In Modern Foreign Languages at Gayhurst School, our aims are:
- to encourage enjoyment in language learning,
- to develop pupil’s confidence when communicating in both Spanish and French
- to inspire an appreciation of other cultures.
Pupils begin learning Spanish in Y1, when they are naturally imitating the sounds and patterns of the speech and language around them. French then commences in Y3. The interest and curiosity in foreign languages is stimulated through games, mime, rôle-play, action rhymes and songs, using a variety of engaging resources such as interactive digital activities, video clips and puppets to develop pupil confidence in simple speaking and listening.
From Y4 to Y6, the children benefit from interactive lessons in both languages. They continue developing listening and speaking skills focused on accurate pronunciation and also learn to read and write confidently, developing a growing understanding of grammar structures. Our schemes of work follow the aims of the National Curriculum. Our MFL teachers are all subject specialists.
Finding out about French and Spanish culture is an integral part of the language learning experience, helping pupils appreciate and respect different customs and traditions. The curriculum is enriched with exciting activities and trips. During KS2, a theatre company presents a French or Spanish play, engaging the children in lively audience participation. Year 5 visit the French Institute in London where they are immersed in a French environment for a day of language learning activities around a children’s film screening.
The highlight for Y6 is their cross curricular Summer residential week in France; in 2018, they will spend their residential in Paris. This provides an exciting opportunity to experience French life and culture through visits to bakeries and farms and also to use their communication skills at a market, gaining confidence and independence. They will also explore some of the sights of the city, including a boat ride on the River Seine. Previously, Y6s have experienced the fascinating culture of the Basque country, whilst building their Spanish skills and there are plans to repeat this successful tour.
By the end of KS2, Gayhurst pupils are confident learners in both French and Spanish, having gained some independent language learning strategies so that they are well prepared and enthusiastic to continue their language-learning journey in the next stage of their education at secondary school.