Language and literacy are of personal, social and economic importance. Our ability to use language lies at the centre of the development and expression of our emotions, our thinking, our learning and our sense of personal identity. Language is itself a key aspect of our culture. Through language, children and young people can gain access to the literary heritage of humanity and develop their appreciation of the richness and breadth of Scotland's literary heritage. Children and young people encounter, enjoy and learn from the diversity of language used in their homes, their communities, by the media and by their peers.
Literacy is fundamental to all areas of learning, as it unlocks access to the wider curriculum. Being literate increases opportunities for the individual in all aspects of life, lays the foundations for lifelong learning and work, and contributes strongly to the development of all four capacities of Curriculum for Excellence.
Learning other languages enables children and young people to make connections with different people and their cultures and to play a fuller part as global citizens. It is important for the nation's prosperity that young people are attracted to learning a modern language and that they become confident users of a modern language, well equipped with the skills needed in the new Europe and in the global marketplace.
Learning through the languages area of the curriculum enables young people to:
- develop their ability to communicate their thoughts and feelings and respond to those of other people
- develop the high level of skills in listening, talking, reading and writing which are essential for learning, work and life
- use different media effectively for learning and communication
- develop a secure understanding of how language works, and use language to communicate ideas and information in English and other languages
- exercise their intellectual curiosity by questioning and developing their understanding, and use creative and critical thinking to synthesise ideas and arguments
- enhance their enjoyment and their understanding of their own and other cultures through literature and other forms of language
- develop competence in different languages so that they can understand and communicate including, for some, in work settings.
In the James Young cluster we are very proud to be at the forefront of implementing the Scottish Government's new 1 + 2 National initiative for language learning.
The initiative means that over the next few years, Primary 1 pupils will start their first foreign language known as L2 (L1 is mother tongue) and their 2nd Language (L3) by Primary 5. For the James Young cluster, L2 is French and L3 is German. These languages will continue to be mandatory until the end of S3 (end of the Broad General Education). In James Young there is also opportunity to study Spanish and Mandarin (with opportunity for Mandarin learning also being introduced to the primary schools). Period allocation in secondary school to each language has been decided in order to ensure the best possible progression pathways for all pupils who wish to continue their foreign languages learning into the Senior Phase.
Mrs. S. Davidson
Principal Teacher Curriculum (PTC) - English
Mrs. E. McIntosh
Principal Teacher Curriculum (PTC) - Modern Languages