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“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.”
At Park Lane, the intention of our MFL curriculum is to develop an interest in and thirst for learning other languages. The learning of the Spanish language and the understanding of Spanish culture have been introduced in enjoyable and stimulating ways.
We aim to embed the skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing and to build the children’s cultural knowledge so that they are aware of similarities and differences between cultures. In so doing, we hope to lay the foundations for future language learning. In the past French was only taught at KS2 at Park Lane; however, we have changed the language that we study to Spanish, and this now includes EYFS and KS1, as we are aware of the huge benefits language learning can provide to all children’s learning journey. Our aim is to provide a broad and balanced curriculum, ensuring the progression of knowledge and skills for all children.
EYFS and Key Stage 1
The aims of learning a foreign language in EYFS and KS1 are the same for those at KS2 as they begin initial stages of learning a language:
- Foster an interest in learning another language
- Introduce young learners to a different rich language environment in a way that is enjoyable and fun
- Stimulate and encourage learner’s curiosity about language
- Encourage learners to be aware that language has structure and that structures differ from one language to another
- Help learners to understand cultural differences in other countries
- Develop their speaking and listening skills
Key Stage 2
All pupils should:
- Understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
- Speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity.
- Can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
- All children have the opportunity to learn Spanish as a Modern Foreign Language. Lessons are interactive and fun, with lots of songs, games and stories.
- All sessions follow a carefully planned Scheme of Work adapted and tailored from our core scheme ‘La Jolie Ronde.’ We tailor our lessons using this scheme, to produce an effective languages curriculum that focuses on the building blocks of language: phonics, vocabulary and grammar. It helps learners make connections between sounds, words and sentences as they produce and understand ever more complex sentences and texts.
- All children in EYFS, KS1 and KS2 are taught Spanish in a weekly lesson. Children are taught using clear modelling and a range of resources that help to develop their knowledge and understanding of the Spanish language and culture. Children learn at their own pace using a range of activities and children with additional needs are included in whole class lessons. Where necessary, teachers provide support. We are keen to develop children’s understanding of Spanish culture and life.
- Our MFL curriculum has been designed to progressively develop skills in Spanish. The scheme ensures that the children acquire a bank of vocabulary organised around topics. This vocabulary is revisited and used during other topics thus ensuring that development is progressive as the units build on previous knowledge from units already studied. Children then have the opportunity to explore and make comparisons between different cultures. We believe that this is an important part of children experiencing cultural diversity.
- We embed the Spanish language in other areas of day-to-day classroom practice such as through Spanish greetings during the school day and classroom signs encouraging the use of written Spanish.
- Children at Park Lane are also offered further opportunities to fully embed their language skills and understanding through our outstanding extra-curricular provision and through a Griffin University course which children can choose to attend should this be a particular interest.
Spanish assessment is ongoing throughout the teaching sequence and informs teachers’ planning and differentiation of work. Data is entered on the school’s online assessment tool: Target Tracker. Analysis of outcomes is used to inform leaders of school improvements or skills that need to be enhanced. (Formal assessment is not a feature of languages at EYFS and Key Stage 1 yet teachers assess understanding in other ways). The impact of the MFL curriculum is visible in the following ways:
- A record of pupil’s work, in the form of photographs, sound recordings and displays are put on to our Seesaw platform.
- Written work is evidenced in pupil’s Wide Horizons books. This is reviewed regularly by SLT/ MFL lead in regular ‘week in learnings’.
- Learning walks/ lesson observations enable targeted CPD to be provided to members of staff.
- Pupil Interviews/ pupil voice show that children enjoy Spanish lessons and are keen to develop their understanding of another language.
- Assessment/ data on target tracker shows that children are making good progress in Spanish. Some are beginning to make accelerated progress.
Ultimately, learning a second language not only provides our Griffins with a wider experience/ skill but also gives our pupils the chance to develop as linguists and reiterates key values such as resilience and perseverance required when facing language challenges.