Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. The 2014 National Curriculum for Modern Foreign Languages aims to ensure that all children:
- Understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources.
- Are able to speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and that they are continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation.
- Can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt.
- Discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.
A high-quality languages education should foster children’s curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. At St Gerard’s, we are committed to ensuring that teaching enables pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. We recognise that competence in another language enables children to interpret, create and exchange meaning within and across cultures.
At St Gerard’s Catholic Primary & Nursery School we are committed to ensuring our MFL teaching provides the foundation for learning further languages, as well as the means to access international opportunities for study and work later in life. The teaching of Spanish in Key Stage 2 provides an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and lays the foundations for further foreign language teaching at KS3.
Children are introduced to Spanish from Year 3. 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. In KS2, each class has a timetabled Spanish lesson of 30 minutes every week.
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 have an international link with children in Tenerife, with regular correspondence taking place. This supports the school’s commitment to providing opportunities for children to communicate for practical purposes. Our Year 6 children have visited Tenerife (pre-COVID)
- 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.
Knowledge and skills in Spanish are progressive from one year to the next and are mapped across the school, in line with the National Curriculum. Cross curricular links have been identified and St Gerard’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 ‘Language of the Month’ and ‘Hispanic Week’ also 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.