"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.
Four years later my son who cherishes ‘amser chwarae’ as a sacred part of the school day, continues to happily sacrifice half an hours football with his friends to attend his lesson with Katherine. If you knew my son, you’d understand that this is the biggest compliment he could pay Madame!!
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.
"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! "
"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!"