“You live a new life for every language you speak. If you only know one language, you only live once.” Czech proverb
At Freshfield, we value the many languages spoken in our school community. We have a strong focus on effective communication throughout our curriculum, which extends to our Modern Foreign Languages curriculum. Our approach to teaching Spanish is underpinned by an understanding that learning one language opens the doors to learning others. By learning languages, we encourage children to broaden their horizons and appreciate the fact that they are global citizens. We seek to empower our children for their future where living, working or travelling abroad may require the confidence and skill to communicate in another language.
Pupils begin learning Spanish in Early Years, with early exposure to the language through songs and rhymes. They become familiar with the sounds of the language and some basic words and phrases.
Pupils in Key Stage One and Two enjoy a weekly Spanish lesson lasting between 30 and 45 minutes (15 minutes for Nursery and Reception children). Our teachers are supported by a specialist, native Spanish Teacher from Liverpool School Improvement who uses high-quality resources to plan and teach engaging lessons.
In Spanish lessons, our children practise four key skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. They also make meaningful links to grammar and the similarities and differences between English and Spanish sentence structures. As well as learning the language itself, our children explore different Spanish-speaking cultures to develop their intercultural understanding. Spanish lessons are very popular at Freshfield – our children hugely enjoy learning memorable songs and rhymes. By the end of Key Stage Two, our children relish the chance to have conversations and write in Spanish based on their learning in class.
Modern Foreign Language teaching at EYFS/KS1 teaching largely focuses on speaking and listening and should provide the first steps for language learning, preparing children for study at KS2. It should expose children to the sounds and patterns of a foreign language by listening to and joining in with stories and songs. Lessons should be interactive and based on familiar routines and topics. At this stage in children’s development the focus will be on harnessing their ability to imitate pronunciation accurately. It will also establish conventions for future language lessons such as following instructions, taking turns, using gesture and body language, speaking clearly and audibly, and maintaining eye contact. It should foster an enjoyment and interest in languages.