Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.
Languages Curriculum Statement
At Lindfield Primary Academy, we want to prepare our children for life as citizens of a global community. By introducing our children to different languages at an early age (Spanish in KS1 and French in KS2), we want to spark the children’s interest in languages and develop their understanding of other cultures in the world around them. We also want to provide our children with foundational listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in another language to strengthen their ability to communicate with others and open future opportunities to learn further languages and study/work abroad.
Our Academy follows the programmes of study from the 2014 National Curriculum which specifies what to teach in each Key Stage. From this, our engaging curriculum map promotes a cross-curricular and creative approach to language learning. Our topics and other subjects provide meaningful and relevant contexts and opportunities for regular language learning.
Our Curriculum Intent for Languages
With these aspirations, our INTENT for the Languages curriculum is for children at Lindfield Primary Academy to be able to communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing in another language. During their time at Lindfield Primary Academy, all children will develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills so that they can:
- 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
- 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.
How we will IMPLEMENT our Intentions
Lindfield Primary Academy follows a Languages scheme of work offered by the Primary Languages Network which cultivates and progresses children’s language learning through engaging games, songs, stories and activities. Lessons are designed to provide children with opportunities for listening, speaking, reading and writing with a focus on building key vocabulary and phrases around familiar everyday situations and contexts. Accompanying native speaker audio helps develop the accuracy of each child’s pronunciation. In order to consolidate the children’s language learning, especially the acquisition of new vocabulary, we use cross-curricular opportunities to provide regular practice for language retrieval and use in meaningful and relevant contexts.
Each year, we also celebrate the European Day of Languages. A special assembly is held to inspire our children and to celebrate the different languages spoken within our Academy, across Europe and the wider world. During the day, all children have the exciting opportunity to experience learning a new language or to take part in a language-based activity. Parents and carers, who are native speakers, are also invited into the Academy to enrich the children’s language learning by encouraging the use of practical conversational skills, reading stories, teaching traditional songs or sharing information about another culture.
In addition to classroom language learning, the Academy’s after-school provision also includes weekly French and Spanish clubs run by an external company, La Jolie Ronde.
We are also in the process of fostering a closer link with the nearby secondary school to ensure that our children have the necessary linguistic foundations to support the study of modern languages at Key Stage 3 and ensure a smooth transition.
Recently, thirty Year 3 and Year 4 children joined Miss Vallance for a fun Languages enrichment lesson in French.
First, the children listened to the story of ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ in French (‘La Chenille Qui Fait des Trous’). They showed their understanding by joining in with actions.
Next, the children practised reading and speaking some familiar French vocabulary (‘days of the week’, ‘numbers’ and ‘food’), then learned some new words in French. Do you know the French word for ‘caterpillar’ or ‘lollipop’?
Finally, the children thought about the story and wrote their own fabulous sentences in French!
La Jolie Ronde has been introducing languages into primary schools for over 25 years and offers a unique, structured and proven programme for children aged 3-11 years old which complements and enhances languages taught in the curriculum and provides a good grounding for future language learning. At this young age, children have an amazing ability to quickly pick up a foreign language.
We recently won the award for “Best National Activity for 5-12 years olds” for the 4th year in a row as voted for by parents in the What’s on 4 awards.
The programme is designed to enhance the children’s learning skills and to challenge them, in order for them to excel at the language and develop their language skills to the highest level possible.
- An authentic accent for the children to pick up
- Small classes with children of similar age
- Conversation, grammar, games, role-plays, songs and stories
- Awareness of the foreign country, its geography and culture
- Weekly feedback on children’s progress and a termly newsletter
- Certificates on completion of the course.