Languages

 Intent 

High quality language education makes an essential contribution to the culture, wealth and well-being of the nation. 

At St. Sebastian’s, it is our intention to make learning a language accessible for all children, to raise their aspirations for future study and employment and to provide them with an opening to other cultures.   

The MFL curriculum in Key Stage Two aims to enable pupils to express ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers both in speech and in writing.  They will learn to communicate for practical purposes – asking questions, responding in sentences, clarifying, acquiring a bank of vocabulary and modifying Spanish phrases.  Being able to pronounce words properly is of central importance and being able to ‘sound’ Spanish is empowering. Phonic practice will feature regularly in lessons. 

Though we want our children to write in the language, being able to speak another language is what we ultimately want to claim they can do. They will develop accurate pronunciation and intonation when communicating orally or reading aloud.  When reading simple Spanish, children will show understanding of words and phrases.  They will learn to write phrases from memory and adapt them to express new ideas.  As they progress, children will be able to compose basic messages, letters and descriptions both orally and in writing.  Spelling and very simple grammar will be explored.   

Children will be given opportunities to appreciate simple stories, songs, poems and rhymes in Spanish.   It is our intention that children also learn to appreciate the culture, its literature and its traditions.  Links with other subjects, particularly music and the arts are made where possible to develop breadth. 

Within the school context, many of our children come from multi-lingual backgrounds making them better attuned to language acquisition.  For those socially disadvantaged pupils who come to school with limited language and communication in their mother tongue of English, learning another language is also observed to be beneficial for their development of  

memory, thinking skills, correct language structures and promoting interest in the exploration of words and their origins. 

Implementation 

Our Teaching Approach to MFL document details the approach to learning.  Expected outcomes in the four areas of LISTENING, SPEAKING, READING and WRITING, which all four classes will follow are detailed in the long-term progression document showing coherence in knowledge, skills and concepts.  Our example targeted narrative texts for each half term become more refined as children move up the school and give a clear indication of what we want our children to access, interpret and respond to in writing. We want children to be secure in what they know rather than race through a scheme, thus, content term by term will be recycled carefully.  

Our children recognise themselves in a multicultural school.  Pupils know more and remember more if they can relate to real world characters.  We interest them by getting to know Pedro from Madrid and Marta from Colombia through letters and emails - as this is a believable reason for communicating and creates a sense of narrative interest. 

A half termly sequence of teaching using the Rachel Hawkes materials will be initiated by a short narrative piece of targeted language.  Over subsequent weeks, sentences/phrases within the text will be unpicked and adapted with new vocabulary.  Key useful sentences should be placed firmly in children’s heads so that they have adaptable, concrete example structures to build on and manipulate.  Most learners will modify the initial text and the higher attainers will extend it.  Pupils will be given opportunities to listen to authentic sources for pronunciation and to test out the new sentence structures and vocabulary for themselves, speaking and listening, reading and writing similar sentences and short passages.   

There is a relentless focus on practising phonics within lessons.  Sharing a culture of error, where the teacher narrates how everyone is making progress together is fostered.  Collaborative activities which promote storing words and phrases within long term memory will be encouraged in lessons.  New vocabulary and structures learned within a lesson will be added to personal jotters and floor books.  Aspects of grammar are taught but not so explicitly – we will avoid saying, ‘This is a past participle,’ as we want to avoid cognitive overload.  

Children will be organised using Kagan structures to aid collaborative learning and discussion.  Basic classroom routine instructions will be given in Spanish.  Relevant reading sources will be provided to carry out research of the culture and traditions.  

Verbal feedback given will be focused on pronunciation skills and noted in teacher mark books.  Children will be given the time to retrieve previous learning, practise their skills, develop confidence and enjoyment in the subject.  

Assessment will take the form of reading aloud, speaking and responding to one another, writing certain things from memory, translating and dictation.  We want to measure if pupils can speak, read and spell words/phrases/sentences. 

SMSC  

Spiritual: Children are encouraged to accept and embrace other languages, cultures and traditions and to be empathic to the beliefs of others.   

Moral: Children are expected to show respect to others and challenge stereotypes where necessary.  MFL covers many moral issues in a global society context for children to reflect upon. 

Social: Children are encouraged to work proactively to use the target language in classwork, whether through pair work, co-operative learning techniques or group work.  They are urged to experiment with language and learn from mistakes without seeing them as a barrier to learning and embrace others that try but fail.  They are helped to use each other as a learning tool and to develop social strategies for positive interactions. 

Cultural: In all year groups, cultural development is at the forefront of success criteria.  Exploration of language and culture is key to MFL learning. This is promoted through cross curricular activities and exploration of historical, religious, geographical, social and ethical issues.  Pupils are encouraged to embrace ‘difference’ at all stages of their linguistic development and accept ideas which may be ‘alien’ to them, as culturally significant.  Technology is used to explore pupils’ interest in language and culture in many aspects of their learning. 

Impact 

Pupil Voice, floor books, oral and written evidence will be explored to determine: 

  • Whether children know more, understand more and remember more at an age-appropriate level.   
  • Attainment and application of key subject content both orally and in writing. 
  • Progress in key vocabulary pronunciation. 
  • Confidence to speak Spanish and ability to identify their own strengths and areas for development. 
  • Cultural knowledge and understanding. 
  • Enrichment received. 

Enjoyment of the subject. 

  • Floor books and pupils’ own jotter/vocabulary books will show: 
  • opportunities for practice and refinement of knowledge, skills and concepts. 
  • varied and engaging curriculum. 
  • developed and final pieces of work which showcase skills. 
  • clear progression of skills in line with expectations set out in the long-term progression document. 
  • skills across all four areas of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing are taught over time. 

Drop ins and evidence collected over time will show that pupils know more and remember more.  CPD, establishing clear intended outcomes and monitoring of standards will ensure outcomes at expected levels and that the impact of the curriculum is wide reaching and positive. 

 

Leadership and Management 

The subject leader's role is to empower colleagues to teach MFL to a high standard and support staff in the following ways: 

  • By keeping up to date on current issues; disseminating relevant information and providing training for staff members (either directly or through other professionals). 
  • Having a knowledge of the quality of MFL provision across the school and using this to provide a coaching and mentoring role. 
  • Identifying and acting on development needs of staff members. 
  • Monitoring expectations, provision and attainment across the school and providing feedback to develop practice further in order to raise standards. 
  • Providing necessary equipment and maintaining it to a high standard. 

 

Equality statement 

The Governors and staff are committed to providing the full range of opportunities for all pupils, regardless of gender, disability, ethnicity, social, cultural or religious background. All pupils have access to the curriculum, and the right to a learning environment, which dispels ignorance, prejudice or stereotyping

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St Sebastian's RC Primary School

Douglas Green (off Norfolk Street), Salford M6 6ET
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0161 921 1625
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