Our MFL (Modern Foreign Language) curriculum is designed to allow pupils to understand, speak and record in a different language. The language of study that has been chosen at St Oswald’s is Spanish.
draw, paint and make with growing confidence, control and thought. Some art teaching is discrete whilst other lessons follow the phase topics.
Statement of Intent
At St Oswald’s we strive to develop linguists: pupils who have the skills not only to communicate their own ideas in Spanish and understand those of Spanish speakers, but who are also interested in the intricacies of any language. This is vitally important because, as pupils move into secondary education, they will have the opportunity to study other languages and, depending on their choice of secondary school, Spanish may not be an option. We want to help our pupils to maintain the confidence, curiosity and enthusiasm for language learning they show us when we first introduce them to Spanish in Year 1.
Children enjoy and learn a lot from encountering other cultures and ways of life, and they gain confidence, communication and literacy skills through experiencing and using other languages.
In our school we celebrate our diverse community and the many languages spoken by a significant proportion of our pupils. We teach our pupils to be proud of being able to communicate in another language and help them to develop the skills that many of our bilingual pupils use every day to find connections between their home language and other languages, including Spanish.
At St Oswald’s we are committed to ensuring that the learning of a foreign language is seen as valuable and important by staff, pupils and parents. To this end, we commence the teaching of Spanish in Year 1, rather than waiting until it is a statutory curriculum requirement in KS2. Spanish lessons in KS1 focus on developing good listening skills and a feel for the new shapes and sounds the mouth needs to make. In this phase, Spanish is taught predominantly through the use of songs and games and as much as possible in the target language.
Recently, we have created a centrally situated Spanish noticeboard and introduced a Linguist of the Week award to further promote the importance of MFL in our school. Since Spanish is taught by a specialist PPA teacher at St Oswald’s, these initiatives help to keep class teachers informed about what pupils are doing in their Spanish lessons and about pupils who are making excellent progress in language learning.
In KS2, Spanish is taught using the Primary Languages Network scheme of work, which is adapted to suit our school’s two-year long term plan. Wherever possible, links to the ideas and skills being taught in other curriculum areas are made clear to pupils. In particular, the spelling, punctuation and grammar skills taught in Spanish lessons reinforce the SPaG being taught in English lessons across the school. Children build confidence in their use of terms such as noun, adjective and verb as well as plural forms, and understand that all languages have exceptions to their spelling and grammar rules because languages evolve over long periods of time and are influenced by many different cultures.
The Primary Languages Network lessons that we use or adapt for our Spanish lessons are carefully planned to ensure progression in all four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Whenever possible, authentic Spanish texts and songs are used and are often presented by a native Spanish speaker via video or audio files.
The teaching of modern foreign languages in a primary setting lends itself very well to learning through music, games, drama, drawing, pairwork and groupwork. Children are not expected to read or write at length and most lessons require the children to move about and may involve an element of friendly competition. In short, our Spanish lessons cater to a wide variety of learning styles and this may be one of the reasons that many children list Spanish as one of their favourite lessons.
All pupils at St Oswald’s should be able to access high quality language lessons and make measurable progress in some or all of the four skill areas of Spanish, regardless of their abilities in other subject areas. Indeed, because of the increased focus on speaking and listening skills required in early language learning, many pupils who find reading and writing very challenging should have more chances to shine in language lessons.
Spanish lessons at St Oswald’s provide all pupils with a safe environment in which to make mistakes and build confidence in oracy and presentation skills.
All pupils should move into secondary education equipped with the foundation skills required for further study of Spanish and the generic language learning skills and confidence to begin to study a new foreign language. We hope that we will have fostered a positive attitude towards language learning not only amongst our pupils, but equally importantly, in our wider school community so that pupils are encouraged and appropriately supported in their further study of foreign languages.
Linguist of the Week
Our pupils are extremely enthusiastic when it comes to Spanish and we felt it was important to raise the profile and celebrate success of our progress each week.
To celebrate success, during our Celebration Collective Worship on a Friday, a Linguist of the week is chosen. One person from the whole of school is recognised for their effort in Spanish sessions. It is always a special achievement recognised by all the pupils and staff at Oswald’s!