Spanish at St Mark's
'A high-quality language education should foster pupils' curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in other language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing.'
Our key aims:
- Understanding diverse cultures - similarities and differences
- Phonological awareness of the language
- Increasing confidence
Learning a language enriches the curriculum, helping to create enthusiastic learners and to develop positive attitudes to language learning throughout life. The skills, knowledge and understanding gained should contribute to the development of children's oracy and literacy to their understanding of their own culture and those of others, especially in a small rural community like Swanage.
At St Mark's we feel that the earlier a child is exposed to a foreign language, the faster the language in questions is acquired. We believe that the early acquisition of Spanish from year three will facilitate the learning of other foreign languages later in life. We aim to prepare children for the KS3 language curriculum to enable them to transfer confidently and successfully. Also, many studies have shown that language learning has a positive impact on achievement in other subjects as well as helping to improve thinking skills and memory abilities.
We teach Spanish across Key Stage 2. The school uses the 'Languages Online' to support the teaching and learning of Spanish. This provides clear progression for the development of speaking and listening and vocabulary acquisition. The children are also taught about phonological awareness in Spanish along with key grammatical concepts.
A variety of the following techniques is used to encourage children to have an active engagement in Spanish:
- Games - in order to develop vocabulary through repetition, reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
- Role-play - to increase confidence speaking the language.
- Action songs and rhymes - to develop phonetic skills, memory skills and to further vocabulary.
- Reading and writing through high quality materials.
- Confidence building - through praise for any contribution they make in the foreign language, however tentative.
- SEND children are present in lessons and are supported where necessary. The lesson content features a mix of songs, games and activities which are accessible and enjoyable.
Through the high quality first teaching of Spanish taking place, we will see the impact of the subject in the following ways:
- Children will be able to communicate with each other in Spanish.
- Children will become aware that a language has a structure, and that the structure differs from one language to another.
- Children will develop their language through development of the four key skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing.
- Children will enrich their language learning by developing an understanding of the culture of Spanish speaking countries.
- Children will learn how language skills can be applied to a range of languages.
- Children will become aware that the world is a small place and that language skills can be very useful for travelling and conducting business across a global market.