A Successful Pupil-Led Initiative

Year 12 pupils from Christ’s Hospital organised and led seven sessions aimed at primary age children at Northolmes Junior School, Horsham, who speak English as their second language.

The sessions were initiated by Ellen Hovmand and Faye Saulsbury, after thinking about ways in which they could help children develop their English speaking skills. Faye said: “We were aware that the children already received extra English lessons, and we wanted our sessions to be less formal, to show that language learning does not always have to be done in a classroom setting. Although we did use worksheets in some sessions, the main focus was on speaking, and this was done through learning tongue twisters, playing memory games and getting the children to pick out words or phrases from pop songs. We worked in small groups, one Christ’s Hospital pupil with four or five Northolmes pupils, to provide individual assistance with pronunciation and spelling, as well as in large groups so that everyone was able to interact with each other.

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“I hope that the children we worked with know that to speak more than one language is something they should take huge pride in.”

The project drew to a close on Monday, 20 March and was hailed by the Headteacher, Mrs Anderson, as a great success. She thanked the Christ’s Hospital pupils saying: “You have had a great influence on the children; it is beneficial for them to have bi-lingual role models so that they can see what can be achieved. It is obvious that the children’s confidence has greatly improved.”

Between 100 and 200 pupils are involved during term time in wider Christ’s Hospital Community Action work which, amongst other activities, includes assisting with primary school after-school activities. Christ’s Hospital’s Community Action work celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Head of Community Action at Christ’s Hospital, Graham Chandler said: “To be given the opportunity to work with a group of children during school time has shown how confident Northolmes must have been with our pupils and their proposal. We are extremely proud of them.”

This project was run as a ‘Creativity, Action and Service’ (CAS) initiative, an integral component of the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme core at Christ’s Hospital.


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