Learning a foreign language should provide an opening to other cultures, encourage pupils’ curiosity and create a deeper understanding of the world.
To gain a deeper knowledge of a foreign language in KS2, we have chosen to teach and learn Spanish throughout the Junior School. We aim for our teaching to enable pupils to express their thoughts and ideas in another language and respond to others through speech and writing.
We believe that language teaching in KS2 should provide the foundations for pupils to learn further languages and giving inspiration for travel and working in other countries in the future. From September 2017, Year 3 through to Year 6 have been learning Spanish and it has been fantastic to see the progress! The children are now able to use a range of phrases and apply their knowledge in extended writing in a second language. We believe these language skills will give them the confidence to progress with their learning of other languages and building on their Spanish in high school.
We incorporate Spanish speaking into the daily routine through exercises such as taking the register and giving basic classroom commands in Spanish alongside weekly timetabled lessons.
We are creating a stimulating and cross-curricular approach to teaching and learning a modern foreign language using a mapped out curriculum to build on progress year by year.
Autumn 2 2019 – Christmas Around the World
December has been a busy month for MFL. We have been thinking about what Christmas is like in other countries. Not only does this help us with our geographical understanding but it also helps us to understand and appreciate cultural differences within our wonderful world and wider community. We have been developing our speaking and listening skills through learning new language. Our previous knowledge of language learning has enabled us to identify familiar words within different contexts.
Year 3 had a fantastic time learning about a variety of countries including how Christmas is celebrated in Norway, China and Germany. They took part in three different sessions based on the three different countries. They made Norwegian heart baskets, Chinese paper lanterns and German Gingerbread houses.
In year 4, they have been discovering how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Italian, Croatian and German, among others! They also created a Christmas card with a festive message – using their newfound multi-lingual knowledge.
Year 5 had great fun locating countries on a map and discovering how they say Merry Christmas in that country. Did you know that Merry Christmas in Ukraine is ‘Веселого Різдва’?!
Year 6 got quizzical with a Christmas culture quiz. They enjoyed using an advent style quiz to test their comprehension and team working skills to work out the answers… They were not easy!
Autumn 2 2019 – Celebration of EAL
This half term we have been developing our intercultural understanding by celebrating the diversity we are lucky to have within our school community.
Children discussed what it meant to be different and what it was like to be part of a different culture. They shared comments and asked questions to children in our school whose families are lucky to come from another country. The children explored facts within an interactive book that provided us with new knowledge of different countries and the people within them.
Children made poems and diagrams to show their understanding and celebrate what makes Toftwood so brilliant – the differences we all bring to make our days well and truly diverse!
European Day of Languages 2019
Thursday 26th September 2019 was the annual European Day of Languages celebration. The whole school discussed the celebration during assembly time and we even tried speaking in Spanish, French, Italian and German! During the week beginning 23rd September, all classes designed and completed an activity that focused on cultural understanding of different European countries.
In Year 3, the children begin to learn some conversational Spanish and, so far, have studied some famous architecture, learnt where Spain is in relation to the UK, and discussed what the weather is like in comparison. It seemed fitting to learn a bit more about the food that they eat in Spain on European day of languages! We discussed their Mediterranean diet and some of their traditional dishes like Paella and then watched a short video of instructions on how it is cooked. We then followed instructions to make Spanish bruschetta as a side dish/snack. Here’s the recipe if you would like to make it again at home!
What you will need:
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 16 tomatoes (coarsely chopped)
- 4 garlic cloves (crushed)
- 4 basil leaves (finely chopped)
- 60ml balsamic vinegar
- 2 large baguettes (sliced into wedges)
- Firstly, ensure your ingredients are prepared.
- Then, in a large bowl, mix the onions, tomatoes, garlic and basil, taking care not to mash or break up the tomatoes too much.
- Next, add the balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
- After that, add salt and pepper to taste. Mix slowly again.
- Cover and chill for at least an hour. This will allow the flavours to soak and blend.
- Finally, slice the baguette loaf diagonally into thick slices and optionally, you can lightly toast them. Serve the mixture on the slices of bread and enjoy!
Year 4 really enjoyed learning about why we study different languages. The children decided it was to help us learn about other cultures, develop our understanding of language and to help us make friends abroad. Not only that, but it can help us get some interesting jobs! Well done year 4, for some out-of-the box cultural thinking.
To celebrate European Day of Languages in Year 5, the children sorted themselves into small groups and chose a European country as their team name. The children took part in a quiz, which tested their knowledge of European countries. There were several rounds, which included matching map outlines, food, flags, capital cities and languages spoken to the correct country. By the end of the quiz, we had all developed our knowledge and learned new facts. Teachers checked at the end of the lesson whether the children could recall some capital cities, they could – proving they are learning more and remembering more!
Year 6 celebrated European Day of Languages by researching a chosen European country using technology such as laptops and iPads. Each child was provided with a different country so that when they shared their facts with each other they were finding out lots of new information. Some of the criteria of their research included: locating the country on a map, languages spoken, traditional foods, traditional dress, capital city, flag and any other interesting facts. The children really enjoyed discussing the knowledge they already had and discovering new information around countries they were interested in. The children have displayed their fact sheets within a class book that will be available in our book corners for the children to read.
Cinco de Mayo 2019
To celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Year 3, the children created their own collages of a view that they could imagine seeing through a window. The children thought about the scenes that they may see and used colourful pieces of tissue paper to create their pictures. The children learnt about the history of Cinco de Mayo and how people still celebrate it today.
Year 4 learnt about the significance of Cinco de Mayo and the history behind the celebrations. The children carefully designed a poster to inform others about the importance of Cinco de Mayo to different countries. They used facts learnt from the lesson and decorated their posters with themed illustrations.
In Year 5, the children learnt about the origins of Cinco de Mayo and about how people still celebrate it today. They tested their new knowledge with a short quiz. The children learnt how to make a zine book using an A4 piece of paper, some folds and just one cut! The children then filled their zine books with facts and illustrations about Cinco de Mayo.
Year 6 enjoyed learning about the significance of the war between France and Mexico and how this impacted on the people of that time and why Cinco de Mayo is still celebrated today. The children looked at pictures of typical festivities. Year 6 then tested their knowledge of what they had learnt by answering some quiz questions. The children produced postcards to send to a family member or friend back home to tell them about their time at a Cinco de Mayo celebration.
Toftwood Junior School Bronze Linguamarque Award
After continued hard work and dedication, the staff and children at Toftwood Junior School have been awarded the Bronze Linguamarque award. This reflects the consistently high expectations across KS2 to develop our Modern Foreign Language learning skills. Children have benefited from various cultural activities, not just focusing on Spanish but also increasing our understanding of the wider world. The examiner who presented the school with our accreditation was pleased to see that the children were engaged and enthusiastic in their learning and were proud to show off their developing skills in Spanish. A huge well done to the staff and children at Toftwood Junior School, fantástico!