During my time at the Netherlands Inter-community School (NIS) in Jakarta, English classes were offered 3 times a week to our Dutch-stream students as part of our Modern Foreign Language (MFL) program, which was linked to the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). This meant that during MFL blocks, students would see concepts being taught in social, science, etc., in their English classes (see Language Framework). The aim was to teach students academic English terms in preparation for their transition to an English-speaking middle school because in Jakarta, there were no other alternatives after Dutch students completed Primary 6 at our school. However, some of the Dutch parents were concerned that the amount of English learnt during the school day wasn’t enough, so the administration at NIS decided to explore the idea of extra English classes being offered to the Dutch-stream students after school. These classes were to be run by teachers at the school, as everyone on staff was required to lead one after-school activity as part of their duties. Instead of offering a traditional non-linked after-school program, it was decided that we would try something a little different and have the program tie into what students were already studying at school so that the impact on student learning would be greater. This meant that teachers running the after-school program would need to look at what was being covered in Dutch math and language classes since those two areas were taught using the Dutch National Curriculum and not the IPC, and therefore were not already being covered during our MFL blocks. So, if fractions were being covered in their Dutch classes, students would learn the same terminology and practice questions in English during the after-school program.
I am back in Canada now and wondering if the same concept of linking school curriculums to after-school programs would be beneficial here as well. What if those in charge of after-school extracurricular activities such as art classes, music classes, foreign language classes, tutoring programs, etc. were aware of the school’s curriculum(s) and long-range plans? What if they could meet with teachers on a regular basis to discuss ways to enrich their programs and connect and tie them into school subject areas? What would the impact on learners be?
Would it be possible to organize and coordinate such a link between in-school and after-school activities/programs? I believe this could be done with the creation of an extended or modified version of the School District Framework. If you are interested in exploring the possibility of connecting after-school activities/programs at your school to in-house curriculums, contact us!