Spanish at Our Lady and St. Joseph’s
At Our Lady and St. Joseph’s, all pupils in Key Stage 2 will learn the language of Spanish. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world. We believe that learning a language broadens our children’s life experiences and understanding of the world. It will encourage them to step beyond their own cultural boundaries and foster a curiosity to learn more about the wider world we live in. Learning a foreign language has also proved indicative to earning a higher salary in adulthood.
The school’s curriculum meets the National Curriculum expectations. The Spanish curriculum is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked to previous learning and that the school’s approaches are informed by current pedagogy. In line with the national curriculum 2014, the curriculum at Our Lady and St. Joseph’s aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Acquire a broad knowledge of Spanish vocabulary, so that they may be able to understand and respond to the spoken and written language of Spanish.
- Speak with increasing confidence and fluency to hold simple conversations in Spanish.
- Write in the Spanish language for different purposes and audiences.
- Establish a good foundation for language study to continue at Key Stages 3 and 4.
At Our Lady and St. Joseph’s we believe that providing a high-quality Spanish education where pupils learn through speaking, listening, reading and writing in Spanish will make an essential contribution to their overall understanding of language. It will widen their understanding of the world and its cultures and increase their confidence as communicators.
Spanish is taught weekly, as a combination of Oak Academy units and direct teaching. The topic units are based on the Oak Academy lessons, but are taught at a pace to match the children’s age and progress. Knowledge is acquired through the delivery of structured units which require constant pupil participation in the listening, reading, speaking and writing in Spanish. Learning the language is presented in many different contexts, such as song, direct instruction, cloze procedure, questioning, My Turn, Your Turn, conversation with peers and writing for a specific purpose/audience. Memorization techniques are also used where appropriate. Each lesson recaps on previous learning and repetition of previously learned vocabulary, phonic knowledge and spelling rules is a key focus of each lesson. New learning consists of new contexts and content, but which also requires existing knowledge to be applied in some way. (e.g knowledge of numbers to say how many stars there are in a picture/ knowledge of numbers to say how old they are). The key knowledge and skills that children acquire and develop throughout each unit have been mapped out, although as the teaching of Spanish is a new subject to our school, and new to all children, this will evolve over time.
The teaching of Spanish is presently undertaken by one teacher, but each class teacher is aware of each new learning focus and therefore able to apply new and existing learning across the curriculum at any given opportunity within the school day.
Approaches to assessment in Spanish are presently less formal than in other subjects. As the teaching of this subject is relatively new to school, the present aim is that all pupils are engaged in the learning of Spanish and are fostering a positive attitude to the learning of another language. The Curriculum leader is the teacher in all Key Stage 2 lessons and is able to assess the understanding and learning by monitoring responses during lessons. In each lesson, each child is given the opportunity to speak Spanish, in pairs and/or to the whole class. Additionally, outcomes in Spanish books evidence learning and the acquisition of key knowledge and vocabulary. Further assessment tools are also being considered.