Curriculum Overview and Policy
Download: MFL Policy 2023 – 2024 [PDF]
At St Oswald’s Catholic Primary School, we believe that the learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils; we have chosen Spanish as our language of choice. Learning a language helps children to develop communication skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) also helping to extend their knowledge of how language works; skills that they will be able access in the future. It enables children to appreciate the beauty of another culture and broaden their horizons, giving a new perspective on the world in which we live. The study of a language is seen as an important part of our pupils’ education as languages are part of the cultural richness of our society and the world in which we live and work. Our aim is to enrich all our pupils’ experiences, including those disadvantaged pupils who may not have experienced a world outside of their own community, to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the world around them, and their place in it.
The 2014 National Curriculum for Modern Foreign Languages states that “Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures.”
St Oswald’s is proud to be a part of an ever-growing multi-cultural community where many of our children are already multilingual and enjoy the benefits of such a marvellous skill. Not only does language learning from early childhood prove easier than for adult learners, as their minds are still forming those vital connections, studies have suggested that they benefit at a cognitive and academic level, being more creative and better at solving complex problems. Alongside the obvious social benefits of being able to communicate with a wider range of people from different countries, here at St Oswald’s we recognise the advantages language learning can bring. From an early age, pupils should be introduced to new vocabulary to hopefully start their journey of life-long language skills acquisition. Not only does this enthuse our children with a love of languages, it also inspires confidence in their language and communication skills, learning collaboratively with one another.
Through our MFL teaching, we aim to allow our children to gain an insight into how other people around the world live, including their celebrations, traditional food and music amongst other things. As they learn, children will nurture a growing appreciation of other cultures and a natural curiosity for the world around them. Our intent is to inspire our pupils to embrace diversity and envision a world in which they can live in harmony with other cultures, creating inquisitive, tolerant and understanding minds of the future.
MFL – Implementation
At St Oswald’s, we understand that early language acquisition can only be of benefit to our pupils, therefore, despite the fact that language learning is only a statutory requirement for KS2 pupils, our students begin an introduction to their language learning journey in KS1, with children in EYFS enjoying some taster sessions. Key areas of learning such as speech and language, memory and language acquisition are all fundamental areas of our MFL curriculum. Implementing a curriculum which promotes the ability to respond and ask questions in the target language will prove invaluable for continued language learning through the children’s educational journeys with the eventual aim of taking this skill abroad or increasing future employment opportunities.
Our curriculum is designed along the model provided for us by the Primary MFL Team in Liverpool – part of SIL. This works along a cyclical pattern where topics are revisited across the year groups, allowing children to reinforce previous vocabulary but to also build upon grammatical understanding and sentence structure. Lessons in KS1 are designed to be for 20mins per week, with some reinforcement through teacher use of classroom language, praise, commands etc in Spanish; these lessons take place later on in the year in the summer term. KS2 children enjoy a 30min lesson per week, again, with reinforcement outside of the discrete language lesson. Classes are delivered by our Foreign Language Assistant, our MFL lead or class teachers. We believe that the children benefit from language learning from a native speaker who models authentic pronunciation and their own unique perspective of speaking Spanish as their mother tongue; our FLO is timetabled to teach across the KS2 classes on a rota, alongside our specialist teacher, with each year group receiving at least 3 half terms of support per year. Class teachers are supported in their teaching with planning and resources provided by the MFL subject lead that can be adapted as necessary for individual classes, designed in collaboration with the PMFL team’s planning so that consistency across the curriculum is achieved.
The key knowledge and skills for each year group have been mapped out across Key Stage 2, ensuring progression between each year group. Key skills are revisited, embedded and built upon as pupils move through the topics and year groups. Our scheme of work offers a high quality, engaging curriculum with a clear structure for progression. Teachers identify cross-curricular links wherever possible and ensure that previously gained knowledge and skills can be reinforced and applied in new contexts, alongside provision for intercultural understanding. Spanish is assessed at the end of each half termly topic based upon the age-related expectations for the year group. Children will be working below, towards, at or exceeding the expected standard; adaptations or scaffolding is provided for SEND children or those struggling with certain aspects of language learning, as well as those who need extra challenge. We have high expectations of all our pupils in St Oswald’s and want our children to achieve pride in their achievements and feel empowered in language learning.
A wide range of teaching strategies are used to deliver our MFL curriculum, developing speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, as well as targeting the phonological awareness of the children when tackling Spanish-specific phonemes or graphemes when encountering new vocabulary, eg. ‘ñ’. Collaborative learning is key when studying a language, alongside resilience and perseverance with a positive attitude; attributes that transcend across all subjects or aspects of learning. Lessons are taught through a variety of games, activities, songs etc which engage the children and inspire them to participate with enthusiasm. Monitoring takes place each term, conducted by the subject lead, through pupil voice, learning walks, team teaching or observations, to ensure a high-quality education for all and to identify areas of support needed.
Take a look at some of the following websites:
External Link: http://www.primarylanguages.org.uk
External Link: http://www.123teachme.com/learn_spanish/spanish_for_children
External Link: http://primarygamesarena.com/Spanish
External Link: https://www.storyplace.org/es
External Link: http://cvc.cervantes.es/ensenanza/mimundo/
External Link: http://pbskids.org/games/spanish/
External Link: http://www.crececontigo.gob.cl/actividades-para-compartir/juega-divertidos-juegos/
External Link: http://www.onlinefreespanish.com/
Along with these websites, there are many apps available to purchase if you have access to an iPad at home. The following are some suggestions: