Pupils begin learning Spanish in Key Stage 2, with weekly lessons throughout the year. Our MFL lead has created an engaging and relatable curriculum, which is broken into progressive, meaningful steps with opportunities for review. Songs, rhymes and familiar stories are used regularly in all Spanish lessons to ensure that children have a wide exposure to known and new vocabulary, with emphasis on pronunciation. Additionally, phonics sessions are embedded within each lesson – these are progressive throughout the years and allow children to approach Spanish-speaking activities with confidence and increasingly accurate pronunciations.
All lessons are planned and delivered to build upon the key cornerstones of language development: phonics, vocabulary and grammar. Learning is broken into small steps, which are explicitly modelled, continuously practised and intentionally reviewed to ensure that over-time pupils develop a fluent recall from their long-term memory. Children are taught about specific grammatical structures and rules, which allow them to acquire a better understanding of Spanish as a new language. Grammar rules are taught in an organised sequence and constantly reviewed to enable them to become a more natural process in the development of children’s language skills. To further emphasise the importance of grammar and vocabulary, meaningful comparisons are made between the similarities and differences in English and Spanish.
At St John & St James children approach Spanish lesson with enthusiasm and love celebrating their learning in class floorbooks, weekly school newsletters and with their parents and carers, via Seesaw. Pupils relish the chance to rehearse and perform conversations, and use their acquired language skills and knowledge to generate language for a range of purposes.
Our Spanish Ambassadors at St John & St James play a vital role in developing the whole school’s cultural understanding of the Spanish language – they use our school newsletter to share weekly key words, phrases and facts about Spanish speaking countries across the globe.
Our specialist Spanish teacher regularly assesses children’s progress in Spanish lessons, through listening to children’s spoken communications and evaluating their application in a range of different contexts.
At the end of each unit, the children complete a ‘Test It’ to assess their knowledge of phonic awareness, grammar and key vocabulary. The outcome of all assessment opportunities is assessed against the criteria set out by Hackney Education’s scheme of work, which is an ongoing document that is updated throughout the year. The children also complete the summative assessment tasks that are set out in the Hackney Education scheme of work at various checkpoints throughout the year.
Through Years 3 to 6, the pupil’s work is collated each lesson – examples are displayed and celebrated in class floorbooks and on shared area displays, whilst speaking and listening activities are recorded and uploaded to each child’s Seesaw journal. Additionally, knowledge recalls are used at the beginning of every Spanish lesson across Key Stage 2; this enables prior learning to be reinforced and ensures that any misconceptions are addressed as soon as possible.
The pupils are also encouraged to take part in self and peer-assessment opportunities against specific assessment criteria to encourage them to reflect on their own strengths and next steps.