Modern Foreign Languages – Spanish
At Heather Garth Primary Academy we recognise the importance of language learning in a modern, interconnected world. We believe that it is important that the children gain experiences of other languages and particularly Spanish, which is in the 'top three' of widely spoken global languages. Spanish is also the language most commonly taught in our local secondary schools, and therefore provides a solid platform for future learning Our language learning is based on the Language Angels curriculum which is progressive, relevant, broad, vibrant and ambitious.
Through engaging activities pupils will each year further develop the four key skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Through regular repetition and practise, children learn to communicate ideas orally, with appropriate pronunciation; write phrases and short sentences from memory, develop an understanding of basic grammar and express some ideas in writing.
We want our children to be excited at the opportunities they are given to communicate in a foreign language and develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages, finding them enjoyable and stimulating.. We want all pupils to experience success in Spanish and lay down solid foundations for future language learning. The intention is that they will be working towards becoming life-long language learners.
Even though learning a language is only compulsory from Year 3 upwards, children at Heather Garth Primary Academy are introduced to Spanish from Year 1. All classes will have access to a very high-quality foreign languages curriculum using the Language Angels scheme of work and resources. Children will progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary, language skills and grammatical knowledge organised around age-appropriate topics and themes - building blocks of language into more complex, fluent and authentic language. Units, have been carefully selected to link with the key themes of: Greetings, Myself, Numbers, Colours and The World Around Me. They have also been linked to other subject areas where appropriate. Pupils will have the opportunity to build on previous knowledge gradually as their foreign language lessons continue to recycle, revise and consolidate previously learnt language as well as learn new vocabulary they can use in the world around them. All units also build on all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Startng Off/Moving On/Moving Up units are designed for the very first stages of language learning and aimed at learners in KS1. The focus is on interactive, immersive teaching with a focus on the spoken and auditory skills. Lots of physical movement and music ensures pupils are fully engaged. At this stage the units are designed to start to build a bank of vocabulary based on the world that they see and experience around them.
Early Language units are taught in Year 3. The lessons work mostly on vocabulary, on single nouns (with article/determiner), building up memory skills and formulating very short simple sentences by the end of a unit, from memory. Lessons are more structured with a clear and equal focus on all four skills.
Intermediate units are taught in Years 4 and 5. These units build on previous learning by increasing the level of challenge. Further grammar is incorporated and lessons start to be more explicit in the terminology and explanations of its use. Longer reading and listening exercises are also expected in oral responses and written work. Pupils will know more and learn more.
Year 6 pupils study Progressive units. These units are the most challenging. The lessons contain more content and the pace is faster as there is more language presented to the children. This teaching type encourages the children to produce written paragraphs and speak more fluently and accurately from memory. Recalling and recycling the language learnt in the previous teaching types. (Early Language, Intermediate and Progressive units overlap bridging year groups)
Knowledge and awareness of required and appropriate grammar concepts will be taught throughout all units at all levels of challenge. Grammar rules and patterns will be taught by level of challenge:
- We start with nouns and articles and 1st person singular of high frequency verbs in Early Learning units.
- We move on to the use of the possessive, the concept of adjectives, use of the negative form, conjunctions/connectives and introduce the concept of whole regular verb conjugation in Intermediate units.
- We end with opinions and introduce the concept of whole high frequency irregular verb conjugation in Progressive units.
Units are progressive within themselves as subsequent lessons within a unit build on the language and knowledge taught in previous lessons. As pupils progress though the lessons in a unit they will build their knowledge and develop the complexity of the language they use. Three units of work are taught across the year to enable pupils to embed their learning effectively. Class displays and language toolkits are accessible throughout the year so that pupils can continue to practice their learning.
Each unit and lesson will have clearly defined objectives and aims.
- Each lesson will incorporate interactive whiteboard materials to include ample speaking and listening tasks within a lesson.
- Reading and writing activities will be offered in all units. Some extended reading and writing activities are provided so that native speakers can also be catered for.
- Every unit will include a grammar concept which will increase in complexity as pupils move from Early Language units, through Intermediate units and into Progressive units.
- Extending writing activities are provided to ensure that pupils are recalling previously learnt language and, by reusing it, will be able to recall it and use it with greater ease and accuracy. These tasks will help to link units together and show that pupils are retaining and recalling the language taught with increased fluency and ease.
- Pupils have the support of vocabulary sheets to prompt them when using prior knowledge in an existing unit.
Pupil at Heather Garth enjoy Spanish. Pupils will continuously build on their previous knowledge as they progress in their foreign language learning journey through the primary phase. Previous language will be recycled, revised, recalled and consolidated whenever possible and appropriate. End of unit assessments in Key Stage 2 are used to enable both pupils and teachers to track their progress. As they progress through the school, children will be able to understand longer pieces of Spanish in reading and listening comprehensions. They will create longer pieces of spoken and written language and are encouraged to use a variety of conjunctions, adverbs, adjectives, opinions and justifications. The impact of the curriculum is reviewed regularly by the Subject Lead and Foreign Language teacher through ongoing assessment. Formative assessment is ongoing throughout each lesson. Adult support is available throughout lessons as well as providing a level of challenge that is stimulating for pupils and questioning skills. It is expected that the majority of our pupils will meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for Spanish.