MFL transition pilot

The ASCL modern foreign languages transition pilot

We are inviting schools to join a pilot to improve how pupil attainment in modern foreign languages (MFL) is passed from primary to secondary school during transition.

A steering group of school leaders, ASCL subject and policy specialists, and askEddi technology experts have come together to look at how MFL attainment can be included in the information that primaries report to secondaries at the end of the school year.

Using a purpose-designed part of the SixintoSeven portal (details overleaf), we invite schools to join our pilot to test and validate how this information can be conveyed in the best interests of the pupil.

The pilot will take place in June and July 2021 with schools requested to join and set up a school account on the SixintoSeven portal, input/download information (depending on school phase) and take part in informal feedback sessions afterwards.

The MFL Transition Pilot

We have worked with MFL subject leaders and coordinators to create a set of ‘professional judgements’ that year 6 teachers will make to allow year 7 languages teachers to gain an understanding, at individual pupil level, about their aptitude for language learning.

Primary year 6 teachers use a simple grid to input whether pupils are ‘secure’ or ‘not secure’ in the set of judgements. Primaries publish this information to be shared with secondary schools which they can download in a simple spreadsheet.

Taking part in this innovative pilot has multiple benefits for both primary and secondary colleagues:-

  • to raise the profile of primary language learning
  • to recognise and quantify the progress pupils have made in primary language learning
  • to support teacher planning in year 7, taking account of prior learning and building constructively on pupils’ understanding of language learning at a granular level
  • to provide greater continuity of learning for pupils and avoid a downturn in pupil achievement or motivation
  • to support setting arrangements where required in year 7
  • to improve collaboration and dialogue between primary and secondary schools.

We are looking for around 10 groups of schools to join the pilot to test how useful this MFL information will be in improving transition arrangements between phases.

About SixIntoSeven

SixIntoSeven is a secure, cloud-based portal which allows primary schools to transmit pupil attainment information in English and maths directly to secondary schools.

Developed in collaboration between askEddi, a private sector education technology company, and the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) SixIntoSeven was introduced in 2020 as a response to the cancellation of SATs.

Schools across England are using SixIntoSeven again in 2021 to help ensure that pupils can be provided for as they move from primary to secondary school. The only pupil data required is the pupil name and Unique Pupil Number (UPN) which the portal uses to make a match.

The success of SixIntoSeven is due to the quality of the professional judgements in core subject areas. These were created by primary and secondary teachers working together and are the middle ground between what the primary schools wanted to say and what the secondary schools wanted to receive.

Key Information about the pilot

The MFL-specific judgements cover:

  • Application of phonic knowledge Grammatical Knowledge & Vocabulary Speaking & Writing
  • Reading & Listening
  • Cultural awareness and curiosity

Participating MFL pilot primary schools will have access to free CPD on interpreting and assessing the professional judgements from our partners at the Primary Languages Network. This will show Primary Language leads the best way of reaching judgements for each pupil. Judgments will be made as part of everyday teaching and learning without any specific assessment arrangements required. Highlights will be available online.

Additional support in reaching professional judgements can be accessed from ASCL’s MFL consultant, Suzanne O’Farrell.

Technical support will be available from the SixIntoSeven customer support team.

Feedback

We will contact primary schools in July, and secondary schools in September to find out your thoughts on your experiences in using the project and the impact on the learning of your pupils.

This feedback will take no more than 30 minutes to complete. The information you give will be used to refine the product for the widespread use next academic year.

This is a unique opportunity to support the development of a profession-led transition process allowing schools to take ownership of primary to secondary transition in language learning.

Background and rationale for the pilot

Ofsted published its findings on Primary Languages in Outstanding Schools in April 2021 and stated that “Our inspectors found that assessment tended to be very limited in languages. In addition, the transition from primary to secondary was underdeveloped”.

The recommendation for improving languages transition arrangements can also be found in the Primary White paper 2019 “‘primary schools should provide receiving secondary schools with a clear statement of what pupils have been taught and what pupils should know and be able to do at the point of transfer from KS to KS3’ and in the 2016 teaching Schools council MFL pedagogy report “‘secondary schools should know about the modern languages taught at their feeder primary. Wherever possible, they should support language learning in primary and plan to build on pupils’ primary school language knowledge’.

Next Steps

The MFL pilot part of SixIntoSeven will be available for schools to use from Monday 7th June.

When you agree to join the pilot you will be emailed a link to register on SixIntoSeven and a guide to the MFL professional judgements

Primary schools will use SixIntoSeven to:

  • upload a list of their Year 6 pupils (pupil name and UPN) add professional judgements
  • publish professional judgements
  • judgements should be published before the end of June.

Secondary schools will use SixIntoSeven to:

  • upload a list of the pupils they are expecting in September (pupil name and UPN) download the professional judgements when published (at the start of July).
  • Participation on the pilot is through invitation only and schools will be signed up on a first come-first serve basis.

To take part please email sixintoseven@askeddi.com before Wednesday 2nd June.

Sources:

1 https://educationinspection.blog.gov.uk/2021/05/04/languages-in-outstanding-primary-schools/

2 http://www.ripl.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/RIPL-White-Paper-Primary-Languages-Policy-in-England.pdf

3 https://tscouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/MFL-Pedagogy-Review-Report-2.pdf