Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
At Lowtown, we aim to foster a love of learning a second language as well as raising an awareness of the multilingual and multi-cultural world around us. Through fun and engaging lessons, we aim to increase children’s confidence in language learning and allow them to express themselves to others, increasing their communication skills. We believe that learning a foreign language in primary school provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for all pupils and we aim to prepare children for further language learning when they go to secondary school and beyond. We believe that the learning of an additional language helps students have a greater understanding of English grammar, linguistics and vocabulary through parallels and comparisons to Spanish. We realise that introducing young children to a second language provides them with a chance at greater fluency and access to countless professional opportunities in later life.
Our chosen language is Spanish which is taught weekly throughout Key Stage Two. Although not a statutory requirement, our Reception and Key Stage One classes also practice Spanish daily by answering the register and choosing their dinner in Spanish. Teachers plan engaging and fun lessons which incorporate the use of games and songs. Planning is taken from the ‘Hola Español’ scheme of work and our Spanish curriculum is based on five core themes within which there is broad overlap and flexibility. These themes are: reading, speaking, listening, writing and intercultural understanding. During the pandemic, children missed key content as they were not in school and although online learning was offered, there are gaps in children’s subject knowledge. We have therefore taken the decision to introduce a new scheme of work and take the learning from where the children are, rather than the year group they are in. This meets the need of the children and means that gaps are plugged and children progress from a solid learning base. We are aiming that by the end of Year 6, the children should be ready to embrace further language study at secondary school and be more prepared to explore the world. Children are also introduced to other languages and cultures through our annual celebration of Languages Day in the Autumn term where we aim to promote the rich linguistic diversity of the world and raise awareness of the importance of lifelong language learning. Parents and the wider community are invited to contribute to this event and it is also a brilliant opportunity to celebrate the different languages and cultures we share at Lowtown.
At the start of the year, a pre-assessment explores what the children have retained from the previous year and creates the baseline for learning. This will inform teachers of a starting point to work from based on the ‘Hola Español’ La Jolie Ronde’ scheme of work. Our emphasis is on building confidence in children to practise speaking Spanish which is also in line with our school’s focus on oracy. This is teacher assessed during lessons. Children have Spanish books where they have the opportunity to record key vocabulary and any written work.