At Wandsworth Prep, we believe that the learning of a foreign language provides valuable educational, social and cultural experiences, which help our pupils to develop communication skills, including key skills of speaking and listening, and to extend their knowledge of how language works. Learning another language gives children a new perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own abilities and those of others. Learning a language is a life skill that opens doors to different cultures and experiences.
In Year 3, children will study French and Spanish in equal measure. The aims of our Modern Languages curriculum is to encourage children’s curiosity and enjoyment of languages. We aim to develop their understanding of what they hear and read and their ability to express themselves in speech and writing and we provide learning experiences that are designed to extend children’s knowledge of how language works and explore differences between the target language and English.
At Wandsworth Prep, we introduce language through contexts, using a wide range of resources. New vocabulary and structures are introduced and practised through many different activities such as games, songs, rhymes, role play, puppets, flashcards, real objects, video, stories, interactive whiteboard activities and mime. iPads bring learning to life when children record themselves using familiar language to introduce themselves in the target language.
Wherever possible, the teaching of French and Spanish may fit in with a class’ particular topic and, where appropriate, ICT will be incorporated into teaching and learning activities through the use of materials from the internet. Where time allows, a French or Spanish-themed assembly will take place in order for the children to learn about French and Spanish culture and traditions.
Whilst effective communication remains a priority, children in Years 3 to 6 will learn more advanced language, such as how to describe their family and how to tell people what they like to do in their free time. Reading and writing will be introduced progressively as children acquire confidence in their use of French and Spanish. Children will learn about the grammar of the language, which they will then be able to apply in their written and spoken work.
The language curriculum throughout the school is enhanced by language theatre workshops where children are given the opportunity to perform familiar stories in the target language. We aim to strengthen pupils’ sense of identity through learning about French and Spanish culture and comparing it with their own culture. Children in Key Stage 2 can look forward to further opportunities to practise their language skills and understanding of French and Spanish cultures, by taking part in trips to Northern France and Southern Spain in Year 6.