We are Linguists
‘If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language that goes to his heart.’
Spanish is taught throughout Key Stage 2 to enable children to become passionate, curious and confident about their ability to learn another language by the time they finish their primary education. We want our children to be able to communicate with others, including people from outside the UK and to discover more about other cultures and people, including the context in which a modern foreign language is rooted. We aim to lay strong foundations for future language learning.
It is clear that language learning is not only a matter of developing competence in another language, but it is also about the broader curriculum; about children exploring the relationship between language and identity, about developing an international outlook and an enhanced understanding of the world and their place within it. As the opening of the Programme of Study puts it: ‘Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures’.
What are we aiming for?
Our Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) curriculum aims to create children who:
- Can communicate verbally and in written form using simple Spanish words, phrases and sentences
- Understand Spanish cultures and customs
How do we achieve this?
At The Stoke Poges School, we have high expectations for our children’s learning and want them to develop strong skills in languages so they can flourish at secondary school and beyond. In Key Stage 2, our children have a discrete 50-60 minute Spanish lesson each week. Year 5 and 6 are taught by a Spanish specialist and our teachers remain in the classroom to develop their language and pronunciation skills alongside their class.
MFL skills that we develop as The Stoke Poges School include:
- Oracy – (listening, speaking and spoken interaction) is a very important part of language learning. In the early stages of learning Spanish, children will spend much of their time listening, speaking and interacting orally. They will reproduce sounds and create phrases and sentences. Children will engage in simple conversations to obtain and provide information and exchange opinions.
- Literacy – the literacy skills of reading and writing are linked closely to Oracy. Children will have opportunities to apply their skills and understanding to enjoy reading and learning about Spanish culture. Through reading, they will be able to write simple sentences and short texts for different purposes and audiences in Spanish. Children use the skills of reading and writing to develop a basic knowledge of the writing system, the spelling and the structure of the language.
- Inter-cultural understanding – language competence and inter-cultural understanding are an essential part of being a citizen. They learn to look at things from another perspective, giving them insight into the people, culture and traditions of other cultures.
How the learning is sequenced
The sequence of learning ensures that the foundations and building blocks are in place so that knowledge-rich and ambitious learning is taking place. It is focused on allowing all pupils an opportunity to engage with the spoken and written word. Themes are taught in an order that allows more complex vocabulary and grammar to be introduced to pupils. In Upper Key Stage 2 there is a greater focus on developing pupils’ linguistic skills so that they can express themselves in more complex sentences, where they will include simple opinions or extended descriptions using connectives and adverbs.
The teaching of Spanish provides a balance of written and spoken language and aims to provide the basis for further study at Key Stage 3 and beyond.
Assessment of languages takes place in three phases. Firstly, frequent in class assessment using skilfully structured questioning is targeted towards gauging whether new knowledge has been understood by all children. Secondly, every lesson starts with a knowledge retrieval task which aims to check core knowledge and ensure that it has been remembered. Thirdly, at the end of each unit, children complete a quiz where one or more of the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) is formally assessed.
The Headteacher and MFL subject lead play a central role in the monitoring and evaluation of the quality of teaching and learning of Spanish in the school.
The monitoring strategy:
- Children’s work and planning scrutinies are conducted
- Lesson ‘drop ins’ take place in all classes throughout the year
As a result, learners will:
- Know more, remember more and understand more about the Spanish language
- Have increasing confidence in their ability to communicate with others in Spanish orally
- Have increasing confidence in their ability to write at varying lengths in Spanish
- Be engaged in our MFL lessons and will demonstrate enthusiasm.