Modern Foreign Languages
It is our intention for the foreign language curriculum taught at WRPS to inspire a curiosity about the world and its diverse peoples - their cultures and languages - in all of our pupils, which will remain with them throughout their lives. We aim to offer a relevant, broad, vibrant and ambitious Spanish foreign languages curriculum that will inspire and excite our pupils using a wide variety of topics and themes. All pupils will be encouraged to achieve their full potential by provision of high expectations and excellent standards in their foreign language learning. We aim for pupils to feel willing and able to continue studying languages beyond key stage 2.
At WRPS we want all of our pupils to acquire new language knowledge whilst developing and strengthening links to prior learning. The four key language learning skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing will be taught and all necessary grammar will be covered in an age-appropriate way across the primary phase. This will enable pupils to use and apply their learning in a variety of contexts, laying down solid foundations for future language learning and also helping the children improve in their overall attainment in other subject areas.
We endeavour to provide all of our pupils with opportunities to explore and appreciate the wider world and its peoples, allowing them to develop their language skills in an exciting way. Opportunities are planned which enrich our pupils’ spiritual, moral, cultural and social development, as part of our whole-school GRACE values. This includes special assemblies and a celebration of European Day of Languages.
The intent is that all pupils will develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages, finding them enjoyable and stimulating. Learning a second language will also offer pupils the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them with a better awareness of self, others and cultural differences. The intention is that they will be working towards becoming life-long language learners.
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in foreign languages, we implement a progressive curriculum throughout the school. The WRPS foreign languages curriculum builds on pupils’ prior knowledge, understanding and skills as the children progress through Key Stage 2.
All classes will have access to a high-quality Spanish foreign language curriculum based upon a ‘Language Angels’ scheme of work and augmented with a variety of resources. This plan will progressively develop pupil skills in foreign languages through regularly-taught and well-planned weekly lessons in Y3, Y4, Y5 and Y6 which will be taught by a native-speaking Specialist Language Teacher.
Our Specialist Language Teacher uses effective modelling when delivering lessons. Children will progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary, language skills and grammatical knowledge, organised around age-appropriate topics and themes. Blocks of knowledge are built in developing pupils’ ability to acquire more complex, fluent and authentic language skills.
The teaching of foreign languages at Withycombe utilises Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction (2010). The four strands (Reviewing Material, Questioning, Explaining and Modelling and Practising) suggested by Rosenshine are embedded throughout the curriculum, helping children to avoid overload of their short-term memories and to make connections to prior learning. This allows children to develop their own schema, committing learning to their deep processing and semantic memory. Whenever possible and suitable, our History lessons begin with a ‘review’ activity which encourages children to retrieve and recall their prior learning, vocabulary, skills and/or knowledge. This is carefully thought-out and designed by teachers, allowing them to draw upon previous successes and content (whether in the previous lesson, the previous week, the previous term or the previous year), preparing children for what they are about to learn in the current teaching session. We are also careful not to overload children’s thinking by presenting them too much content in one session; using a small steps approach ensures that children can fully understand and access their learning.
Lessons include ‘assessment for learning’ opportunities and effective, differentiated questioning. Pupils are regularly given the opportunity for self / peer review which informs the teacher’s planning and preparation, including any scaffolding and differentiation required. The language teacher will know where every child is at any point in their learning journey and will be able to provide clear expectations about what pupils should know and be able to do by the end of each teaching unit: our termly ‘end points’.
The planning of different levels of challenge and which units to teach at each stage of the academic year will be addressed dynamically and will be reviewed in detail annually as units are updated or added to the scheme of work.
Lessons offering appropriate levels of challenge and stretch for more able pupils will be taught at all times to ensure pupils learn effectively at their own ability, continuously building their knowledge of and enthusiasm for Spanish.
In addition, the children will be taught how to look up and research information about languages; they will have a bank of reference materials / knowledge organisers to help them with their spoken and written tasks going forward. This bank of reference materials will develop into a reference library to help pupils recall and build on previous knowledge throughout their primary school language learning journey.
The principles of Cognitive Load Theory are used to support children in their ability to know more and remember more, allowing for efficient learning.
his is achieved through using teaching and methods which include:
Measuring existing subject knowledge and confidence so as to adapt subsequent teaching accordingly;
Merging together multiple sources of visual and auditory information whenever possible, including video clips of Spanish speakers;
Extending the capacity of working memory by using both visual and auditory channels;
The use of Spanish knowledge organisers which detail some key vocabulary, grammar and phonics.
We ensure that the status and importance of foreign languages as a subject is recognised in WRPS and that appropriate links to the wider school curriculum are made. In order to achieve this, pupils are provided with opportunities to practise their language skills throughout the week by class teachers to consolidate knowledge and ensure language is retained. Examples of this include, communicating basic classroom instructions, taking the register and daily greetings. We also have celebration days such as European Day of Languages, along with celebration assemblies to further enrich the pupils’ learning experiences within the foreign languages curriculum.
Classroom displays are educational and immersive, helping to create a rich learning environment, focused on language learning.
The Specialist Teacher and Subject Lead deliver effective CPD in staff meetings, meaning that all teachers can to continue to develop their language knowledge. CPD includes: providing videos on basic classroom instructions, taking the register and greetings to ensure that teachers have the confidence and knowledge to reinforce languages throughout the school day.
We aim for all pupils to make outstanding progress from their own starting point in Year 3. We aspire that all pupils leaving WRPS are equipped with: Spanish language skills, vocabulary and sufficient knowledge in speaking, listening to, reading, writing and grammar. This will provide them with a strong foundation for successfully learning languages at the next stage of their education.
In fostering a love of language learning, pupils will be encouraged to undertake new life experiences, both now and in the future and have a greater understanding of and readiness for life as a global citizen.
We want all pupils to thoroughly enjoy languages and be enthusiastic and passionate about their learning. This will be evidenced through pupil voice as well as the quality of work in their books.