MFL at St Laurence's
Learning a Modern Foreign Language promotes enrichment, enjoyment, achievement and an understanding of the wider world. It promotes a positive attitude for other people’s languages and cultures.
End of Key Stage 2 Expectations
- Listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding.
- Explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words.
- Engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help.
- Speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, 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.
- Present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences.
- Read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing.
- Appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language.
- Broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary.
- Write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly.
- Describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing.
- Understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.
MFL Aims at St Laurence's
- understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
- 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
- can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
- discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.
By teaching MFL to children, they receive a wider education that is enriching and opens up the world to them. Spanish is one of the major languages spoken in the world and by giving children at primary level the opportunity to learn it they will understand that their world is a wider place made up of different languages and cultures. They understand that not everyone speaks the same language as them, has the same beliefs as them and so on thus developing positive differences between people.
St Laurence’s Catholic Primary school intends to use the Language Angels scheme of work and resources to ensure we offer a relevant, broad, vibrant and ambitious foreign languages curriculum that will inspire and excite our pupils using a wide variety of topics and themes.. All pupils will be expected to achieve their full potential by encouraging high expectations and excellent standards in their foreign language learning - the ultimate aim being that pupils will feel willing and able to continue studying languages beyond key stage 2.
The intent is that all content will be continuously updated and reviewed annually, creating a dynamic programme of study that will be clearly outlined in both long-term and short-term planning. This will ensure that the foreign language knowledge of our pupils progresses each academic year and is extended year upon year throughout the primary phase and, in so doing, will always be relevant and in line with meeting or exceeding national DfE requirements.
The four key language learning skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing will be taught and all necessary grammar will be covered in an age-appropriate way across the primary phase. This will enable pupils to use and apply their learning in a variety of contexts, laying down solid foundations for future language learning. In addition, the children will be taught how to look up and research language they are unsure of and they will have a bank of reference materials to help them with their spoken and written tasks going forward. This bank of reference materials will develop into a reference library to help pupils recall and build on previous knowledge throughout their primary school language learning journey.
The intent is that all pupils will develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages, finding them enjoyable and stimulating. Learning a second language will also offer pupils the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them. The intention is that they will be working towards becoming life-long language learners.
Language Angels is a resource used at St Laurence’s Catholic Primary School to help deliver a strong and broad curriculum through MFL lessons. It can be used by class teachers with or without any linguistic ability – ensuring brilliant and successful foreign language lessons are available to all pupils and deliverable by all teachers to ensure they are able to deliver a fully compliant foreign language curriculum.
Language Angels provides a clear linguistic and grammatical purpose. All lessons are based around interactive PowerPoints with the foreign language pre-recorded using a native speaker, which is fully controlled by the teacher. The pre-recorded target language provided ensures excellent pronunciation from the children.
All Language Angels units have a fantastic range of self-correcting, fun and stimulating interactive games, songs and raps to consolidate and help cement the new vocabulary learnt. Each lesson has its own printable lesson plan with timings and extension activities. In addition, detailed teacher support notes provide translations, language teaching explanations and slide-by-slide breakdowns of each PowerPoint as well as providing advice and hints and tips to ensure successful lessons.
The teaching methodology is based around whole class teaching and involvement. However, pupils in every class will not learn at the same pace and in the same way and because of this a variety of fun and challenging activities that are differentiated by task or outcome are provided. SEND children are able to join in with the whole lesson and be active participants. They may have more structures or supportive frames to help them achieve objectives, so that they can develop along with the other children in their class.
All classes will have access to a very high-quality foreign languages curriculum using the Language Angels scheme of work and resources. This will progressively develop pupil skills in foreign languages through regularly taught and well-planned weekly lessons in key Stage 2 which will be taught by class teachers. Children will progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary, language skills and grammatical knowledge organised around age-appropriate topics and themes beginning with the building blocks of language, before moving into more complex, fluent and authentic language.
The planning of different levels of challenge (as demonstrated in the various Language Angels Teaching Type categories) and which units to teach at each stage of the academic year will be addressed dynamically and will be reviewed in detail annually as units are updated and added to the scheme. Lessons offering appropriate levels of challenge and stretch will be taught at all times to ensure pupils learn effectively, continuously building their knowledge of and enthusiasm for the language(s) they are learning.
