Modern Foreign Languages
Modern Foreign Languages
At Bridgelea we are linguists! We want our children to love learning languages. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be able to speak different languages, use their skills to communicate with others in their communities and future jobs and communicate with people if they go on holiday. We want them to embody our nature principles. As our children grow up and transition into different parts of their lives these skills will be useful.
The modern foreign languages curriculum has been carefully crafted to give children the key vocabulary in which they need to communicate. Developing language and communication skills for our children is vital and we want our children to remember their modern foreign languages lessons in our school, to cherish these memories and embrace the culture they are introduced to. As well as learning the language, we aim to build confidence in a safe space and increase awareness of other cultures.
The modern foreign languages curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient – like all curriculum areas.
We want to equip them with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. For example, our children will be able to order food in a restaurant in Spanish or tell someone how they are feeling. The children learn specific words that will allow for them to have conversations with others in Spanish.
We want our children to use the vibrancy of our great city to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, co-operate with one another and appreciate what they have. We achieve this by providing a strong SMSC curriculum, with British Values and our core values placed at the heart of everything we do. This often feeds into the modern foreign languages curriculum as we are introducing a new culture to our children.
In September 2021, a complete audit of the modern foreign languages curriculum was conducted. On the back of the findings from this audit, the curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each year group, crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills.
Within each year group, topics are revisited in a progressive manner. For example, children will learn the vocabulary for feelings and body parts in isolation initially and then progress by the end of year 6 to being able to say how they feel by combining the two together. The carefully planned curriculum enables pupils to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing focused on practical communication.
Pupils are taught as part of the National Curriculum 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 clearly
- 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
Our language curriculum is taught by a fluent speaker of the language who are working with the staff team to enhance their skills of teaching modern foreign languages whilst providing a high-quality curriculum offer to our children. Teaching is delivered in two steps. The first step is that the vocabulary is introduced and delivered by a fluent Spanish speaker. All children and staff will access this in the class to support staff subject knowledge. The second step is the class team follows this up with a lesson in the following week to help the children remember and apply the vocabulary introduced in the previous week. Following the guidance on teaching languages, we have implemented Spanish phonics in the form of the alphabet sounds at the start of each lesson.
Bridgelea is a nurture school and we strive to ensure children’s learning is understood developmentally. As a school, we have invested in a resource called Linguscope which supports progression of skills in Spanish however, this resource is highly differentiated to ensure the teaching of Spanish reflects the needs of different children in school.
The assessment milestones for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down for each year group. This means that knowledge and skills in modern foreign languages are progressive and build year on year.
Our staff use a range of tools including quizzes, observations, discussions with pupils to systematically assess what the children understand as the topic progresses and inform their future planning against the National Curriculum objectives. These assessments then inform summative assessment judgments for each topic.