Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) in the National Curriculum
MFL became a statutory part of the National Curriculum in September 2014. It states:
'The teaching should focus on enabling pupils to make substantial progress in one language. It should provide an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and should lay the foundations for further foreign language teaching at key stage 3.'
MFL at Pudsey Waterloo
All children in years 3 – 6 participate in a weekly session of Spanish lasting between 30 and 45 minutes. This builds up to about an hour per week with a range of shorter activities, e.g. songs/ greetings on a daily basis.We follow the ‘Jolie Ronde’ language scheme and, where appropriate, use books and ICT to research the Spanish culture. Most lessons begin with paired dialogues, which enable children to develop fluency with familiar phrases and then extend their conversations with more recently acquired knowledge. (see videos) The children undertake a range of activities focusing particularly on speaking and listening skills with the addition of reading and writing skills when appropriate. Children are enthusiastic about their learning and many initiate conversations in Spanish at every opportunity both in and out of the classroom.
MFL in Year 3
Year 3 are introduced to Spanish through greetings and simple sentences, such as giving details about themselves: name, age and where they live. They learn colours, instructions, numbers to at least ten, food items, days of the week and months of the year. As well as the relevant vocabulary, they learn key phrases to begin building sentences.There are also opportunities to compare and contrast Christmas and Easter festivities in England and Spain. Children undertake a range of activities including paired dialogues, songs, games and they hear simple stories in the native language. A particular favourite is 'The Hungry Caterpillar.'
MFL in Year 4
The Year 4 curriculum further develops what the children have learned in Year 3. New topics include parts of the body, zoo animals, pets and family members. Topics such as colours and numbers (up to 20) are revisited as well as the introduction of other adjectives to describe objects, people and animals. Children particularly enjoy the opportunity to create their own monster and describe it using written phrases. They begin to see how adjectives are used in Spanish- following the noun rather than preceding it.
MFL in Year 5
Year 5 children consolidate the work covered in previous years, adding new topics such as hobbies, transport and weather. Familiar key phrases, e.g. 'Me gusta...' ('I like...') are revisited using a different word bank. Children begin to extend their sentences using connectives to join ideas and link sentences.
MFL in Year 6
In Year 6, children learn names of places in the town and create dialogues asking where they are and following simple directions. They learn to read analogue times to the quarter of an hour, add to previously learned hobbies vocabulary and begin to look at the simple future tense to say what they are going to do. They revisit numbers and learn multiples of ten, enabling them to form all numbers to one hundred.
Current learning: September - December 2017
Year 3 begin their learning in Spanish by being introduced to numbers and simple greetings. They learn how to ask and respond to questions about how they are feeling and their name and age. They are also introduced to simple commands in Spanish asking them to 'look', 'listen' and 'repeat'. As well as playing games to reinforce the language, the children learn songs and participate in role play situations. Towards the end of the term, the children move on to talking about colours and their favourite colours.
In year 4, children begin by revising topics covered in the Year 3 programme of work. Following this, they use a 'monster' story to introduce facial features and some simple adjectives, e.g. large, small, pointed. This also introduces them to the concept of gender.They continue with the theme of parts of the body and begin to create short sentences to describe people and monsters. Towards the end of the term, the children listen to the story, 'A Trip to the Zoo' and learn vocabulary and key phrases about zoo animals- useful preparation for their forthcoming trip to Chester Zoo!
Year 5 begin the year by revising key topics from Years 3 and 4. After this they learn the names of family members and describe their own family- including numbers of brothers and sisters. They participate in the role play activity, 'At the Airport', to practise this vocabulary. The next unit introduces vocabulary and key phrases to describe pets, enabling the children to extend their description of their family- which they complete in oral and written forms. They are also introduced to the main rules about making words plural.
Following revision of work covered so far in Key Stage 2, Year 6 children learn the names of buildings on the high street and use simple directional vocabulary to describe where they are, e.g. on the left, on the right. They combine this learning with a revision of the use of adjectives in Spanish. They participate in role play dialogues, asking where a particular place is and responding to the question. This work then extends into talking about different times of day and briefly introducing reading the time.
As Christmas approaches, all children will have the opportunity to learn Christmas carols and perhaps participate in a role- play. They will study how Christmas and the New Year are celebrated in Spain and will compare and contrast these festivities with those in England.
MFL in the Pudsey Family of Schools
A network has been set up in the Pudsey Family of Schools to create opportunities for children to work with other primary children and students in the local secondary schools. We are currently in the planning stages of several shared activities.