What people are saying about NCELP resources and CPD

Spotlight: MFL Advisor visit to a Modern Languages Department

Author: anonymous MFL Advisor I recently spent an afternoon in a school with a modern language department.  Alongside all MFL teachers in the school, the specialist TA and the two initial teacher trainees also attended the session.  I won’t name the school, or the area in which it is located, but it is an ‘improving’ school catering for a generally white working-class area.  I know the school and its headteacher quite well.  Huge progress has been made there under the current headteacher’s leadership by systematically developing more rigorous curricular thinking and practice, and in growing the expertise of teachers in evidence informed pedagogy.  I agreed to spend some time with the MFL team at the headteacher’s…

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Stephanie Cross Head of German, Dartford Grammar School

“It is great seeing what students are now capable of working with, and also how we are slowly transitioning into KS4-style tasks.  As always, wonderful explanations throughout all materials. As a teacher, I will be sure to use them with older year groups as well. Danke!”

Jenni Bindon Lead Practitioner MFL, Westcountry Schools Trust

“From my initial encounter with the work of NCELP in October 2019, I felt this approach addressed a number of issues facing so many MFL teachers I knew and worked with, including myself. A lack of definition in the content of the curriculum and the resulting episodic learning was leading, time and time again, to inconsistent outcomes, disillusionment and demoralisation for teachers and students alike. Within the NCELP schemes of work, the rigour of the language mapping and the sequencing for effective retrieval and long-term learning goes far beyond any preceding schemes. Knowing that this level of thinking sits behind the curriculum design, as well as it being informed by existing and emerging research, has allowed us to deliver the NCELP curriculum with confidence. Activities are designed to ensure linguistic processing at every stage, with lots of opportunity for deliberate practice. All resources are free and fully adaptable, allowing teachers to personalise and tailor to their own classes. Having received bespoke training from Rachel Hawkes, our trust staff had time to digest and think deeply about the rationale and research which informs the NCELP approach, and this was hugely beneficial in moving us forward. The impact of this approach has been truly multifaceted, as teachers re-evaluate their practice, engage with referenced research and develop and evolve the learning in their classrooms. Students respond overwhelmingly positively, showing confidence in phonics, independently manipulating grammatical structures, and articulating clearly why and how language fits together. High frequency vocabulary allows students to communicate a range of everyday scenarios and they can do so with a clear sense of ownership and success. We have been happy to welcome external MFL staff to come and see this learning in action and, as a result, have seen colleagues inspired to try this approach in their own classrooms.”

David Spence Assistant Head Teacher, Orchard School Bristol

“I work closely with a previous NCELP Specialist Teacher who is doing great work in reforming our school’s MFL curriculum along NCELP principles. It is really exciting. I can see the progress students are making over time so clearly and it is because of the consistency of the methodology and approach on vocabulary, phonics and grammar. In what is now our second year of working this way I can point to how the materials, with that emphasis on repetition and then retrieval, have really supported to move knowledge into longer-term memory”.

Lucy Meyer Head of MFL, Bexley Grammar School

“This was one of the most thought-provoking and useful CPD sessions I’ve attended in a long time! It was a joy to have a session be so focussed on MFL pedagogy, with free resources and assessments, based on the latest research, and all feeding into the forthcoming GCSE syllabus. Clearly explained and modelled, there was lots to take away and discuss with my leadership team – we will be adapting and implementing many of the ideas, our schemes of work and assessments as a consequence. Thank you so much to all involved in the research, the creation of the materials and delivery of the CPD!”


Jacqueline Lambert Head of Languages, Neatherd High School

“My team and I are really impressed with the amount of research and careful planning that has gone into the development of the schemes of work and resources. It is reassuring to know that vocabulary and grammar are mapped so carefully to ensure retrieval and retention throughout KS3 and that students will gain confidence in grammar that is at the same time ambitious and manageable. Our students have already responded very positively to these lessons and we are pleased to see that students who were previously disenchanted with languages are suddenly thriving. We look forward to rolling these schemes of work out with other year groups and have high hopes for the future. Many thanks!”

Jane Wood MFL Teacher and NCELP Specialist Teacher, Cardinal Hume Catholic School

“I just set and marked a piece of free writing to my year 7 French class…and this is why we do it…and this is why it works…and this is why we don’t need topics…and another example of how we can add in words that aren’t on the NCELP SOW if they come up. I told them they could look up a word in the dictionary if they absolutely, desperately wanted to say something – I think she’s looked up about 3?

I’ve never taught them how to give opinions explicitly, yet they can still do it!

