A school visit to one of the first Language Friendly Schools, DENISE in Amsterdam, would be the last part of the LERI programme for the second Teacher Workshop. If you want to know what we did on Day 1 and 2, read more here.
We were greeted with coffee in the teacher room before the start of the school day. DENISE has a unique vision on their education system, involving bilingual education English-Dutch with students of varying (language) backgrounds. During a tour through the school, classrooms in primary were empty because all the children were in the theatre for Assembly. The theatre is like a real theatre, complete with red cinema chairs.The tour led along science classrooms, the library
In different groups, the visiting teachers could visit two classes of secondary education. Classes like geography, STEM, English, social studies and classes for students learning Dutch. The teachers had different experiences in these classes. Some of the classes did involve all the languages of the students, highlighting an organic, natural way of using mother tongues with the help of a digital homework and quizzing tool.
Leadership at DENISE explained the school’s system and vision to the LERI visitors. The school finds importance in accommodating all students to help them get a diploma at the level they are capable of reaching. Students from pre-IB classes told about their experiences at the school during speeddates.
This last school visit of the three day Teacher Workshop allowed for some reflection. The visiting teachers shared their experiences at the end of the day and spoke to each other about what they are taking home. They all agreed on one thing: they were inspired by how small language friendly steps can make a difference for students!