Modern Foreign Languages
Rationale behind teaching Modern Foreign Languages at St. Austin’s
We have taught Modern Foreign Languages at KS2 since 1999. From this date until Summer 2020 this was French; a traditionally taught language in England and spoken in over 40 countries worldwide.
From September 2020, the Headteacher and Governors took the decision to change the Modern Foreign Language taught to Spanish, meaning two members of KS2 staff were qualified to deliver lessons to pupils from Y3 to Y6. Spanish, spoken by over 450 million people worldwide, is the language taught at our local high school where the majority of our pupils transition.
The skills and grammar (such as sentence structure) learnt at KS2 will give a strong foundation for learning at KS3 and the experience of fun language learning inspires children to be enthusiastic language learners.
Our Spanish teaching builds from accurately copying and repeating vocabulary in year 3 to writing independently in year 6 using known structures and subject specific vocabulary.
The structure is in place for developing children’s language skills from Y3 to Y6. Transition is planned as follows: In the first year of teaching Spanish all children will follow the Y3 curriculum; in 2020/21 Years 4-6 will follow the Year 4 curriculum; in 2021/22 Years 5-6 will follow the Y5 curriculum which will lead to all children following their year’s curriculum by 2022/23.
Year 3: we introduce language with the basics. Colours, numbers, family. Year 3 focus is on the child, they learn to talk about themselves and basic grammar is introduced but not over-taught.
Year 4: building from the previous year, grammar is taught through widening the teaching to include other people in the family and learning the relevant pronouns. Simple opinions are introduced and the children are taught adjectives. The 3 bears story supports this learning.
Year 5: children learn to develop their opinions by explaining why they like/dislike things. Their basic vocabulary is built on through subjects such as weather, transport and holidays. They talk about themselves and their wider family.
Year 6: the focus shifts more to reading and writing and the vocabulary and grammar from years 3-5 is consolidated and applied. Grammar study is deeper and expectations are for the children to show greater independence in their work.
Culture is taught throughout the topics, linking where appropriate and relevant.
Our children’s work is recorded in Spanish books that move up with them through the school, clearly showing their progression in language learning.
Differentiation is through questioning and scaffolding; less confident learners are encouraged to share their ideas orally. Consolidation tasks are included for the LA linguists whereas challenge is given to those showing an aptitude for the subject.
Learning is assessed informally from lesson to lesson and progress recorded termly on in-house assessment grids and logged on Otrack. This data is then analysed by the subject leader and strengths and weaknesses identified.