Modern Foreign Languages at Whitehouse Primary
Every child at Whitehouse Primary is recognised as a unique individual: we celebrate individuality and welcome difference within our unique school community.
It is our aim to provide our children with a curriculum that is aspirational for all with every child’s ability to learn underpinned by the good teaching of basic skills, knowledge, personal wellbeing, individual challenge and values that will prepare our children for life beyond primary school.
At Whitehouse Primary School, we believe that the learning of a language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils: learning another language gives them a broader perspective on the world. We encourage children to develop their confidence and strive to stimulate children’s curiosity about language.
Whilst our MFL curriculum focuses on Spanish as its primary language, there are opportunities as a school to celebrate the diversity of our pupils and the languages they speak. This is reflected, partly, through our Cultural, European and International Studies weeks.
Within our school we hope to:
- Teach the Spanish language in a way that is enjoyable and fun;
- Make children aware that language has structure, and that the structure differs from one language to another; (link literacy)
- Help children develop their awareness of cultural differences in other countries and promote a positive attitude towards other cultures.
- Develop speaking and listening skills;
- Foster an enjoyment of language that will continue beyond our school.
In KS2, the scheme of work for MFL has a focus on speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, as well as increasing children’s awareness of the grammatical features of the Spanish language. Children are given opportunities to engage with stories and songs, along with a range of texts, written and spoken in Spanish. They learn to read a range of texts in Spanish and learn to present their ideas both written and orally.
In Lower KS2 our pupils will acquire basic skills and understanding in Spanish with a strong emphasis placed on developing their Speaking and Listening ability. These will be further developed in Upper KS2 alongside Reading and Writing skills, gradually progressing to more complex language concepts and greater learner autonomy.
Our Meta-Reflective approach to learning that is embedded throughout the curriculum at Whitehouse Primary, allows our pupils to experiment, gain confidence and have fun within an emotionally safe and supportive environment where we are all learners. We intend to help children develop their love of language, grow into curious, confident and reflective language learners and to provide them with a foundation that will equip them for further language studies.
The scheme of work for MFL in Foundation Stage and KS1 is intended to complement the scheme of work for MFL in KS2 in a less formal way. There is a focus on speaking and listening and it aims to lay the foundation for successful language learning as they progress through school.
Children are encouraged and supported to develop their speaking and listening skills through conversational work, role-play, singing rhymes, games and copying Spanish pronunciation. As their confidence and skills grow, children record their work through pictures, captions and sentences.
Teachers will adapt planning and resources as necessary to reflect the children’s understanding and their varying needs. Children that are high achieving are challenged through more complex vocabulary and sentence structure, both in written and spoken language. Lessons are sequenced so that prior learning is considered and opportunities for revision of language and grammatical concepts are built into lessons as well as offering an insight into the culture of Spanish-speaking countries and communities. The introduction and revision of key vocabulary and grammatical structures is built into each lesson.
Children are taught to:
- ask and answer simple questions
- pronounce words properly
- learn a basic vocabulary
- speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structure
- listen for meaning
- understand basic grammar
- seek clarification and help
- use simple English – Spanish dictionaries
- describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
Children at Whitehouse Primary are self-motivated and reflective learners who recognise their skills as being transferrable. By participating in the progressive sequence of lessons, being exposed to Spanish vocabulary in classrooms that is used in day-to-day practice, and encouraging the pupils to vocalise their learning, we will raise the profile of language in school and our community. We want to ensure that Spanish is loved by teachers and pupils across our school, therefore encouraging them to embark on further language studies. Impact can also be measured through key questioning skills built into lessons, child-led assessment such as success criteria grids, jigsaw targets and KWL grids and summative assessments aimed at targeting next steps in learning.