Learning hero image graphic


at Didsbury CE Primary School

Learning a language helps to equip pupils with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life and it encourages pupils to appreciate and celebrate difference (Ofsted, 2021). At Didsbury CE, we are committed to ensuring that competence in another language enables children to interpret, create and exchange meaning within and across cultures. Spanish is the second most widely spoken language globally in terms of native speakers so proficiency in Spanish opens up a world of opportunity for our pupils.

We provide a Modern Foreign Language curriculum that is an opportunity for children to learn Spanish in a creative way that promotes enjoyment and love of languages and develops their understanding of not only Spanish but the English language also.  We believe that children should learn to listen, speak, read and write in Spanish in Key Stage Two through exciting and engaging lessons.

During their time at Didsbury CE, we believe that children should have a range of language experiences.  Consequently, the children will have the opportunity to become increasingly proficient and confident at:

  • listening attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
  • exploring the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
  • engaging in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help
  • speaking in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures
  • developing accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases
  • presenting ideas and information orally to a range of audiences
  • reading carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
  • appreciating stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language
  • broadening their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
  • writing phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas
  • clearly describing people, places, things and actions orally and in writing Languages
  • understanding basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied

Addressing social disadvantage (A curriculum for life for all)

In a recent survey by National Association of Language Advisors (NALA, 2020), the following barriers to language learning were highlighted:

  • Questions about holidays, family relationships, descriptions of a student’s house, restaurant visits, and live events were potentially problematic for vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils.
  • Questions often mistakenly assume that students have “cultural capital”.
  • Poor literacy skills are a barrier for some students

Many children at Didsbury CE have the opportunity to visit foreign countries, take cultural day trips, eat out at restaurants or live with a stable family unit, however, we are aware that this may not be the case for all of our pupils. Therefore, it is vital our Modern Foreign Languages curriculum ensures social disadvantages, ethnicity or disability do not impact a child’s ability to thrive in their languages education. A curriculum that motivates, engages and allows all to achieve needs to be intellectually challenging and meaningful (NALA, 2020). In light of the research by NALA, below are some of the ways we are addressing disadvantages amongst our pupils:

  • Biannual Spanish culture day.
  • Adapting the scheme of work resources to meet the needs of our classes, for example including a variety of family units such as step-parents, grandparents as parents, same-sex parents, aunts and uncles as parents, etc.
  • Avoid content centred around personal experiences and provide a stimulus to scaffold learning. For example, photographs of a room with a selection of furniture for children to learn the names of rather than writing about what is in their home (potentially, some children may lack the same items as their peers which may cause, disengagement, anxiety or embarrassment).
  • Scaffolded sheets, vocabulary mats and word classes support low attaining children, particularly those who are working below age-related expectations in literacy.
  • Ensure children with SEND have the opportunity to attend and take part in Spanish lessons. Materials adapted to their individual needs.
  • Enrichment opportunities such as visiting local Spanish restaurants and linking opportunities with a school in Spain.

Curriculum endpoints

The impact of this Spanish curriculum is that children will begin their lives as foreign language speakers with confidence and should lay the foundations for further foreign language teaching at Key Stage 3. It should enable pupils to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing, focused on familiar and routine matters, using their knowledge of phonology, grammatical structures and vocabulary.

Children in Key Stage 2 complete a half-termly assessment task consisting of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Children are assessed against the skills taken from Primary Languages and the DfE attainment targets before being recorded on the 1-5 school tracker. Their achievements in Spanish are reported formally to parents at the end of each academic year.  The progress of each child will be tracked throughout their time at Didsbury CE Primary.

Curriculum planning and sequencing 

At Didsbury CE, formal Spanish lessons start in Key Stage 2 and are taught by the class teachers utilising the Primary Languages Network scheme of work through weekly discrete lessons. The topics begin with basic greetings and progress to extended writing and speaking. In EYFS and Key Stage One, children are exposed to Spanish songs and key phrases during carpet time in preparation for language learning in Key Stage Two. They learn phrases such as, ‘buenos dìas – good morning’, ‘estoy aquì – I am here’ or ‘feliz Navidad – happy Christmas’ and use them during registration. Children also learn simple songs such as nursery rhymes, seasonal songs or daily routine songs in EYFS. However, Spanish is not taught as a discrete subject. 

The skills taught are influenced by Primary Languages scheme of work and attainment targets provided by the DfE. New skills are introduced often and children have the opportunity to practise these alongside existing skills through a spiral curriculum approach, this ensures children have the chance to revise previous learning before moving forward. For example, in the Autumn term, Years 3 to 6 follow a similar theme of daily life. This begins with simple greetings and introductions in Year 3. Year 4 builds on this by introducing a friend and learning about school subjects. Year 5 develops this further by learning about feelings and giving opinions on school subjects. Finally, Year 6 concludes this skill by learning how to tell the time and complete a ‘day in the life’ activity which uses all the skills previously learned.

grass background layer