Sarah Bonnell School is one of the oldest girls’ schools in England. It was established in 1769 and has a long and proud history and tradition as one of the oldest schools for girls in the country. It is a comprehensive school for 1,200 girls placed in the heart of Stratford, East London.
Sarah Bonnell School has been a Specialist Language College since 2003 and offers a range of languages on the curriculum, including Arabic, Bengali, French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish and Urdu. The school also has varied links with international schools in Italy, Germany, France, China, Morocco and Spain. Students in key stage 3, years 7 to 9, learn French and a second language. All students continue one of these languages to GCSE, and many take two. Some take even more.
Arabic language was introduced within the curriculum in 2009 and was very popular. Since then, a very successful creative project was introduced by Goldsmiths to enhance learning Arabic using art and drama. Students thoroughly enjoyed it as it catered a different learning styles. This encouraged us to carry on investigating in similar opportunities.
We are very pleased to be involved again with Goldsmiths this year on a Multilingual Digital Storytelling (MDST) project. Year 8 Arabic class, 25 students, has been chosen for this. We believe that this project has the potential to make learning more meaningful and fun as it provides personally relevant contexts for learning languages. It also supports the development of a range of language skills across the domains of oracy and literacy. As students in this school are from diverse cultural background, this project will support to build intercultural awareness and skills preparing students to become active.