Modern Foreign Languages
“You live a new life for every language you speak. If you only know one language you only live once.” – Czech proverb
At St Dennis Primary Academy, we agree that learning a new language opens doors to new worlds. Our languages curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, provide first-hand learning experiences, allow the children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become confident reading and speaking another language.
Learning a different language
- Encourages curiosity about and respect for other cultures
- Encourages children to find enjoyment in learning another language before they reach an age where they may be inhibited, embarrassed, or intimidated by apparent difficulty
- Provides opportunities for singing, games and group work
- Provides opportunities for cooperative circle activities
- Provides an equal playing field in which all children start from the same point
- Provides enjoyment, pride and a sense of achievement
- Enables children to explore and apply strategies to improve their learning
Our MFL curriculum, is designed to progressively develop children’s skills in languages, through weekly taught lessons and by following the Chris Quigley milestones. Children learn French in Years 3 and 4 and Spanish in Years 5 and 6. Spanish is taught by a native Spanish speaking teacher. They learn a wide range of vocabulary in each of these languages, ensuring that they have the building blocks in place to take them on to their next school.
Children progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary organised around topics. Learning incorporates a range of active and verbal lessons with a smaller focus on written work. Children are encouraged to engage in games and activities to strengthen their learning. All of these approaches help to equip our children with the skills to be confident global citizens.
Our languages curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is sequenced to demonstrate progression in knowledge, skills and vocabulary. Children develop their confidence in speaking a foreign language and become more willing to engage in whole class, group and independent activities.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Formative assessing of children’s understanding of topic (including vocabulary) before, during and after a unit is taught through a range of methods including mind maps, KWL grids and low stake quizzes
- Summative assessment through on-going learning and Proof of Progress tasks to assess whether understanding of milestones is basic, advancing or deep
- Images and videos of the children’s practical learning
- Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice)
- Annual reporting to parents of standards across the curriculum
Children are assessed informally during lessons to evaluate what they have learned. For each year group there are some learning objectives to reach. Children will have at the end of each term the opportunity to reflect on their own progress by self-assessing their work.
How does learning a language promote British Values?
Collaborative work in language lessons develops mutual respect for the differing opinions, beliefs and abilities of others. In addition, children learn to appreciate the value of similarities and differences and learn to show tolerance. A variety of experiences teaches them to appreciate that all people, and their views, are equally important.
Our languages curriculum provides a basis for teaching and learning about other cultures, and this is incorporated into many areas of the curriculum including personal and social education and citizenship, geography, religious education, design and technology, music, art and dance. We ensure that learning across the curriculum includes a ‘flavour’ of the countries where the focus language is spoken.
The five fundamental British values are interwoven into the languages curriculum, in particular how they relate to culture of the countries in which French and Spanish are spoken and the similarities and differences to life in Britain.
Outside of School
For children who wish to continue this learning at home, there are a range of websites, some of them free, which contain games and activities that will allow children to practise and develop their language skills and extend their vocabulary in the language of their choice.