Purpose of study
Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. Our high-quality language education fosters pupils’ curiosity and deepens their understanding of the world. The teaching enables 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 also provides opportunities for pupils to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching provides the foundation for learning further languages in secondary school and beyond, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.
The Epiphany School languages curriculum is designed to give children opportunities to:
- 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.
We offer a relevant, broad, vibrant and ambitious foreign languages curriculum that will inspire and excite our pupils using a wide variety of topics and themes. All pupils will be expected to achieve their full potential by encouraging high expectations and excellent standards in their foreign language learning - the ultimate aim being that pupils will feel willing and able to continue studying languages beyond key stage 2.
The four key language learning skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing will be taught and all necessary grammar will be covered in an age-appropriate way across the primary phase. This will enable pupils to use and apply their learning in a variety of contexts, laying down solid foundations for future language learning and also helping the children improve overall attainment in other subject areas.
The intent is that all pupils will develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages, finding them enjoyable and stimulating. Learning a second language will also offer pupils the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them with a better awareness of self, others and cultural differences. The intention is that they will be working towards becoming life-long language learners.
At The Epiphany School, children in Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6) are taught Spanish in regular weekly lessons lasting approximately 30 minutes. The school uses a very high-quality foreign language curriculum following the Language Angels scheme of work and resources.
Children progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary, language skills and grammatical knowledge organised around age-appropriate topics and themes - building blocks of language into more complex, fluent and authentic language. Lessons offer appropriate levels of challenge and stretch to ensure pupils learn effectively, continuously building their knowledge of and enthusiasm for the language they are learning.
Children will build on previous knowledge gradually as their foreign language lessons continue to revise and consolidate previously learnt language whilst building on all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Knowledge and awareness of required and appropriate grammar concepts will be taught throughout all units at all levels of challenge.
Grammar is integrated and taught discreetly throughout all appropriate units. The rules and patterns will be taught by level of challenge:
- We start with nouns and articles and 1st person singular of high frequency verbs in Early Learning units.
- We move on to the use of the possessive, the concept of adjectives, use of the negative form, conjunctions/connectives and introduce the concept of whole regular verb conjugation in Intermediate units.
- We end with opinions and introduce the concept of whole high frequency irregular verb conjugation in Progressive units.
The school has a unit planner in place which will serve as an overall ‘teaching map’ outlining for all teachers within the school what each class in each year group will be taught and when it will be taught. Each class in each year group will have an overview of units to be taught during the academic year to ensure substantial progress and learning is achieved. Each teaching unit is divided into 6 fully planned lessons.
Each unit and lesson will have clearly defined objectives and aims.
- Each lesson will incorporate interactive whiteboard materials to include ample speaking and listening tasks within a lesson.
- Lessons will incorporate challenge sections and desk-based activities that will be offered will three levels of stretch and differentiation.
- Reading and writing activities will be offered in all units. Some extended reading and writing activities are provided so that native speakers can also be catered for.
- Every unit will include a grammar concept which will increase in complexity as pupils move from Early Language units, through Intermediate units and into Progressive units.
- Extending writing activities are provided to ensure that pupils are recalling previously learnt language and, by reusing it, will be able to recall it and use it with greater ease and accuracy. These tasks will help to link units together and show that pupils are retaining and recalling the language taught with increased fluency and ease.
Units are progressive within themselves as subsequent lessons within a unit build on the language and knowledge taught in previous lessons. As pupils progress though the lessons in a unit they will build their knowledge and develop the complexity of the language they use. We think of the progression within the 6 lessons in a unit as ‘language Lego’. We provide blocks of language knowledge and, over the course of a 6-week unit, encourage pupils to build more complex and sophisticated language structures with their blocks of language knowledge.