As stated in the 2014 National Curriculum, the teaching of a foreign language is now compulsory for Key Stage 2 pupils. To this end, Caedmon is developing a Spanish curriculum to deliver to all pupils during this phase in their education. 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.
Languages at Caedmon
Languages form an important part of an ever-changing world. Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages across all of the continents. Through consistent teaching, we hope that by the time the children leave Caedmon they will be proficient in basic Spanish and have established the linguistic foundations necessary to serve them well as they continue to learn Spanish (or perhaps another language altogether) in secondary school.
As of September 2017, we will be using Rachel Hawkes' materials to support language teaching at Caedmon. Therefore, all children will begin at the same point and acquire new vocabulary and ideas as they move through each year group.
The teaching of Spanish at Caedmon will be carried out with the intention of helping children make substantial progress over the four years they spend in Key Stage 2. Above all, lessons should aim to help children reach an objective through fun, engaging activities that encourage a ‘have a go’ spirit and confidence to try to manipulate the language (be it sounds, words or grammar) from an early stage.
Letter sounds will be taught early on and will naturally be reinforced on a regular basis as the content is delivered, in order to allow children to tackle trickier words as they progress through the Key Stage.
Simple grammar teaching will begin in Year 3 but become more important as the children move through each year group. In order to be able to communicate effectively, the aim should be to have a secure knowledge of simple grammar rules to allow the children to modify phrases they have learned (by substituting words or adding adjectives for example).
Children will acquire new vocabulary as they progress through the Key Stage. Class teachers should use their professional judgment to highlight to children which vocabulary is important and should be retained (that which is most useful, such as sentences starters e.g. No me gusta… for I don’t like…) as opposed to ‘topic’ vocabulary (nouns and adjectives), which, while still important, can be overwhelming and hard to remember for some children.
Throughout the course of the year, there will be numerous enrichment activities planned by the staff. These might range from inviting Spanish speakers into school to giving children first-hand experience of selected aspects of Spanish culture, such as via a 'food tasting' session.
Through learning specifically about another culture, British Values will naturally be explored as they compliment or contrast with different Spanish speaking cultures from around the world.
Although Spanish does not generally form part of weekly homework tasks, we find that many children are incredibly enthusiastic about learning another language. The BBC Primary Spanish site is a great place to start for simple words and phrases. For older children, or perhaps even for yourself, Duolingo is a superb (100% free) tool to learn Spanish or a huge number of other commonly spoken languages. Other games and matching activities are available.
Languages (in our school's case, Spanish) is not considered a 'core subject' like Maths and Literacy. Children are taught skills from the National Curriculum and the Non-Core Skills Passport. Teachers will use questioning, observation and outcomes of work to assess these skills. Teachers use informal assessments to inform their planning and to plan next steps for children.
Subject Leader: Mr Lawson