MEaP Open Day on August 30th at Brooks Building, Manchester Metropolitan University

Our Manchester, Our Supplementary Schools Conference, December 9th, 2017

A welcome and address from Councillor Paul Jean Jacques

More information about Councillor Paul Jean Jacques, here.

Morning Presentations

Natalie Downs talking about the Harmony Trust and Oldham’s demographics

More information about the Stronger Together Project, here.

Commentary: The fact that there are community tensions in the town centre, where the change in demographic is being felt, points to the need for greater community cohesion initiatives and deeper grassroots partnerships. Supplementary schools specialise in these activities, yet seem to be undervalued by Local Authorities (with a notable few exceptions). See here (NRCSE/LMU organised Community in Education conference) for an example of this.

More information about the Dynamix Project, here.

Commentary: As supplementary schools serving the community, we are already plugged into large community networks, where cultural heritage and mother tongue language teaching is widespread and relatively common place. This means embedding EAL pedagogy will be organic for us, as we already have our mother tongue experts in our community networks.

Jessica Hainsworth talking about the Harmony Trust Teaching School Alliance and EAL Champions

More information about the Harmony Trust Teaching School Alliance, here.

More information about the Strategic School Improvement Fund (SSIF), here.

Commentary: This fund will be potentially extremely useful for us because it will enable us to run our Mother Tongue and Cultural Heritage teaching as a core subject, assist us with our cultural competency and teacher training and also help us to share learning with other schools.

More information about NASSEA assessment for EAL, here.

Commentary: Heritage and culture might be highly valued but in using EAL teaching strategies purely for academic attainment purposes, the cultural context within which the language exists, goes largely ignored. This aspect of culture is especially important for children whose first language is English but whose families’ native cultures are not British. How are these children catered for in the sense of using their cultural backgrounds as tools for educational engagement? I would view this issue as an overarching ‘Britishness as an Additional Culture (BAC)‘ that needs to be taken as seriously as its subset ‘English as an Additional Language (EAL)’. See herehere (NRCSE-partnered Bradford conference) and here (MSSN policy briefing) for examples of its importance. For a full scholarly discussion about BAC within education, see here (book publication). Of course, this is about time and resources and what is deemed a priority in a school curriculum, as well as touching on aspects of staff ethnic diversity (in terms of the wider cultural ethos in the school)

More information on Jim Cummins’ Ice berg theory of bilingualism, here.

More information about InPrint 3, here.

Dr Sofia Ali talking about Academic Literacy

Commentary: This is a difficult question to answer if EAL staff are considered only additional and not intrinsic (reflecting the curriculum).

Commentary: The activity of “building a field” is a perfect application of developmental bilingualism where this activity could be carried out in the Mother Tongue as preparation for the session in English. Its potential application within developmental bilingualism only serves to highlight the extreme importance of making sure that comprehension keeps up with linguist fluency to avoid parrot-fashion use of academic phrases designed for maximum grading. See Li Wei’s (2017) Translanguaging as a Practical Theory of Language that describes the concept of multilingualism as an integrated form of a single linguist practice rather than a plurality of separate monolingualisms added together (and kept separate, by inference). This has direct relevance for the application of “building the field” where the comprehension skills of L1 (mother tongue) are used to prepare specific written or oral skills of L2 (English). See John Searle’s (1980) Chinese Room argument that illustrates the potential and inherent dangers of this approach  if the principles of translanguaging are not followed. Also see below:

More information about the Oracy Project, here.

A presentation about Safeguarding in the context of registering New International Arrivals introduced by Helen Hampson, Chair of Oldham Alliance of Primary Headteachers and Principals

oldhamsafe

Commentary: The need for cultural competency training for these issues around safeguarding within multicultural communities is acute:

Afternoon Workshops

Practical Examples of Teaching Academic Literacy – Dr Sofia Ali

Activity 1

Commentary: Without cultural competency training in terms of curriculum delivery and overarching pedagogical practice, the use of the “mode continuum” can unintentionally perpetuate hierarchies of cultures by degree of “acceptable-ness” (code for White British). For an example that came out of our activity; a variation of the phrase “bigging up” potentially being (unquestioningly) classed as less formal than the phrase “cheers!” on the mode continuum. This is significant because children from particular social groups might tend to only use one expression, more frequently rather than the other, which means any hierarchical judgment about these expressions becomes a direct judgement on the cultures (themselves), within which these phrases sit. This lack of cultural awareness can often lead to the historical and contemporaneous classroom cultures of ‘low expectation’ for some pupils. For scholarship and research on this matter, see here. This point also illustrates the dangers of taking too literal (narrow) a approach to language and lingusitic acquisition, which translanguaging avoids because “it highlights the importance of feeling, experience, history, memory, subjectivity, and culture”.

Activity 2

Activity 3

Activity 4

Commentary: We had to write “sensational sentences” for images that were provided

oldhamsensation

Using Play to Teach EAL Children – Natasha Nield

Activity 1

Commentary: This, below can be used to either prepare for the activity or to assess it:

More information about Tower Hamlets “Progression in Language Structures”, here.

More information about Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), here.

Our First Primary Free School Consultation Event on November 23rd, 2018

PRESS RELEASE here.

Click on image to link to piece

Voice2

Our consultation (first of four) is coming up on November 23rd, 6 – 8pm at the Windrush Millennium Centre, Manchester.

We would like to inform you (as prospective parents) of our plans for a Primary Free School with Nursery. We would also like to get your feedback on our plans, as we are currently in the process of writing our application to the DfE (Department for Education). The main educational feature of our school will be the teaching of Mother tongue languages, especially at the Early Years stages in our nursery and an embedded emphasis on Education for Global Citizenship in our Primary School curriculum. We would like to base our school ethos and pedagogy on our experience of running supplementary schools, where mother tongue and cultural heritage teaching are used as educational assets to raise educational attainment (as recommended by extensive educational research in this area) rather than being seen as educational deficits.

We look forward to seeing you there!
Please click on the Eventbrite image below to register.
Eventbrite invite

Supported by

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Visit our consultation page, here.

Download our paper flyer, here.

Please take our short survey, here.

Download our paper survey, here. Please feel to photocopy and distribute to your networks.

Update Published 26.9.18 “This is a timely and important book that expertly combines personal narrative with nuanced theoretical analysis. Black Scholarly Activism between the Academy and Grassroots is a deeply engaging work that urges the reader to consider the possibilities and challenges facing academics who work towards social justice. Once picked up, this is a […]

via Book Alert – Black Scholarly Activism between the Academy and Grassroots: A Bridge for Identities and Social Justice, 22.7.18 (28.9.08) — Academic Creative Enterprise