"Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things." - Flora Lewis
What do we want for our children?
At Preston Park, we celebrate our rich, diverse pupils who collectively speak over 45 different languages. Spanish provides children with an opportunity to widen their outlook on the world. At Preston Park, we aim for a high quality Spanish curriculum which equips children to become confident and competent communicators and which inspires pupils to explore the world around them with greater curiosity and an open mind.
High quality Spanish provision not only equips pupils with the skills they require to communicate confidently with others, but also provides a vehicle through which children are enabled to learn more about the world around them including different cultures. Language learning supports children’s understanding of identity and their place in the world. In addition, learning key grammatical concepts in Spanish not only serves to improve pupils’ communication in that language but also strengthens their understanding of English grammar and sentence structure. Whilst Spanish is almost unique within the school for its subject-specific approach, staff and pupils are encouraged to incorporate elements of Spanish into their daily routines, such as talking about the weather, taking the register or when greeting each other. This then serves to embed pupils’ understanding of the language further and its importance as a means of communication.
Our Spanish curriculum incorporates fundamental Spanish subject knowledge and language learning skills and affords pupils a firm foundation in the subject to develop their studies when they transition to secondary school, no matter which language they study. The following principles, drawn from the 2014 National Curriculum , drive Spanish at Preston Park:
- Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures.
- High-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world.
- Pupils should be enabled to express their ideas and thoughts in another language, and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing.
- Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.
As with all subjects at Preston Park, the learning of key vocabulary is the cornerstone of the Spanish teaching that takes place throughout Key Stage 2. As pupils progress through our school, they are taught the necessary skills to enable them to move from understanding key vocabulary within the context of a unit, to being able to use and manipulate this language across different units and to understand key grammatical concepts.
How do we deliver this effectively?
At Preston Park, we follow the Languagenut scheme of work which allows our pupils to access a range of speaking, listening, reading and writing activities. The primary guided course provides our pupils with a structured scheme of work to follow in Key Stage 2 to ensure progress and language development. Lessons are engaging and children learn Spanish with confidence. Each year group will learn six modules that are broken down in to sub-units including learning phonics, words and phrases, sentence building activities to support with speaking, listening, writing and reading.
The content is designed to ensure that children are learning new vocabulary as well as building on prior learning so that they are building sentences effectively.
How each unit works:
At the start of each core language unit, pupils are introduced to the theme and key vocabulary. Through language rehearsal, games, raps and songs, pupils become more confident in listening to, saying, reading and writing these words with increasing independence. Each unit involves key vocabulary, language structures and questions which are revisited on a regular basis, gradually extending children’s ability to manipulate the language to express themselves to others, both in speaking and writing. As much as possible, native language speakers and key literature are used to further enhance pupils’ learning across the Spanish curriculum.
Each unit plans to meet the criteria of the National Curriculum, extending children’s Spanish language knowledge and grammatical understanding. As children move through year groups, prior learning is reinforced and language is ‘recycled’.
At the end of each unit, children become confident with the language that they have learnt and are able to communicate with each other orally. As children’s grammatical understanding progresses, increasing demands are placed upon pupils’ ability to read and write in the target language and to read aloud longer Spanish texts.
Alongside pupils’ English grammar lessons, children are also exposed to a number of key Spanish grammatical concepts, including:
- Word classes
Including: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, definite and indefinite articles, prepositions and determiners, partitive articles, possessive adjectives, pronouns and connectives.
Identifying the gender of a noun through its definite or indefinite article.
- Verb conjugation
Conjugation of high frequency verbs.
- Agreement rules
Including: agreement of adjectives including colours, quantifiers and mood/ feelings.
- Syntax/word order
Including: position of adjectives in sentence, inversion for questioning, building a negative sentence.
- Spelling & punctuation
Including: capitalisation (lower case letters for days of the week/months of the year), accents, singular and plural and contractions.
- Speaking: individual words; key questions and responses; reading longer texts aloud independently.
- Listening: both native and non-native speakers; individual words; key questions and responses; unfamiliar words within familiar contexts; longer texts and information; key literature.
- Reading: individual phonemes and words; key questions and familiar language; unfamiliar vocabulary; longer texts and information.
- Writing: individual words; key questions and responses; longer texts and information.
We have an inclusive approach which supports children with SEND. At Preston Park, teachers adapt and tailor their lessons to meet both the learning and physical needs of all children.
We are determined to ensure that all children are able to access our curriculum no matter what additional needs they may have where possible. Learning is differentiated for individual children to support their ability to access LOs alongside their peers. This differentiation may take the form of additional adult support (from class teacher or teaching assistant), additional language scaffolding and writing frames where needed and, where appropriate, a reduced amount of target language being taught to pupils.
What does this look for our children?
