HEAD TEACHERS .......
"We were the pioneers for Katherine's clubs and it has been lovely to see her grow from strength to strength. She has a wonderful manner with the children and her enthusiasm & passion really inspire a love of languages in them at such a young age"
MRS LYN MURRAY, PENDOYLAN PRIMARY
"Offering two more languages on top of Welsh and English can only benefit the children. Our pupils are already bilingual and are therefore able to apply the insights and experiences of two languages to yet another. Some of them study both Spanish and French. Katherine does so much with them in such a short amount of time - we are always impressed with her annual performances"
MRS RHIAN WILLIAMS, YSGOL IOLO MORGANWG
"What an advantage it is to be able to offer two modern foreign languages at the school from reception through to year 6. The children are all very enthusiastic about Katherine's clubs and Llansannor pupils always support her summer camps wholeheartedly"
MR PAUL FISHER, LLANSANNOR PRIMARY
"French club has proved a great success at Peterston Primary. "Madame Beret" is a wonderful addition to Katherine's team and she provides fun-filled sessions which the children clearly enjoy. The presentation last summer was a wonderful opportunity for parents to see how much the children had learnt."
MRS TARA LLOYD, PETERSTON-SUPER-ELY PRIMARY
"The children love the fun-packed Spanish sessions and are a joy to watch in the end of term presentation. We have even introduced a Spanish blog on the school website and encourage the children to write about what they are learning. Katherine also ran an introduction to French course last summer for Year 6 - we have had very positive feedback from Y Pant secondary school on how well the children are getting on & the confidence they have in the language."
MRS EMMA COATES, LLANHARI PRIMARY
"Having miserably failed my French at school (I have always blamed my teacher!) I was sceptical when I heard about French lessons being offered at Ysgol Iolo Morganwg. I signed my son up with a laissez faire attitude and thought that it would last a few weeks as it would probably be too challenging for a child at bilingual primary level education.
Having started with Katherine in year 1, at six years of age my son had put me to shame with his enthusiasm and knowledge of the language and culture. The learning environment that Katherine creates does differ greatly from that which I experienced at school- memorable songs and educational games replaces a more formal lesson and the Babelzone website provides a learning resource that the children can easily access at home that compliments the lessons. The French summer course that Katherine runs has become a part of our summer holiday routine with fun activities such as food tasting, arts and crafts and educational play.
What my son has gained from attending Katherine’s classes goes beyond basic language skills. The annual show which is performed in front of the school and parents has given him pride and confidence in his ability to speak a few lines of a foreign language on a public stage.
I believe that his eagerness to attend the class with Katherine is testament to the respect he holds for her: when I told him that I was writing this testimonial he wanted me to include his own words to describe Madame-“She is a kind lady and full of wisdom”.
It’s just a pity that she wasn’t my teacher all those years ago…..
"I have two children who really enjoy their French and Spanish classes with Katherine. My daughter (age 6) particularly loves the way the languages are taught through games and song. She is already able to count to 100 in French and nearly as far in Spanish!
My son (age 4) started French this school year and it really is a credit to Katherine how much he loves the lunchtime lesson. He is even prepared to give up playing with his friends in the school yard, which is really saying something! He is already singing some French songs at home and can count to 10 in French with confidence.
The annual language show organised by Katherine is a wonderful way to see what the children have learned during the year and to see how much they have improved.
There is also the option to attend summer club which includes craft sessions, cooking, games and singing, to name a few of the activities! The summer club has been a huge hit with my daughter who has already attended twice.
As a parent, I believe the introduction of languages at a young age helps with confidence as well as providing a very good basis for continuing with languages through future school years and beyond."
"I definitely believe that the Spanish club classes that they did in Llansannor Primary school really helped with their language classes in High School.
Comments at parent teacher meetings with their language teachers were always full of praise of their confidence and accents. Both my girls took a second language choice after the first year at High School and both do extremely well at language exams. Jenny took Spanish and Welsh for GCSE and had an "A" in Spanish and "A*" in Welsh. Katie's marks in Spanish and Welsh are always in the 90's!
Jenny and Katie took Spanish in Primary school and followed this language right through. Spanish club gave them a great start and an enthusiasm for the Spanish language"
"I'm so glad the girls have done French as it has made the transition into comp' so much easier than I think it would have been if they hadn't. The other advantage is (at Cowbridge anyway) if they're doing well in French they then get the opportunity to study German too".
"My daughter Elin started learning Spanish with Katherine in year 1 and took up French a year later. Right from the start she has been inspired by her lessons, taking it on herself to use the online learning aids and try and expand her vocabulary. She has always looked forward to her lessons, even though they take place during "playtime", and loves preparing for the language show each spring. Katherine has created an environment which encourages the children to learn whilst having fun at the same time.
Even at this early stage, her accent and pronunciation is very good and I am sure this will be a huge advantage when she goes to high school in a couple of years."
"Both of my children have studied French with Madame Smith since their reception years. They are now 8 and 6 years old. As a family who holiday regularly in France we are seeing their growing confidence in using the language to bid our neighbours " Bonjour " in the morning and even request the odd croissant or two! The annual show is a highlight of the school calendar as all of the children are so pleased to be able to show off their new skills to their parents, be that through song or a play. Excellent!
