Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. The 2014 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 William Patten, we are committed to ensuring that teaching enables pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. We recognise that competence in another language enables children to interpret, create and exchange meaning within and across cultures.
At William Patten we are committed to ensuring our MFL teaching provides the foundation for learning further languages, as well as the means to access international opportunities for study and work later in life. The teaching of Spanish in EYFS, KS1 and KS2 provides an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and lays the foundations for further foreign language teaching at KS3.
Children are introduced to Spanish in the EYFS. Throughout KS1, children receive a 30-minute lesson every two weeks. This is supplemented through the use of spoken Spanish in the classroom beyond the timetabled lesson, which includes the use of Spanish to give basic instructions and refer to familiar objects in the classroom. This enables the children to develop early language acquisition skills that facilitate their understanding of the patterns of language and how these differ from, or are similar to, English. In KS2, each class has a timetabled Spanish lesson of 45 minutes.
Lessons across the Key Stages support the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing:
• Children are taught to listen attentively to spoken language and respond, joining in with songs, rhymes and games.
• Links have been developed with secondary schools and children from KS3 visit to disseminate language learning to the children.
• Children have an international link with children in Madrid, with regular correspondence taking place. This supports the school’s commitment to providing opportunities for children to communicate for practical purposes.
• Children develop an appreciation of a variety of stories, songs, poems and rhymes in Spanish that are delivered through the curriculum content, as well as by native Spanish speakers within the wider school community.
• Cross curricular links with computing are provided using the Spanish app and SEESAW.
• We follow the primary MFL scheme of work from BCC languages provided by Hackney Learning Trust.
• Hispanic Week enables the whole school to be immersed in the inclusion of the culture and use the language meaningfully in context.
Knowledge and skills in Spanish are progressive from one year to the next and are mapped across the school, in line with the BCC scheme of work. Cross curricular links have been identified and the school’s own context is considered as part of curriculum planning, including, for example, how the grounds of the school and local resources can be used to enhance and enrich Spanish learning.
Our MFL curriculum ensures that children develop their knowledge of where different languages, including the range of home languages spoken by the families of the school, as well as Spanish, are spoken in the world. Varied learning experiences, including ‘Language of the Month’ and ‘Hispanic Week’ also ensure that languages are celebrated throughout the school community whilst providing a context for language learning and develop the children’s understanding of different cultures.
Our partnership working and engagement with the local community have enabled the school to develop its own Spanish app to support the teaching and learning of Spanish nationally – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/william-patten-spanish/id1108877456?mt=8
Innovative approaches to MFL have also enabled the achievement of the British Council’s ‘International School Award’, as well as the Hackney ‘Premio Espana Primaria’ Award at Gold level. Achievement of both awards was subject to external moderation of the school’s evidence base. The school was judged to have demonstrated the achievement of each standard and met the criteria for best practice in accordance with both frameworks, both of which relate directly to the teaching and learning of Modern Foreign Languages.
The school recognises that there are likely to be gaps in children’s knowledge and skills, as a result of the period of the period of school closure during the pandemic in summer 2020 and spring 2021. To address this, we identified the most significant components of the programme of study for each year group and focused on securing this during summer 2001. Spanish teaching was also given priority during the July 2021 Hispanic week. This has helped to ensure that children are able to access the programme of study for their current year. Consolidation and revisit of previous content is an integral part of our approach to MFL, and children will continue to benefit from this as part of the school’s curriculum recovery.
Please follow the links below to see the most fundamental aspects of our Spanish curriculum, which was the basis of our summer term 2021 content –