Parent Workshops

This term we have two fantastic parent workshops for you to learn more about your child’s course. Both sessions run on Saturday and Sunday in Room 17 from 1.20-2.00pm.

22 & 23 April: Introduction to Phonics

What are phonics and why are they important? We will look at how we teach phonics in class and how you can support your child’s development of phonics at home. This is particularly suitable for parents of children in Primary Plus 1, 2 and 3.

20 & 21 May: Inclusive Learning at the British Council

We will cover the policies and procedures we have in place to ensure inclusion of every child in the classroom and the role of both the British Council and parents in this. This is suitable for all parents.

Student Competition: poetry

Congratulations to everyone who took part in the Reading Challenge this year. 385 people took part and 255 completed the challenge by reading six books! But don’t let it stop there: keep up the reading by choosing books from the book zone on the ground floor.

For those who love a competition, this term we are asking students to write a poem about bullying. The winning entries in each age group will be published on social media and win a 50RM MPH voucher! Students will receive information about the competition from their class teacher, or you can ask any member of the YL team for information.

Deadline: 13/14 May 2017

For Primary students: Write an acrostic poem with at least five lines, which tells a story about bullying.

For Secondary students: Write a rhyming poem with at least eight lines which tells a story about bullying.

Autism awareness month

April is autism awareness month; a time for action, inclusion, acceptance and appreciation in the classroom and beyond. At the British Council we hope to look at a number of different ways to talk about autism and inclusion with the students. This includes a lesson on the theme of autism for all students, as well as links to further information on our social media.


Our resident storyteller, Keats, will be back again on 29 and 30 April to tell stories to our young learners. The stories are appropriate for our Primary Plus students and space is limited, so participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis.

Storytelling will take place in the placement test area on the ground floor, and will run from 1.20 p.m  to 2.00 p.m.

It would be lovely to see lots of you there!

Using literature at home and in the classroom

Should we be encouraging our children to read longer novels in English?

There are a number of reasons why English teachers are turning back to literature as a way to develop students’ reading skills:

  • As most English language literature is written for native speakers, it prepares learners for the types of language they will have to read and understand in the real world.
  • It encourages students to communicate with others, by sharing their thoughts and feelings about the story.
  • Students engage with the attitudes and opinions expressed by the author or the characters. This helps students to develop their sense of self, their moral code, and their understanding of the world.
  • Exposure to non-standard forms of English (as is often found in novels) can help students to recognise norms and patterns.
  • Books written by popular authors will likely be more interesting and engaging than texts in language course books, no matter how much effort is put into writing them.
  • Literature is motivating, as finishing a book is a real achievement for language learners.

Most importantly, by fostering a love of reading from a young age, students become independent learners who, whenever they pick up a book to read for pleasure, are actually improving their language skills more than any homework task could.

On our young learner courses at the British Council, we weave literature into a course which promotes a range of skills. For example, the books used for our holiday courses in 2017 are by beloved children’s author Roald Dahl. His weird and fantastical novels are the perfect starting point for your child to explore the English language as well as develop a love of reading.