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.
In Year 3, the children have been learning the names for a range of fruit and vegetables. Using games, word searches and puzzles they practised the vocabulary and tried to come up with mnemonic devices such as ‘Las fresas’ – ‘Get the strawberries from the freezer.’ The children then revised ‘Me gusta/gustan, No me gusta/gustan’ to express their preferences.
In Spanish, we have been using the website Language Nut to support us with the topic of ‘family’. We began by learning the vocabulary for different family members. We learnt how to say which family members live with us, what our family members are called and how old they are. We developed our skills as language detectives and tried to translate words and phrases containing the new vocabulary we had learnt. We have worked hard to be able to write whole sentences in Spanish about our family!
We started this half-term by recapping the vocabulary for different types of weather and months of the year.
We challenged ourselves as a class to complete these loop cards to practise our Spanish speaking.
We learnt new vocabulary relating to the four seasons. We then moved on to telling the time and the children practised telling times o’clock and half-past. We then progressed on to telling the time using quarter past and quarter to. We put our new knowledge to the test by working in groups to complete this puzzle. It was a challenge!
The children have consolidated their knowledge of one of our autumn term units – ‘en mi pueblo’ (in my town). They produced a knowledge organiser to display the key phrases and vocabulary learnt. The children enjoyed decorating their knowledge organisers once they had recorded the key information.
In Spanish this term, Year 3 children have been learning to name different classroom equipment, eg. un lapiz, (a pencil), una regla (a ruler), un boligrafo (a biro) and, my favourite, un sacapuntas (a pencil sharpener). We have been learning to spot masculine and feminine nouns and started to see how that affects the adjectives we use. Un lapiz rojo (a red pencil)/Una regla roja (a red ruler).
The children have looked at different ways of translating text – using dictionaries and apps on tablets.
In Spanish, we have been looking at how to say different parts of the body and even how to put our new vocabulary into full sentences. The children loved singing heads, shoulders, knees and toes in Spanish and trying to keep up with the song, as it got faster and faster! We have also looked at masculine and feminine nouns and how you know whether to use la or el in front of them.
In Spring 2, Year 5 re-visited the theme of music. The children re-ordered sentences to create a conversation using their musical styles vocabulary. Some children were also able to substitute selected words to alter the conversation a little. Those that felt confident read the conversation aloud.
Each class learnt to sing I am the Music Man in Spanish and this enabled the children to learn the names of some musical instruments. It was a catchy song!
Towards the end of the half term, we re-visited and developed our knowledge and understanding of numbers to 1000.
This half term, Year 6 have been learning about Spanish speaking countries and how to say where we live and what nationality we are. We have had to use our translation skills a lot this half term to interpret what Spanish speakers are saying. We have learnt three new verb forms this half term: ‘ser – to be’ ‘hablar – to speak’ and ‘vivir – to live’.
In Year 3 we have been learning to say the names of common colours in Spanish. We then used these colours to write sentences that describe the colours of some world flags. For Chinese New Year we learnt about the origins of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac, that this is the Year of the Rabbit and how to write Happy New Year in Mandarin script.
Year 4 have been having fun with dates and Maths. We are able to ask the question, when is your birthday?’ and answer with the day and month.
We have also learned the Spanish words for parts of the head and face and labelled diagrams to show this.
Year 5 have been learning new vocabulary for a variety of sports. The children used this vocabulary to write sentences to express their opinion about a variety of sports. Some children were able to extend their sentences by using y (and) and pero (but).
The children celebrated Chinese New Year by listening to a story that explained how
the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac were selected through a race.
Tangrams were invented in China approximately 200 years ago, a tangram is a two-dimensional re-arrangement puzzle created by cutting a square into seven pieces — seven geometric shapes called “tans”. The children then cut out the seven shapes to create animals from the zodiac.
Year 5 finished the half-term by learning new vocabulary associated with different styles of music. The children were able to revisit the skill of writing sentences to express their opinions.
This term, Year 6 have been focusing on ‘then and now’ in relation to our previous learning on places in town. We have been using adjectives to describe different places in town and have developed our descriptions at sentence level to explain what our local area was like ‘then’ in the past and what it looks like ‘now’. As part of our intercultural understanding, we learnt about Chinese New Year and how these traditions are recognised and celebrated around the world.