Language Angels categorise the units by ‘Teaching Type’ to make it easier for teachers to choose units that will offer the appropriate level of challenge and stretch for the classes they are teaching.
St Laurence’s Catholic Primary School has an overview of topics for each class to use throughout the year which serves as an overall ‘teaching map’, outlining for all teachers within the school what each class, in each year group will be taught and when it will be taught. Each teaching unit is divided into 6 fully planned lessons.
- Each unit and lesson will have clearly defined objectives and aims.
- Each lesson will incorporate interactive whiteboard materials to include ample speaking and listening tasks within a lesson.
- Lessons will incorporate challenge sections and desk-based activities that will be offered with three levels of stretch and differentiation.
- Reading and writing activities will be offered in all units. Some extended reading and writing activities are provided so that native speakers can also be catered for.
- Every unit will include a grammar concept which will increase in complexity as pupils move from Early Language units through to Intermediate units.
- Extending writing activities are provided to ensure that pupils are recalling previously learnt language and, by reusing it, will be able to recall it and use it with greater ease and accuracy. These tasks will help to link units together and show that pupils are retaining and recalling the language taught with increased fluency and ease.
Units are progressive within themselves as subsequent lessons within a unit build on the language and knowledge taught in previous lessons. As pupils progress through the lessons in a unit they will build their knowledge and develop the complexity of the language they use.
Pupil learning and progression will be assessed at regular intervals in line with school policy. Teachers will aim to assess each language skill (speaking, listening, reading and writing)
As well as each subsequent lesson within a unit being progressive, the teaching type organisation of Language Angels units also directs, drives and guarantees progressive learning and challenge. Units increase in level of challenge, stretch and linguistic and grammatical complexity as pupils move from Early Learning units through Intermediate units and into the most challenging Progressive units. Units in each subsequent level of the teaching type categories require more knowledge and application of skills than the previous teaching type. Activities contain progressively more text (both in English and the foreign language being studied) and lessons will have more content as the children become more confident and ambitious with the foreign language they are learning.
Early Learning units will start at basic noun and article level and will teach pupils how to formulate short phrases. By the time pupils reach Progressive units they will be exposed to much longer text and will be encouraged to formulate their own, more personalised responses based on a much wider bank of vocabulary, linguistic structures and grammatical knowledge. They will be able to create longer pieces of spoken and written language and are encouraged to use a variety of conjunctions, adverbs, adjectives, opinions and justifications.
Pupils will continuously build on their previous knowledge as they progress in their foreign language learning journey through the primary phase. Previous vocabulary will be recycled, revised, recalled and consolidated whenever possible and appropriate.
Teachers will have a clear overview of what they are working towards and if they are meeting these criteria. They will use the long-term planning documents provided in the form of Language Angels unit planners to ensure the correct units are being taught to the correct classes at each stage of the scholastic year. Short-term planning is also provided in the form of unit overviews (covering the learning targets for each 6-week unit) and individual lesson plans laying out the learning aims and intentions of each individual lesson within a unit. These planning documents ensure that teachers know what to teach and how to teach it in each lesson, across whole units and across each scholastic term.
Pupils will be aware of their own learning goals and progression as each unit offers a pupil friendly overview so that all pupils can review their own learning at the start and at the end of each unit. They will know and will be able to articulate if they have or have not met their learning objectives and can keep their unit learning intention sheets and unit core vocabulary sheets as a record of what they have learnt from unit to unit and from year to year.
The opportunity to assess pupil learning and progression in the key language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) and against the 12 DfE Languages Programme of Study for Key Stage 2 attainment targets is provided at the end of each 6-week teaching unit. This is given in the form of a detailed skills based assessment worksheet, which is split into the four key areas of language skills. These assessments help teachers and the subject leader determine children’s understanding of a unit and how to help them progress with their language learning journey.
In St Laurence’s Catholic Primary school, all children start their language journey together in Year 3 so everyone has the same starting point which can make all children feel equal. Learning a foreign language promotes self-confidence in our children as they gain a sense of achievement by being able to say something in another language, which ultimately fosters a positive attitude to learning a new language. They may even be able to use it on their next holiday, thus developing pride, self-confidence and a sense of achievement.
Spanish Day at St Laurence's
We had a Spanish themed day where we dressed in the colours of the Spanish flag, learnt about different cities in Spain and even had the chance to learn some flamenco dancing.