Yes, it’s not got fancy subjunctive phrases or si clauses (like some Year 7 sentence builders you see). But can this girl use the French she’s learned since September? – absolutely she can! Can she say what she wanted to (with the vocab that people are worried is ‘limited’)? Absolutely she could! She didn’t have any pre-learnt phrases in front of her whilst writing this – she did it all herself!!”

Lindsay Morlock Education Lecturer, Northumbria University

“I will definitely be drawing on several of these slides in my sessions with incoming MFL trainees over the summer. I find the NCELP presentation of research so accessible, and it’s extremely useful to have so many of the key ideas we use and engage with distilled into a format that’s ‘ready to go’.”

Webinar attendee At an NCELP webinar hosted by Bath Spa University

“I wanted to pass on my thanks for the course yesterday led by Rachel and Nick about designing a KS3 and KS4 curriculum. Probably the best course I have ever been to and certainly the one with the most helpful resources. Such exciting food for thought.”

Sarah Shaw MFL Teacher and NCELP Specialist Teacher, Cardinal Hume Catholic School

“Taking inspiration from my daughter rewriting fairy stories during an English lesson, I used the MultiLingProfiler to help me rewrite the story ‘La Princesse au Petits Pois’ for World Book Day for my Year 7 French class. I wasn’t sure it would be possible by the end of term one and was surprised that they knew so many relevant words already after following the NCELP SOW. Seeing it brought to life by our ITT for an online lesson was the icing on the cake!”

Charlotte Wallace Faculty Leader for MFL, Moor Park High School and Sixth Form

“In terms of teaching some of the grammar areas such as direct object pronouns/personal ‘a’ sequence and gustar- type verbs with indirect object pronouns, whilst we always made students aware of these things, it was never taught in detail at this level. We have found that it was actually very well received when taught using the NCELP format and has certainly boosted our confidence in approaching these areas.”

Alice Harrison Head of Languages, Reddish Vale High School

“We have been thrilled to have free access to such a well planned and structured scheme of work. The resources are so well organised and easily adaptable for our classes. It has made a big difference to our workload.”

Anonymous attendee feedback NCELP online conference

“Really well organised, engaging and easy to follow with a lot of effort put in from teachers. Great to see their enthusiasm about participating in the project and how well their students are doing!”

“Having had some CPD previously on the NCELP schemes of work at ALL Yorkshire/Humber events, I really appreciated seeing the application of the resources by teachers. I would very much like to see NCELP being a nation-wide approach being taken into Key Stage 4. Thank you so much for an excellent conference!”

“The session was helpful and made me realise that with NCELP teaching MFL shouldn’t be stressful or boring but engaging and fun.”

“I thought the presenters were really good – they spoke with knowledge and experience of what NCELP is doing. Real teachers with real experience – this is so valuable.”

Simon Mariner Second in MFL, Newcastle University, The Bishop’s Stortford High School

“I would just like to say how much we are enjoying using the NCELP resources with our Year 7 French and German classes this year. We have been really impressed with their progress so far and the activities are very enjoyable to teach”

Lynne Kay Course Leader for PGCE Modern Languages, Newcastle University

“…Just to also say a big thank you for all the excellent resources you have created on the NCELP Portal. Awesome!

I did start using NCELP resources with my student teachers last year. Hopefully, it will be an effective way of disseminating key principles and ideas, as well as raising awareness across partnership schools of the excellent schemes of work and resources available. Longer-term, it should lead to further collaborative planning and resource creation.

What’s great is having the research, the underpinning principles and extensive resources all in one place. The TRG themes fit nicely into my existing teacher training programme, which can be used for additional pre-session readings and group discussions. I see some of these possibly featuring in my students’ master’s assignments. I will keep you posted.

[The video recordings of lessons on Oak] will no doubt be a fabulous resource, in the absence of student teachers being able to go into schools to observe lessons this semester.”

Kathryn Russ Teacher of Spanish and NCELP Specialist Teacher, Presdales School (Lead School)

“… we gave our Year 7s a language aptitude test this year for the first time and used the resource from the February Residential. Thank you for the idea! I planned a lesson around the test for the Department, incorporating some of the other materials from your PowerPoint. Feedback from the other teachers who taught it was really positive and the students were engaged in the pattern-recognition and problem-solving – so thank you very much for the great resources! 

We don’t set our Year 7s for languages (-they all do French in their teaching groups and then choose a second language too) but we thought the results of the aptitude test could be useful as baseline data.  Thank you!”

