In September 2022, Chorlton C.E primary introduced the ‘Primary Languages Network’ scheme. This provides non-specialist class teachers with high quality language lessons, which include videos with a native speaker. The scheme meets our curriculum aims and intent perfectly - it is planned around the progression of pupils' knowledge in three areas: vocabulary, phonics and grammar. An engaging and highly motivating topic is used as the starting point for a block of lessons in each year group. The sequence of lessons then focuses on the vocabulary, phonics and grammar that will be taught week by week, with ample opportunities to build on what they already know, and practice applying new knowledge in different contexts. There is also a careful balance across the four strands of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Children in EYFS and KS1 classes have one short fifteen minute lesson per week, focusing on harnessing an early enthusiasm for language learning. In KS2 there is a weekly lesson with a duration of 45 - 60 minutes.
Our curriculum is carefully designed to ensure that pupils have the opportunity to understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources; speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation; write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt; and discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.
Children also have individual accounts for the Languagenut app, which they can use at home, and in school, to develop their Spanish skills.
Children's intercultural understanding of the Spanish speaking world is deepened through discreet lessons, and also through whole school events, displays and systems, such as every class having a dedicated Spanish speaking class which they learn about.
Pupil voice tells us that our pupils really enjoy learning Spanish at our school. Many refer to the lessons as 'fun and interesting' and they talk about enjoying the songs and role-play aspects of the lessons. Pupils in all year groups are able to talk about the value of learning a language in terms of travelling, meeting people from different places and careers. Outcomes in books, and in videos of oral presentations, evidence pupils' skills across the four strands of language learning: reading, writing, speaking and listening.
As they move through the school, pupils develop a deep knowledge and understanding in terms of the three pillars of language learning: vocabulary, grammatical awareness and phonics. This was recently demonstrated when our Year 5 pupils had a Spanish lesson at Chorlton High School during a transition visit with their class teacher. The teacher was blown away by their confidence and excellent grasp of the language. They were able to recall a wide breadth of vocabulary, demonstrate their grammatical understanding whilst sentence building, and also their phonological awareness by reading unknown words with correct pronunciation and intonation. In addition, when they were asked about countries other than Spain which have Spanish as their primary language, they were able to name nearly all of the Spanish speaking countries around the world.
When I see ex-pupils, and parents, they often tell me that they have chosen Spanish, and often an additional language, in their options at hight school. This demonstrates that our intent, of fostering a love of language learning in our pupils, has been realised.
The progression in skills document below, shows the stages of language learning that our pupils move through in Key Stage 2.