Subject Leader: Miss Birkbeck
The National Curriculum (2014) sees modern foreign languages as a vital part of our understanding of the world. It focuses not only on written and spoken communication in another language but also develops children’s awareness of other cultures. It also aims to prepare children for further language learning in their secondary education and possible opportunities for study and work abroad in their adult lives.
Modern Foreign Languages at Caedmon
At Caedmon, we are proud of our multicultural community and strive to provide as many opportunities as possible for children to learn about other cultures. Learning a modern foreign language plays a vital role in developing children’s awareness of another part of the world and we firmly believe that learning another language gives children a new and broader perspective on the world.
Language learning not only develops communication skills, but also expands children’s acceptance of other cultures ad appreciation of difference. We have chosen Spanish as our taught language; in conjunction with our Geography curriculum, children will explore the language, culture and characteristics of Spain and be able to compare these with their own experiences.
Our Spanish lessons will develop speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, whilst also fostering curiosity and enthusiasm about the subject. We will support children to develop their ability to express themselves in Spanish in both speech and writing and respond to words and phrases that they hear and read. We will provide children with practical contexts in which they can use what they have learned, supported by the teaching of relevant vocabulary. Our children take part in language learning throughout Key Stage 2, building the foundations required to be successful linguists as they make the transition to secondary school. Our pupils value the opportunity to learn a subject that supports their communication with others from around the world and feel that it provides them with good foundations for their future language learning.
In our Spanish curriculum, teachers are provided with resources from Language Angels. A series of lessons are suggested, providing structure and context as well as offering an insight into the culture of Spanish-speaking countries and communities. Pupils engage in lessons which cover the 4 areas of language learning skills; speaking, listening, reading and writing. Lessons are sequenced so that prior learning is considered and provide regular opportunities for the revision of the language that children have already learned. Grammatical concepts are taught in Year 5 and 6. Our lessons and resources help children to build on prior knowledge alongside the introduction of new skills. Children develop their active listening of spoken language and their ability to respond appropriately. To support children’s learning of the subject, interactive resources are used with native Spanish speakers to support pronunciation in spoken work. We value the importance of communication and therefore, our Spanish lessons provide children with opportunities to use both their spoken and written language, interacting with their peers through games and activities. Children progressively develop their written language skills, beginning with words and short phrases in Year 3 and gradually building up to short paragraphs in Year 6. As children begin their language learning in Year 3, our Geography curriculum also gives children an opportunity to learn more about Spain to support their engagement in learning.
By the time children leave Caedmon, we hope that they will have developed the skills necessary for practical communication in Spanish. Our language teaching at Caedmon will provide children with a good level of basic communication skills in Spanish, allowing them to talk about themselves and a range of other topics. They will be able to use spoken Spanish to share basic details about themselves and demonstrate this during regular opportunities to communicate with each other in Spanish. Our pupils will be able to read and understand some written Spanish and be confident to use the written language that they have learned to communicate also. Through their Spanish lessons, supported by Geography in Lower Key Stage 2, children will develop an awareness of Spanish cultures and traditions which will enrich their learning. At the end of each year, children will be assessed in each of the four skills areas. Our Spanish lessons will ensure that children are prepared for the transition to secondary school; Spanish is the main modern foreign language taught in each of the local secondary schools that our pupils are most likely to attend.
As we move forward with our Spanish curriculum, we aim to create links with Spain to provide children with an opportunity to communicate with native Spanish speakers and we are currently exploring these opportunities.