Gina Ossa Subject Leader Spanish, Sydenham School

“I love your teaching and learning philosophy. I have done all the CPDs and I realised that I think the same and it is wonderful to find support and the space to develop” 

Angela Donnelly Teacher of French, English and Spanish, Dr Challoner’s High School

“I just wanted to say a big thank you for the wonderful Hub Day Webinar [on 3 July]. It was such a delight to be re-engaged in thinking about the subject I love, seeing all your hard work from the last couple of years, and I am looking forward to trying out new ideas and techniques. I am grateful to all the contributors, and the whole day was incredibly slick, despite remote working.”

Marylise Pocceschi Head of MFL, St Paul’s Catholic School

“I would like to share with you my complete amazement at the resources you are creating. I have been following your newsletters for a while and only wish my school could have taken part in this pilot project. I fully agree with the way you introduce the language and love the grammar progression which will greatly help students become independent learners and more confident speakers. I intend on starting our Year 7 on your course from September and thank you so much for all the resources that you share. As Head of faculty, it makes my job so much easier.”

Teacher NCELP Hub Day Webinar

“I am amazed at the amount of work that has gone into this, how deeply it is linked to the research and how many resources have been created. I am very much looking forward to teaching in this way. It makes so much more sense than the topics based approach in the first few years of language learning.”

Dr Ben Parsons Assistant Head, Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School (Lead School)

“We’re really pleased we can continue to contribute to this great work. It’s become a significant part of the buzz around teaching and learning in school, within our hub and broader outreach activity locally.”

Pippa Allenby Primary MFL Outreach Teacher for KS2, St. Bede’s Catholic College

“I think the KS3 SOW is inspirational! Thank you to everyone for all the resources and CPD information and videos. They are fantastic!”  

Jordan Wilson Teacher, Longhill High School (Hub School)

“The use of NCELP has been extremely beneficial in the delivery of MFL lessons. As a maths teacher teaching Spanish as a 2nd subject I have found the resources that the HoD [who is involved in the NCELP project] has come back with to be extremely helpful.”

Nina Fox Head of Modern Foreign Languages, St George’s School

“Thank you all so much for all your expertise and efforts – I’m new to HOD in the past 3 months so you’ve opened my mind and inspired me to work on adapting my SOWs and getting my team of teachers on board to the NCELP way of thinking & working.”

Robert Pugsley Head of MFL, The Victory Academy

“I am very much looking forward to embracing the NCELP Yr 7 French and Spanish Schemes of Work from September in my department. Both myself and my languages team are most passionate about your grammar teaching sequencing, resources and vocabulary lists.”

Mayte Romero Soriano Trainee Teacher

“There are plenty of different sources where you can find teaching resources but there are just a few where top-quality resources for excellent teaching can be found. In my opinion, one of those top sites is the NCELP portal. I get brilliant ideas on how to help students acquire the language through a quality lesson. It makes my life easier!”

Teacher Blatchington Mill School and Sixth Form (Lead School)

“We know where we are going with the methodology now and are even adapting our Yr 9 and 10 lessons and resources to use NCELP techniques, particularly with vocabulary pre-learning and minimal pairs in grammar to get the key points across.”

Claudia Camp MFL Teacher, The City of Leicester College

“I wanted to say I love all the resources and the work put into them is amazing. We’ve been wanting to change and update our SOW in my school to something more systematic for a while, and this is such a great set of resources for us to start using. I’m really looking forward to using it next academic year.”

Teacher Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School (Lead School)

“The benefits of adopting [the NCELP Schemes of Work] are a much greater consistency for us all, and better engagement by the students are they really are obliged to work things out for themselves more regularly, rather than only relying on pre-learnt phrases which they either don’t understand or can’t manipulate.”

Teacher Blatchington Mill School and Sixth Form (Lead School)

“We are finding students are more engaged with language as there is a finite, planned vocabulary set to introduce each week and they are able to do more with the language they have learnt.” 

Specialist Teacher Blatchington Mill School and Sixth Form (Lead School)

“The schools are finding that having ownership over the resource creation and partaking in the process is very rewarding.”

Aimee Simpson NQT Designate, John Colet School (Hub School)

“I taught KS3 Spanish phonics first and it just clicked with all of them. All of a sudden, their confidence has risen and they can attempt every word that they see. They can work out how to sound out words whereas before they were saying: “I don’t know how to say this”. It has completely changed!”

Teacher Blatchington Mill School and Sixth Form (Lead School)

“Our students appear more confident and secure in their language knowledge…The vocabulary taught has also given students more independence and autonomy.” 

Teacher July 2019

“I find the project recently articulated by Emma Marsden, exciting and compelling (as an MFL teacher with 23 years’ experience teaching and leading MFL…). No doubt many others do too”

Teacher July 2019

“The NCELP’s work has already started to help shape our subject CPD, new curriculum and pedagogy; this will certainly continue and intensify next term.  I must also mention the OASIS initiative as equally inspiring and empowering”