Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
At St John's CE Primary School, the learning of an additional language provides our pupils with a valuable educational, social and cultural experience. It helps them to develop communication skills, including the key skills of speaking and listening. It also supports and extends our pupils' knowledge of how language works. We aim to develop pupils' language skills to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and writing.
Our MFL curriculum provision intends to foster our pupils' natural curiosity to explore languages and other cultures, valuing that in a multi-lingual society, communicating effectively with others in another language is a valuable and rewarding skill.
At St. John's, the chosen language taught is Spanish and provides our pupils' with a strong foundation on which to continue language learning at secondary school. We aim to equip our pupils with a challenging, memorable knowledge-rich curriculum to prepare them for the modern world. Learning another language deepens our pupils' understanding of the world and encourages them to seek "life in all its fullness" by igniting aspirations for future learning, experiences, and careers.
Our aims in teaching a modern foreign language are:
● To foster an interest in learning other languages.
● To raise awareness that languages other than English exist.
● To develop positive attitudes to other languages and cultures.
● To introduce young children to another language in an enjoyable way.
● To introduce children to simple vocabulary and structures that can be used in various contexts during the normal school day, thus developing confidence.
● To make young pupils aware that language has structure and the similarities and differences between one language and another.
We aim to allow children to develop their skills and knowledge in Spanish through speaking, listening, reading, and writing from their starting point in Year 3. In EYFS and KS1, the intent is to introduce pupils to the key vocabulary and phrases in an active, fun, and engaging way.
At St. John's, our MFL provision begins with introductory Spanish lessons in Reception and KS 1 through songs, games, rhymes and familiar stories to engage pupils with lots of opportunities to hear and speak the key vocabulary and phrases. KS1 to use as a fun way to introduce the pupils to a different culture and a different language.
The focus is on the development of speaking and listening skills. Key vocabulary and phrases are introduced in KS1 and cover topics such as greetings, colours, months, days of the week, numbers, birthdays, and weather.
Spanish is taught to all key stage 2 pupils through discrete, weekly Spanish lessons, which begin in Year 3. Spanish is taught using the Primary Languages Network programme of study, which meets the national curriculum requirements. It ensures progression throughout key stage 2 across the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Pupils are taught to:
● listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
● explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound, and meaning of words
● engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help
● speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases, and basic language structures, develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases
● present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences
● read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases, and simple writing
● appreciate stories, songs, poems, and rhymes in the language
● broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
● write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clear
● describe people, places, things, and actions orally and in writing
● understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.
The Primary Languages Network's tracking assessment system is used to assess pupils' progress in their language learning as they move through key stage 2, ensuring that pupils are supported and challenged as appropriate.
The Spanish curriculum's impact is monitored and evaluated by the subject lead using pupil assessment, work scrutiny, and pupil voice. Pupil voice is used throughout the school to further develop the MFL curriculum by questioning pupils' views and attitudes to learning a language.