Statement of intent

At Poppleton Road Primary School we believe that learning a foreign language constitutes an essential part of a child’s instruction. In a world where inter connection at a global level is a main feature, learning a language becomes a key skill within a context of growing competition and specialisation. But that is just at a professional level. On a personal level it contributes positively open their minds to other cultures and ways of thinking, finding other ways of expression and interaction between individuals.

Considering all we have stated above, it only makes sense that the language preferred by our school has been Spanish. First, because it is becoming more and more relevant around the world both, with a number of native speakers greater than English at the moment. Second, this growth in the number of speakers reflects on the economy and the business world, making it an asset for those who can actually use it. Third, the Spanish speaking world is gaining a bigger presence in culture, which obviously attracts people’s attention towards its learning. And last, but not least, it’s a beautiful and rich language with a fascinating cultural world behind it.

Our aim: to introduce the basics of Spanish language to ensure some degree of understanding in both its written and spoken forms, as well as the development of basic but solid communication skills.

What is taught in Spanish?

Phonics: a main aim is to make sure that children understand how different Spanish is from English phonetically. Being able to identify these distinctive features and to produce these sounds accurately and independently. We dedicate a great deal of time to achieve this end.
Conversation: a key ability in any language. We think that languages are primarily tools for communication more than anything else and it is very important to ensure that children acquire basic, but robust, practice in conversation in an everyday life situation.
Grammar: we know that this is the most abstract and uninspiring aspect in any language, but we must admit that we cannot learn properly without it. Given the limited amount of time we have for learning Spanish, grammar is always kept at a very practical level, avoiding theoretical expositions whenever is possible.
Syntax: Spanish has the benefit of not being that different to English in the way we organise the sentences but, still, there are differences and these must be fully understood during the learning process.
Reading: we use a wide range of texts ranging from short descriptions and dialogues, to short stories and books. Always within the range of our possibilities and time available to us.
Listening: children are exposed to songs, rhymes, clear spoken Spanish language from Spain as well as the Spanish-American strains of the language. This plays a key role in cultural understanding, showing the varied and rich cultural background of all the people who use Spanish around the world.
Writing: we like presenting the written form of the language in the shade of its spoken side. Unlike English, Spanish is written as it is spoken in the most part of it. This becomes relevant when we can use one skill to reinforce the other in a meaningful and clear way.

When are specific skills and knowledge taught?

Speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, short phrases, and basic language structures.
Develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases.
Develop aural discrimination when listening to sounds, familiar words and short phrases, and sentences with basic structure.
Identify phonic sounds within syllables, single words, and short phrases.
Read single words with visual and kinaesthetic support.
Understand familiar expressions (e.g. greetings) within appropriate context (e.g. conversation).
Read and understand full sentences using familiar and topic language.

Name and describe people, places, and objects.
Speak in full sentences including topic vocabulary, some conjunctions, and adverbs.
Read and understand some sentences using familiar language and conjunctions.
Broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material.
Understand full sentences (e.g. descriptions, longer sentences) confidently.
Recognise familiar words and topic words within longer sentences, including.
Understand word order in a sentence.

Give a response using full sentences with certain structure with respect to a specific context.
Speak in full sentences including topic vocabulary, some conjunctions, and adverbs.
Use word banks, reading templates, and bilingual dictionaries confidently.
Write 2-3 short sentences on a familiar topic.
Understand word agreement independently.

Give instructions and make requests in compound sentences with correct word order.
Give a response using full sentences with certain structure with respect to a specific context (e.g. likes/dislikes, descriptions).
Write topic words from memory, and short sentences using a writing frame.
Write what they like/dislike about a familiar topic, applying different degrees.

Speak in full sentences including topic vocabulary, some conjunctions, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs conjugated in present tense.
Read and understand some sentences using familiar language including verbs in imperative form and conjugated in the present tense.
Write descriptive sentences with correct word order and word agreement.

How do we teach Spanish?

We use a varied range of resources and platforms to ensure high quality learning for all pupils.

  • Videos and songs
  • Ipads and computers
  • Books
  • Role-play games
  • Flashcards
  • Word banks and mats
  • Writing frames
  • Craftwork
  • Cross-curricular activities and topics
  • Books

Why do we teach Spanish?

Learning a language broadens one’s mind and contributes positively and directly to mutual understanding, cultural awareness, and personal growth. From my own experience as an individual, I can state that learning a foreign language helped me to appreciate other ways of being human, to see the world with bigger eyes, to improve as a person at all levels, to find new ways of expression and interaction.

By teaching Spanish, a language that is being demanded by an ever increasing number of countries, a language of communication, we offer the children the possibility to open new paths in the world and, subsequently, into their future.

Documents

National Curriculum – Languages