My daughter so loved French that she started Spanish this term. Señora Smith is wasting no time introducing key phrases to Seren and most evenings after her lesson she " tests " my memory ( having studied Spanish to A level, many moons ago). Without exception, Seren corrects my pronounciation or comes up with new words. What more could you ask for?
In the style of trip advisor, I would give 5 Stars!"
"Konnie really loves her Spanish - out of all her activities outside of school Spanish comes out top - and what is really lovely for us is she uses it when we are on holiday!"
"My daughter Tara started Spanish classes with Katherine in Reception and has loved them ever since. She looks forward to her weekly sessions with excitement, and she has gained confidence
speaking Spanish. She enjoys doing work at home and bringing it in to class for Katherine.
We are very grateful to Katherine for introducing us the Babelzone. Tara enjoys the games and stories and has learnt lots. She was so happy to be the winner of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2! I am sure she will use it to continue accessing Babelzone.
Thank you to Katherine and Babelzone.
"Mae gwersi Sbaeneg a Ffrangeg Katherine Smith yn Ysgol Iolo Morgannwg wedi bod o fudd mawr i fy meibion. Mae'r ddau ohonynt wrth eu boddau'n mynychu'r sesiynau ac yn llwyddo i gael rhyw grap ar y ddwy iaith fydd yn sicr o help iddynt yn yr ysgol uwchradd. Mewn byd lle mae'r Saesneg mor ddylanwadol a holl-bresennol, mae gwerthfawrogi aml-ieithrwydd o bwys mawr a dylid annog pawb i fachu ar bob cyfle i ddysgu ieithoedd - gan gynnwys y Gymraeg!"
"Katherine Smith's Spanish and French lessons at Ysgol Iolo Morgannwg have been very beneficial to my sons. Both of them love to attend the sessions and have managed to get a grasp on both languages which will surely help them in high school. In a world where English is so influential, the ability to speak other languages should be valued & considered of great importance. We should encourage everyone to seize every opportunity to learn languages - including Welsh! "
"I found Spanish to be one of the easier subjects and I was the least nervous about Spanish out of all the GCSE's (I did 14 in total). Spanish then aided my ability to learn French.
It was a definite advantage as I remember not revising for my first Spanish test in year 7 because I knew it all from Primary. It helped me learn the basics e.g. numbers, personal details such as your name which are still very useful at A level!
I remember Pepe the snail! Competing for pasta points was fun but my favourite game was "ladders".
I'd advise other children to definitely learn a language young, it teaches you a skill that will be really useful in further education and later life!"
MARTHA REED, Age 17
"I chose Spanish GCSE because I find it fun and interesting. I found my lessons were very easy and was top of the class. I am very confident and apparently sound like a Spanish citizen when I speak!
I used to LOVE Pepe! I remember feeling so proud when I earned my pasta points.
It was a great advantage in year 7 and has given me an excellent core knowledge of Spanish"
LOUISA KNOWLES, Age 14
"I found languages a lot easier in Secondary school due to the fact that I had already done basic Spanish and found it helped to pick new things up.
I also felt that my accent was more advanced than those that hadn't previously done Spanish. I enjoyed going to Spanish club with my friends and thoroughly enjoyed the games and activities we took part in whilst there. Yes, I love the snail!
I would definitely recommend learning any language from an early age as it helped me a lot! It made picking up other languages easier also"
KATIE GREY, Age 15
"Secondary School language classes were easier, I'd already done almost every topic in Katherine's classes. I also had learnt more French than anyone else.
I had a better accent and a lot more confidence.
Go the the clubs! it really improves your vocabulary and memory. Also, it's great fun especially with your friends"
CLAUDIA FERRE, Age 14
"I now know a lot more than the rest of my class as we had learnt all of the simple vocab in Primary (with Kath). I loved Pepe, he was awesome. I loved all the games/work sheets/fun activities we did, that really helped me to love the language.
The Summer clubs were very useful as they gave us an understanding of culture as well as the language.
I would say go for it while your young and absorb all the knowledge, because it will really help you in the future"
ABIGAIL COOPER, Age 14
"Everything was just simple, easy to do with my eyes closed. Not just on some days but on every day!
I certainly had an advantage, when I looked at my fellow pupils I couldn't believe how much they were struggling.
The Summer club was marvellous, great fun as well as learning even more!
It is a great advantage later on, I definitely recommend it"
SAMUEL CORKILL, Age 12
"I chose Spanish at GCSE, and found easier after doing LCF lessons.
Definitely my accent helped a lot. I recently got 100% in a speaking exam and having a good accent certainly helps in confidence.
I loved doing the flamenco in Bar 44 and found learning songs fun for speech & prize day. I remember Pepe really well!
Do it! it's invaluable, you learn so much vocabulary that you can use"
EMMA POPHAM, Age 14
"As I already knew a lot of the basics I found that I definitely had an advantage over people that hadn't studied Spanish in Primary school, and I was able to pick up new words/phrases a lot more easily.
My accent was more advanced and accurate at an earlier stage than friends that hadn't studied Spanish before and my confidence to speak was greater.
I really enjoyed meeting up with our little Spanish gang every week and remember the great games we would play which made learning Spanish something fun and relaxed"
JENNY GREY, Age 17