At Preston Park, we ensure that our Spanish lessons are planned around key language and grammatical concepts. Spanish lessons are designed to give children ample opportunity to develop their communication skills across the breadth of the Spanish curriculum, and to harness pupils’ natural curiosity and inclination to learn about new languages and cultures.
Our Spanish lessons are designed to be interactive, engaging and memorable. We use an exciting scheme with attractive visuals. Lessons are designed to be interactive and multi-sensory, often involving opportunities for pupils to watch or listen to Spanish speakers, manipulate key resources and play games or sing songs to enhance their learning. Communication is an active process in which pupils are fully engaged, and they are encouraged to use their developing language skills throughout the school day.
Our learners listen to the accurate phrase with the correct intonation and pronunciation. Pupils are taught to listen attentively to the spoken language and demonstrate their understanding by responding and joining in. Our learning journey is captured in our class floor books. Children develop an appreciation for Spanish through stories and songs which are delivered through our creative curriculum.
EYFS and Key Stage One
Although teaching a foreign language is not statutory in the EYFS and Key Stage One, pupils have many experiences within their time in their phase that support them with their language learning as they move through the school, and their experiences form the foundation for all future learning experiences. Pupils develop a solid grounding in speaking and listening, an understanding of the differences between different cultures and communities and an overall love of learning that gives them the learning behaviours needed to make a strong start in all future learning.
Key Stage Two
At Preston Park, Spanish is taught by individual class teachers, with regular specialist support. At least once per term, Spanish is modelled and taught by the MFL Leader, giving all class teachers an opportunity to observe and develop their own teaching practice in this subject.
Children are introduced to Spanish in Year 3 and are given a solid grounding in common key language and grammar skills that they will need as they progress through the school. In Years 4 to 6, pupils are supported to build on the skills they have developed in Year 3 while regularly revisiting their prior learning to deepen its roots and ensure that language becomes embedded over time.
As children become more confident in their understanding of questions and responses, so the demands upon children’s grammatical knowledge increase. Children are supported to learn about concepts such as the conjugation of key verbs, adjectival agreements, and certain conjunctions.
Children also have opportunities to explore age-appropriate Spanish literature and to develop their understanding of differences and similarities between Spanish and British culture.
Lower Key Stage Two (Years Three and Four)
Counting from 1-20
Going to School
Forms of Transport
Classroom and School Day
Going to Work
Counting from 21-30
Telling the Time
Where I live
Describing where I live
Describing places in my house
How I look
Facial Features and Body parts
Describing myself and others
Days of the week
Around the World
Navigation and compass directions
Packing for a holiday
Comparatives and Superlatives
Animals, colours and sizes
Farm and zoo animals
Animals in nature
Colours and sizes
Food and drink
Fruits and Vegetables
Clothes and Shopping
Items of clothing
Upper Key Stage Two (Years Five and Six)
More about food and meal times
Telling the time
Lunchtime at school
Cooking at home
Eating and tasting
More about School
Describing other countries
Around the home
Describing the kitchen, living room, bathroom and garden
Jobs around the home
Music and celebrations
Types of music and instruments
Describing people and things
Types of technology
On the way to school
Journey to school and on public transport
Seasons and holidays
Seasons and weather
Expressions of time
Spending time with family
Buying a gift
Hygiene and Healthcare
Visiting the doctor/dentist
Progression in Skills and Understanding
Our Spanish curriculum is divided into half termly units and these are carefully sequenced to ensure that key communication skills and grammatical concepts are built on year on year and that language learned can be used cumulatively. This ensures that content is embedded and creates a strong basis for pupils’ future language learning. The detail of this progression is set out in ‘Progression of Skills and Understanding in Spanish.
How does our Spanish curriculum contribute to and develop our 21st Century learner?
At Preston Park, we meet the requirements of the National Curriculum for Spanish; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of Spanish language, grammatical knowledge and communication skills; and developing in children a love for language learning.
Spanish assessment takes place regularly in a variety of ways, including through children’s spoken, aural, reading and written work. Throughout sessions, pupils are assessed informally by classroom staff, which then feeds into the planning and teaching of subsequent lessons. Children’s written and reading work is recorded on Languagenut and in our class floor books, throughout the course of each unit.
The outcome of a rich, rigorous and connected experience of learning in Spanish is a language learner who can:
- Understand and respond to a wide range of different questions
- Communicate their thoughts and ideas clearly, in oral and written form
- Use prior language learning to deduce the meaning of unfamiliar language and texts
- Understand key grammatical concepts and use these in their own communication
- Talk confidently about a range of age-appropriate Spanish literature
- Talk confidently about the differences between British and Spanish culture
Our children will have built up a broad range of skills and will be able to apply these independently.