Modern Foreign Languages

Intent

At Co-op Academy Nightingale we are covering the full National Curriculum in Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) through the teaching of Spanish. The Co-op value “Succeed Together” provides the focus for language teaching and learning at Nightingale. Spanish is not a language many of our pupils have prior knowledge of, yet is the 4th most spoken language in the world. Creating an environment in which all children begin and learn together, despite their own linguistic background, means they can be equal stakeholders in their learning journey. We want our children to have strong foundations in language learning, understanding that this can lead to increased confidence in communicating, self esteem, empathy and respect for other people and cultures. 

Our goal is for all pupils to be interested and enthusiastic language learners who appreciate the value of communication and are interested in the cultures and stories beyond their own. We aim for them to be able to share literature and ideas as well as communicate for practical purposes.

Implementation

Foreign language teaching is not required in KS1 but we will begin to integrate Spanish as the school’s taught language. KS1 children will have the opportunity to sing Spanish songs, be exposed to some simple Spanish vocabulary and answer the register in Spanish.

Throughout Key Stage 2, the school uses ‘Hola Espanol’ to teach Spanish at Nightingale. More information here: https://www.jmbeducation.com/spanish/

Key Stage 2 language teaching focuses on 4 key skills: 

  • Listening – listen to and understand Spanish words, enjoy Spanish songs and rhymes
  • Speaking – have simple conversations, say full sentences, and give their opinion in Spanish
  • Reading – read and understand simple sentences, use dictionaries to build vocabulary.
  • Writing – write phrases and sentences, describe people/objects, and understand basic grammar (such as using verbs correctly)

Year 3 and 4 focus on foundational listening and speaking skills, including songs, classroom communication and having simple conversations. Children are encouraged to begin to read and write simple Spanish sentences. Children build their vocabulary knowledge of greetings, alphabet, colours, ‘where I live’, numbers, parts of the body, the classroom, animals and adjectives.

Year 5 and 6 build on their listening and speaking skills while focusing on writing and reading. They begin to develop an understanding of grammar and can produce simple descriptions. Children build their vocabulary knowledge of habitats, shapes, food, ‘going to the doctor’, time, weather, jobs, sports, asking directions and appearances.

KS2 children receive 30 minutes of Spanish teaching each week. Teachers review previously taught material before continuing to new vocabulary. Each class has a Spanish Folder where class work can be recorded, reviewed and shared. There are whole school opportunities to share learning beyond the classroom, such as utilising assemblies and festive gatherings to sing the popular Spanish Christmas carols, as well as encouraging families to engage with vocabulary themselves. Assemblies further provide an opportunity to share Spanish stories, songs and vocabulary.

Impact

When our pupils leave primary school they will have the skills and knowledge to carry out simple conversations in Spanish about every day activities, including directions, favourite items, age, and shopping. We will provide a foundation of language learning through the core skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking so that children continue to enjoy and engage with Modern Foreign Languages in secondary school. We aim for children to be proud of the languages they know or are learning, and to maintain an interest in cultures, stories and perspectives which differ from their own.