At Warren Park, we believe that learning a foreign language provides a gateway to other cultures and enables children to broaden their understanding of the world. Our aim is to enthuse children to develop a love of learning about modern foreign languages because of their increasing importance in the modern world. Our curriculum aims to foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. Through use of the key building blocks of language learning, it is our goal that children will develop automatic, fluent recall of sounds, words and rules about how to connect these within a sentence in order to build meaning. Our subject pathway and Progression of Skills enable children to systematically build on their prior learning and skills to allow them to become confident Spanish language users. It is our Warren Park vision that all children feel that they can be successful when learning a foreign language and that mistakes are seen as a pathway to learning. We intend to instil a love of language learning in all our children and to make sure they are ready to continue their languages journey when they transition to secondary school.
Children will be taught to:
- understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
- speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
- write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
- discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing
Our children’s language learning journey begins in Year 3 where they begin to learn Spanish through songs, games and being able to practise using the language as much as possible. Throughout their time in KS2, children will be provided with opportunities to revisit the skills they have previously learnt and to build on their vocabulary and grammar knowledge.
It is important to us that children see the relevance of learning a language and understand why they learn Spanish in particular as opposed to any other language. Time is take at the start of the children’s language journey to ensure they appreciate this. We have high expectations of all of our learners and want them to feel that they are successful when learning a language. To achieve this, our teaching is driven by the three integral building blocks of language learning:
- Decoding sound/symbol correspondences (phonics)
- Recognising words (vocabulary)
- Understanding how the words are ‘glued’ together with grammar for meaning (grammar)
There are many similarities between learning to read and write in our first language and learning to do so in a second language. Our explicit approach to teaching phonics, reading and writing in Spanish, mirrors the approach to doing so for English in KS1. As clear, reliable pronunciation is integral to successfully learning a second language, we use sound clips and videos of native Spanish speakers to support the children’s learning. Use of the target language by teachers is carefully planned to reinforce the children’s learning and is not overly used in ways that may hinder the children’s understanding and progress.
Learners understand a language when reading and writing; they produce language when speaking and writing. We give our children opportunities to develop their skills at both understanding and producing language throughout their learning journey. As much as possible, and where beneficial, we will draw children’s attention to lexical cognates to help them identify and understand new vocabulary.
We want to embed language learning into our curriculum and aim to do this by implanting the use of Spanish throughout the day such as during the register. Enriching the curriculum and releasing children’s creative energy through sport, drama, music and languages reinforces their understanding of the basics and helps them enjoy a broader, more balanced curriculum. With this in mind, we make links across the curriculum as much as possible
Children at Warren Park love learning Spanish and enjoy having the opportunity to demonstrate the skills they have acquired. Throughout their time in KS2, children display their learning journey in their Spanish books which progress through the years with them. Children take pride in the work that is produced in their books and enjoy sharing this with people.
Children’s progress in Spanish is continually monitored to ensure appropriate challenge and support is in place for those who need it. Quick quizzes and end of unit assessments provide children with the opportunity to demonstrate their learning and teacher feedback ensures they are aware of their next steps in their learning journeys.
The experience of learning and using a foreign language makes a unique contribution to the whole curriculum by taking children out of a familiar environment and allowing them to explore the life-style and culture of another land through its language. This, in turn, provides a satisfying, enjoyable and intellectually challenging experience for children in coping with a different linguistic medium.