Spanish at Our Lady of Lourdes
At Our Lady of Lourdes we teach Spanish to all Key Stage 2 (KS2) children and have also done introductory Spanish lessons in Key Stage 1 (KS1). We consider teaching a Modern Foreign Language to be important because:
Many children really enjoy learning to speak another language. The earlier a child is exposed to a foreign language, the faster the language is acquired. Primary school children are more prepared to speak a foreign language, as they are less self conscious at this stage of their development.
It is widely believed that the early acquisition of a foreign language facilitates the learning of other foreign languages later in life. There are so many advantages of learning a foreign language, which is fast becoming an essential skill in the world in which we live in. The ability to speak a second language increases your attention span, exercises your brain, increases memory retention and allows the development of self-confidence.
Our aims in teaching a modern foreign language are:
- To foster an interest in learning other languages.
- To raise awareness that languages, other than English exist.
- To develop positive attitudes to other languages and cultures.
- To introduce young children to another language in a way that is enjoyable.
- To introduce children to simple vocabulary and structures which can be used in a variety of contexts during the normal school day, thus developing confidence.
- To make young children aware that language has structure, and of the similarities and differences between one language and another.
We aim to allow children to develop their skills and knowledge in Spanish, through speaking, listening, reading and writing, from their starting point in Year 3 right through until the end of Year 6. The Modern Foreign Languages Curriculum Map shows the different topics that each year group will cover this year.
Why is Spanish an important language to learn?
Spanish is the second most spoken language by native speakers in the world, with more than 400 million Spanish speakers in 21 countries.
Spanish has emerged as the most important language for the UK in an analysis made by the British Council.
The vast range of countries that speak Spanish makes an understanding of the language very useful for those who want to travel and experience such countries. Knowing the local language can greatly enhance our children’s experience if they do visit, allowing them a greater understanding and appreciation of culture, history and the physical environment.
Plenty of aspects of culture in the Spanish-speaking world have become world-renowned and famous. Our children study artists such as Pablo Picasso, who has produced some of the most famous pieces of artwork in the modern era.
We aim to develop children’s language skills, to enable them to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. As the National Curriculum states “Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster children’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world”.
It is intended that when children leave Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, they will have a natural curiosity and confidence to explore, other countries, cultures and languages, accepting that, in a multi-lingual society it is a valuable skill to be able to communicate effectively with others in another language. They will be engaged and prepared to continue language learning at High School.
Spanish has emerged as the most important language for the UK in an analysis made by the British Council. The vast range of countries that speak Spanish makes an understanding of the language very useful for those who want to travel and experience such countries. Knowing the local language can greatly enhance our children's experience if they do visit, allowing them a greater understanding and appreciation of culture, history and the physical environment.
Children have weekly lessons in Spanish throughout Key Stage 2, using the Janet Lloyd Network programme of study in addition to other resources. These are delivered by Spanish speakers – S. Ross (Subject Leader) and L. Cox (TA3) both speak Spanish fluently and are confident delivering the content of the curriculum. Areas covered include: numbers, colours, house and home, in town, food and drink, the classroom, clothes and hobbies.
Pupils are taught to:
- listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
- explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
- engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help
- speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases
- present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences
- read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
- appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language
- broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
- write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clear
- describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
- understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.
Good practice in teaching and learning policy supports children with special needs and those who are able, gifted and talented. In MFL, we recognise the need to differentiate how we teach and plan activities for children across the spectrum of ability. We also ensure that there is an appropriate balance between the knowledge and skills being taught in the subject.
Key features of classroom practice in MFL will include opportunities to engage our children in well planned tasks, which make use of a range of resources. Each year group has its own file of Spanish resources appropriate for that age group. Other resources are stored centrally; also, Spanish songs are available on the Teachers Drive. Following a yearly audit, new resources are purchased according to year/team group needs.
The impact of the curriculum content covered, and the teaching and planning is evaluated in Curriculum Action Plans, pupil assessment and through the school Monitoring and Evaluation cycle, as appropriate.
This is to ensure that children at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School are equipped with the necessary language skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world. We want the children to have thoroughly enjoyed learning Spanish, therefore encouraging them to undertake new life experiences, both now and in the future.
Assessment criteria has been developed, in line with national curriculum aims, to enable teachers to assess the progress of children in their language learning as they move through Key Stage 2, ensuring that children are supported and challenged as appropriate. This data is analysed on a termly basis, and an action plan drawn up to address any identified gaps. At the end of Key Stage Two, the children’s assessment data is passed on to the local high schools.
Working together with partner schools, children are also provided with a variety of extra-curricular activities to promote their engagement in the subject as well as provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary, to continue their studies successfully at high school.
Pupil Voice is also used to further develop the MFL curriculum, through questioning of pupils' views and attitudes to learning a language.