What we want the curriculum to achieve
At Churchfields, our children are able to communicate in Spanish at varying degrees of complexity. Through a vehicle of meaningful topics, children gain a strong knowledge of frequently used vocabulary, grammar and phonetics. Topics are carefully chosen and underpin daily routine situations which promote the use of high frequency vocabulary and therefore spontaneous communication. As a result, children at Churchfields benefit from a smooth transition to learning a foreign language in Secondary School.
How does the subject fit into the whole school curriculum offer?
Spanish fits into the whole school offer, seamlessly. Phonetics and grammar are an integral part to both Spanish and the whole curriculum and are addressed in depth. Numbers, maths and currency also form part of our lessons which facilitates an unrehearsed use of the target language. Topics are introduced on a number of subjects which include Spanish culture, traditions history and geography. Children are encouraged to work individually and as part of a team using their environment to help inform their learning and link to the whole school curriculum.
What is special about our curriculum?
Our expectations of the Spanish Curriculum are both high and attainable. Children are encouraged to have and maintain a strong range of vocabulary by knowing how to pronounce a word, its origins, patterns and shared roots or endings. They know what a cognate and a false friend are and are encouraged to celebrate noticing them.
Children’s vocabulary builds gradually and is retained by continuous reinforcement. Verb lexicon is also essential and a strong understanding of the infinitive and its conjugations also plays an important role in our teaching, which will help them manipulate and structure their own sentences. The use of the Target language in the classroom is also imperative, since its content is mostly high frequency words and is unrehearsed.
Children enjoy discussing cultural differences between English and Spanish traditions which in turn ignites very interesting discussions. Our Year 5 children visit a local tapas restaurant for an authentic meal and are taught how to order in Spanish.
Churchfields is especially proud of its “Spanish Pop” lunchtime group, in which we enjoy learning Spanish songs and singing them with wonderful Spanish accents!
What is the structure of teaching and learning?
Children in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 have a weekly one hour lesson. At this initial stage of learning a new language, vocabulary, phonetics and grammar will be introduced in a carefully planned manner. Vocabulary will always include cognates and frequently occurring words to help scaffold and build children’s confidence in their ability. In order for the new information to be stored to long term memory, practise reinforcement and use are paramount. All four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) benefit from this approach.
What will children achieve by the end of Key Stage 2?
Children will have built a figurative memory file which will include 500 words and an understanding of gender agreement. They learn the ability to conjugate regular verbs which will empower them to structure their own sentences. Children develop an appreciation of other cultures and customs and demonstrate the confidence that they will have the tools to enable them to learn any language at Secondary School and in the future.