In New Silksworth Academy we believe that Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) prepares pupils to participate in a rapidly changing world, in which work and other activities are increasingly carried out in languages other than English.
“Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. 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. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.” Languages programmes of study: key stage 2. National Curriculum in England (DfES September 2013)
We aim for our language education to foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world; enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language; and understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. Our current language provision is Spanish.
Spanish is currently taught from Year 3 to Year 6 and is taught by a specialist teacher.
The core elements of our curriculum are:
All lessons allow children to develop their language skills in relevant, engaging and meaningful contexts. Learning happens through a great range of interactive activities.
The 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 NSA we are committed to ensuring that competence in another language enables children to interpret, create and exchange meaning within and across cultures. It also helps children develop skills that will open further opportunities later in life. The teaching of Spanish in KS2 provides an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and lays the foundations for further foreign language teaching at KS3.
We teach Spanish to all children throughout KS2. MFL is taught as part of the weekly timetable in lesson durations of 45mins in KS2. Spanish is taught during PPA by Lingotots, who teach Spanish through songs, stories, games, drama and play. During every session, pupils complete an assessment activity which supports assessment at the end of every term linked to the ‘I can’ checklist in pupils’ workbooks
Lessons across the Key Stages support the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing and the following are assessed throughout the year:
• Listen carefully
• Understand instructions
• Listen to and understand short pieces of simple information heard in the target language
• Join in with songs and rhymes
• Listen to a story and select key words and phrases from it
• Have a short conversation saying 3-4 things
• Begin to develop skills to communicate in Spanish in pairs and groups
• Reply to questions
• Speak clearly and confidently
• Speak in sentences- but may need support
• Explain the main points in a short passage
• Write 2-3 short sentences on a familiar topic
• Write phrases from memory
• Write the answers to questions given about a short passage
• Use a dictionary or word bank to look up new words
• Recognise some familiar words in written form
• Read and understand a short passage using familiar language
Our MFL curriculum ensures that children develop their knowledge of where different languages, as well as Spanish, are spoken in the world. Varied learning experiences, also ensure that languages are celebrated throughout the school community. Through the implementation of the programme of study we provide at New Silksworth Academy, pupils are able to use these skills for their transition to Key Stage Three learning and have the confidence to engage in conversations in Spanish, ensuring pronunciation is accurate and answers are given in sentences.
We recognise that language learning in its broadest sense has three core strands - oracy, literacy and intercultural understanding. We also recognise that children should be encouraged to apply their knowledge and that we should equip them with strategies for language learning that they can use in the future, when studying another foreign language. As a result, opportunities to develop knowledge about language (KAL) and language learning strategies (LLS) underpin the three core strands. This follows the five strands recommended in the KS2 Framework for Languages (DCSF).
We use a variety of techniques to encourage the children to engage actively in the modern foreign language: these include games, role-play and songs (particularly action songs) and listen to recordings, in order to expose the children to more than one voice in the foreign language. Teachers use mime and pictures to accompany new vocabulary in the foreign language, as this teaches the language without the need for translation.
We teach the four strands of speaking, listening, reading and writing and to understand basic grammar, including: feminine, masculine and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English. We use a multi-sensory and kinaesthetic approach to teaching. Research has also shown that physical responses planned into lessons help to improve enjoyment, provide opportunities for reinforcement through actions, help memory through actions, increase confidence as movement and games can provide safe ways of speaking aloud and it helps learning through creating a positive atmosphere.
We make the lessons as entertaining and enjoyable as possible as we realise that this approach serves to develop a positive attitude in the children to the learning of modern foreign languages.
We allow for differentiation, with a range of strategies, which include:
• Providing resources and setting tasks of different complexities, matched to the ability of the child.
• Setting common tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses.
• Providing speaking and writing frames to scaffold responses.
• Using a range of questioning.
• Overall, learning of Spanish focuses on using songs, games and interactive activities to engage pupils and foster their confidence in Spanish
The children are assessed continually throughout the year, with the teacher giving feedback orally, through marking and verbally. KPI’s are used at the end of each unit of work to assess whether pupils are working below, at or above ARE. This process is supported by the end of KS2 statements in the National Curriculum 2014. These have been used to inform end of year statements for all year groups in Key Stage Two. Achievement of these is then verified by the teacher, with reference to the outcomes of work and responses during lesson. This system ensures that assessment informs planning, with objectives requiring further consolidation, being quickly identified, with opportunities for coverage, planned for. Progress towards and achievement of these statements is also used to inform end of year reporting on MFL to parents.
At NSA we are committed to promoting equal opportunities irrespective of socio-economic background, gender, disability and ethnicity in all areas of the curriculum. We believe all children should have access to and participation in the learning of languages and to be supported in this process.
At NSA, we teach a modern foreign language to all children, whatever their ability. A modern foreign language forms part of the school’s commitment to providing a broad and balanced education to all children. Through our modern foreign language teaching, we provide learning opportunities that enable all children to make progress. We do this by setting suitable learning challenges and responding to each child's different needs.