At Drighlington Primary School we believe that learning a second language offers children the chance to really appreciate another country, culture and people and develops their sense of being part of a global community. We believe that the ability to communicate in another language fosters aspiration and confidence and is a life-long skill for education, future employment and leisure in this country and throughout the world. Our curriculum gives children the skills they need to be successful in future language learning, encouraging them to use the skills and knowledge that they have developed in English lessons to be a ‘language detective’. Growth mindset skills are integral to this problem-solving way of working. We believe in the power of oracy, and as such Spanish lessons have a key focus on developing speaking and listening skills and upon Castillian pronunciation. Each unit focuses on phonics, key vocabulary and upon developing the ability of learners to effectively use core verbs in order that pupils are able to express themselves fluently in another language. Opportunities to develop cultural capital are planned for with a restaurant visit and writing letters to Spanish speakers. We learn Spanish because it is the fourth most spoken language in the world, offering children a wealth of opportunities to use their language in real life; this was agreed through consultation with families. According to the British Council (Language Trends 2022), Spanish is on track to be the most studied foreign language at GCSE by 2026, this is backed up by the fact that the majority of our feeder Secondary schools teach Spanish at KS3, thus our curriculum prepares our children for the future.
‘You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you only know one language, you live only once’ (Czech Proverb).
‘Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning a different way to think about things’ (Flora Lewis, Journalist specialising in international affairs).
Learning a foreign language provides an opening to other cultures, fosters children´s curiosity and deepens their understanding of the world. All children regardless of their background and ability are encouraged to develop their full potential in Spanish.
Our MFL curriculum is designed to develop not only our children’s language skills, but also their love of learning a language. It progressively develops language skills across Key Stage Two. This allows the children to acquire new language then use and apply it in a range of different scenarios and topics. Children are encouraged and supported to develop their speaking and listening skills through conversational work, singing activities and games. As their confidence and skill grows, children record their work through pictures, captions and sentences.
Lessons are sequenced so that prior learning is considered and opportunities for revision of language and grammatical concepts are built into lessons. Lessons help children to build on prior knowledge alongside the introduction of new skills.
All pupils feel engaged and enjoy learning Spanish within the context of the culture of the Hispanic world. Formal lessons in Spanish start in Y3; however we offer wider Spanish cultural experiences throughout school. Every year, we celebrate European Day of Languages by having a Spanish cultural day. We have our very own Spanish Champions who support the work of learning languages and promote the subject across school.
Have a look at our twitter feeds to see our children learning Spanish flamenco dancing.
Reception Classes enjoying paella as part of our cultural enrichment.
Our MFL curriculum will ensure all children develop key language learning skills set out by the national curriculum, as well as a love of languages and learning about other cultures. By the end of year six, our children understand and respond to spoken and written language. They 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. They can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learned. Through our curriculum and curriculum enrichment, they develop a passion and love of languages, as can be seen below:
In 2022, we introduced our Spanish Champions to Drighlington Primary. Each class, from Y2 to Y6, has 2 Spanish Champions who are responsible for promoting Spanish language use and a love of all things Spanish across school. Each week they attend a meeting, where they learn a key piece of Spanish vocabulary that they then take back to their classes to learn that week. The aim is for the vocabulary to be words that can be used frequently, thus promoting retention. We started with greetings and words that could be used for answering the register - if you are in school at registration, you will hear the children responding to the register in a variety of different ways. By far the most popular part of the role has been the opportunity for the champions to go and teach the vocabulary to our younger pupils; every week they teach a short lesson to our YN-Y1 pupils and they really are skilled at it!
Some of our older Spanish champions have taken the teaching a step further and have helped to run a Spanish extra curricular club for Y1. They worked with Mrs Abidi to design and teach mini lessons including vocabulary, songs and activities. We look forward to opening this up to more pupils in the future.
Every year we hold a Spanish day to raise the profile of our chosen language. This day is a promotion of Spanish language and Spanish culture. Every year we pick a different theme. In 2022 the theme was 'birthdays' or en Español 'cumpleaños'. We learned the birthday song in Spanish, made Spanish birthday cards for every member of the class and learned about birthday traditions in different Spanish speaking countries. This has been a highly successful theme as it has meant that we have been able to revisit the song and vocabulary every time we have celebrated a birthday and it has given a real purpose to making the birthday cards.
Spanish Summer Challenge
How you can help your child at home
Partnerships with parents and carers is an important part of Drighlington Primary School. Working closely with parents enables us to ensure parents feel confident that their child is safe, well looked and is receiving a high quality education during their school hours. The links below offer a range of resources that may also be useful to families:
Y4 Telling the time https://www.euroclub-schools.org/telling-the-time-spanish-song
Y4 Christmas https://www.euroclub-schools.org/christmas-songs
Y6 Food and Revision https://www.digitaldialects.com/Spanish.htm
General games https://www.pandatree.com/FreeLearningSpanishResources
Word reference dictionary https://www.wordreference.com/es/translation.asp?tranword=
Play some games https://www.lightbulblanguages.co.uk/resources-sp-pz.htm
Places to visit
Going to visit Spain or a Spanish speaking country is obviously the best way to practise the language. If you are lucky enough to visit Spain, you will find the local people really eager to help you speak Spanish and improve your pronunciation. Take lots of pictures of the vocabulary you see - shop names, menus etc which can then be shared and explored back in school.
There are still ways to practise your Spanish speaking skills, even in the UK:
- You could visit a local Spanish Restaurant and order your food in Spanish - there are lots in Leeds and even one in Morley https://leeds-list.com/food-and-drink/15-drool-inducing-tapas-restaurants-in-leeds/
- Have a look on the websites of Spanish restaurants or email them for a menu - reading the options in Spanish can be good practise and also give you some ideas for cooking Spanish meals at home.
- Have a Spanish themed meal night. Here is a link to CBeebies World Food recipe for Spanish Empanadas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kDE5VqvvK4 or try this very simple pan con tomate y aciete recipe from BBC Bitesize https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zv4d7sg/articles/z6knf4j
- You can also increase your knowledge of Spanish culture by visiting the YSP https://ysp.org.uk/ to appreciate the sculptures of Joan Miró (who the children study in their Y2 art topic). Take a look at what you might see there: https://ysp.org.uk/art-outdoors/joan-mir%C3%B3-figure
Further support and useful weblinks
Spanish stories to enjoy:
Play some Spanish word games:
Duolingo https://www.duolingo.com - Learn languages for free. Web or app.