12 February 2021
French teacher Mme Lagarde has set up a new virtual partnership with the specialist Collège-Lycée Jean Lagarde, which her grandfather, a former teacher, created in 1950.
The school for handicapped students in Toulouse was the very first school of its kind in France. Until then children with a physical or sensory handicap were not entitled to an education. They were either in hospitals or at home.
She is very proud of her grandfather’s work – he also created the “ASEI”, an association which caters for the needs of handicapped people from all ages. His work paved the way for French legislation to ensure equal rights for handicapped children and adults in France.
Mme Lagarde started introducing her grandfather’s work to her Year 12 and 13 students as it fitted in well with the French A-level topic of people on the margin of French society.
The girls studied the Jean Lagarde school website in great detail and the work of his association before enacting an open evening role play between teachers and prospective parents at the Jean- Lagarde school.
She has since worked hard to set up the virtual partnership involving emails and Zoom sessions for Years 10-13 and yesterday was the first Zoom meeting between the two schools involving our Year 13 students.
They exchanged presentations about their towns and regions and took part in exchanges in both French and English. They asked each other questions about their interests and future studies and how they were coping with remote learning.
A second zoom meeting is planned for April where the students will work together in breakout rooms. We are also planning zoom sessions for Year 10 and 11 and an exchange of emails.
Teaching French and other languages is not just about learning to speak the language, it is also about understanding another culture, people who are different from us and spreading a message of tolerance.
I really enjoyed talking to the French students at the Jean Lagarde Centre and it was interesting to learn about Toulouse and find out more about the institution and what they offer to their students.
The experience also allowed me to practise my French and translation. Emma, Year 13
I really enjoyed chatting to the French students, getting to know a bit about them, their school and their city. Anna, Year 13