We aim to spark a love of languages in children through engaging, interactive lessons. We believe that to accomplish this, we should help the children to do all of the following:
- Familiarise themselves with the sounds and written form of Spanish;
- Begin to understand a new language, and communicate in it;
- Make comparisons and links between their study of vocabulary, grammatical structures and cultures;
Learn about the Hispanic and Latin American world;
- Develop a positive attitude towards the learning of foreign languages;
- Encourage children to share their knowledge of their home language and culture with the school community;
- Use their knowledge of the foreign language with growing confidence, both to understand what they hear and read, and to express themselves through a balance of speaking and writing;
- Develop strategies for learning a language that can be transferred to other languages;
- Acquire, through all of the above, a sound linguistic foundation for further study at Key Stage 3 and beyond.
“Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.
MFL National Curriculum (DfE 2013), page 1.
Children are introduced to Spanish in the EYFS. Throughout KS1, children receive 30-minute lesson every two weeks. This is supplemented through the use of spoken Spanish in the classroom beyond the timetabled lesson, which includes the use of Spanish to give basic instructions and refer to familiar objects in the classroom. This enables the children to develop early language acquisition skills that facilitate their understanding of the patterns of language and how these differ from, or are similar to, English and their home language. In KS2, each class has a timetabled Spanish lesson of 45 minutes.
Lessons across the Key Stages support the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing:
• Children are taught to listen attentively to spoken language and respond, joining in with songs, rhymes and games.
• Children develop an appreciation of a variety of stories, songs, poems and rhymes in Spanish that are delivered through the curriculum content, as well as by native Spanish speakers within the wider school community.
• Spanish Day enables the whole school to be immersed in the inclusion of the culture and use the language meaningfully in context. Children develop an understanding of different aspects of Spanish and Latin American culture, including famous artists, Spanish festivals and food.
Children are regularly required to use and reflect on their language learning skills, for example, recording key vocabulary and phonemes in their book; or reflecting on how they understood an unknown word.
Knowledge and skills in Spanish are progressive from one year to the next and are mapped across the school. Cross curricular links have been identified and the school’s own context is considered as part of curriculum planning, including, for example, how the grounds of the school and local resources can be used to enhance and enrich Spanish learning.
Our MFL curriculum ensures that children develop their knowledge of where different languages, including the range of home languages spoken by the families of the school, as well as Spanish, are spoken in the world. Varied learning experiences, including ‘Spanish Day’ ensure that languages are celebrated throughout the school community whilst providing a context for language learning and develop the children’s understanding of different cultures. Children consolidate their understanding of English grammar by making links to Spanish grammar.