In Year 3, children have been learning how to count to 20 in Spanish, to ask how old someone is and to answer with their age. They have continued to practise holding simple conversations using the vocabulary they have learned. As part of our MFL programme, Year 3 discussed how diverse the world’s population is in terms of culture, language and identity. We talked about how much diversity there was within the year group and created a huge jigsaw to celebrate different beliefs and practices. Our jigsaw pieces fitted together beautifully and formed a perfect jigsaw puzzle. We wanted to show how celebration of diversity allows people to develop an understanding of each other, widens our knowledge of different cultures and beliefs and helps us to have a better choice of food, music entertainment and clothing. The children looked at some Spanish Christmas traditions and compared this with their own celebrations. Feliz Navidad!
The children have built on their Spanish knowledge from year 3 by applying their knowledge of numbers and months to be able to converse about their birthdays. They created a pretend invitation to their birthdays and made Christmas cards to their friends in school.
We started the half-term learning the vocabulary associated with weather. This included learning types of weather and saying the temperature, which allowed us to recap numbers too.
Each class discussed the meaning of diversity and discovered why it is important that there is diversity in each classroom. Each member of the class designed a jigsaw piece that represented themselves, once complete all the jigsaw pieces were placed together demonstrating that although we are all individual we all belong within the class and school community.
We finished the autumn term learning about the gender of nouns associated with clothing worn during sports. This also linked with developing our understanding of whether nouns are singular or plural.
This term in Spanish, year 6 have been learning to describe our town using Spanish vocabulary. We are also able to use adjectives to describe the places in our locality. We also learnt how to use infinite verbs and can write sentences explaining where we go and what we like to do there in Spanish.
During the second half term, we learnt how to talk about different modes of transport in Spanish and learnt how Christmas is celebrated in other countries.
European Day of Languages
Autumn Term 2022
European day of Languages is held every year on 26th September to celebrate the different languages spoken in Europe.
The first European Day of Languages was held in 2001. It was started by the European Commission and Council of Europe to show the importance of learning a language.
At Toftwood Junior School, each year group celebrated this special day by taking part in a range of activities.
In Year 3 we celebrated Language Day by learning to say ‘hello’ in the many languages spoken by children in our Year Group.
We then learned to write hello in different languages finding out how many different signs, symbols and different alphabets are used across Europe.
To celebrate European Day of Languages, Year 4 enjoyed researching different European countries. The children were each given a different country to research using their tablets. They loved finding out about countries they had not heard of before and were fascinated by all the different flags.
Year 5 watched a power point to find out more about European Day of Languages. It explained that learning a language is important for many reasons including being able to make new friends, understanding different cultures, travelling, and studying abroad. We also discovered that the European Union has 24 official languages and that the most commonly spoken are French and English. The children enjoyed trying to match greetings with the correct language.
How many do you know?
To celebrate European Day of Languages, year 6 created a class book, which was full of interesting facts about European countries. Each child created a fact file about a different European country and then the work was combined to make a class book for the reading corner. The children also enjoyed completing a quiz together to learn more about Europe.
Autumn 2 2021 – Celebration of EAL
Children in Year 3 looked at the theme of differences and diversity. The teachers were really impressed with the children’s understanding and positive attitude to those things that make us different from one another from languages spoken, skin colour, religion, physical ability, tastes or personality. When asked what it felt like to be the same as others the children replied ‘Really boring!’. Whereas being different to others made children feel ‘special’, ‘unique’, ‘important’ and ‘valued’. The three classes then completed self-portraits and celebrated what made them different, this ranged from speaking Punjabi, speaking Vietnamese, being 1/4 Spanish to having freckles or loving to dance.
In Year 4, we looked at diversity and considered how everyone is different and unique from the hobbies they take part in, to appearance or even the languages spoken. We discussed how important it was to recognise and celebrate our individual differences as these are the things which make us special. From this, each child created a jigsaw piece containing 5 things which represent them and make them unique. The classes then joined the puzzle pieces together to show that despite our differences we all work together and belong.
In Year 5, the children considered how we can be similar and different to others. We introduced the term diversity and discussed its meaning. We thought about how it felt to feel the same and different.
Each of the children designed a jigsaw piece that represented themselves. Each jigsaw piece was designed and decorated differently to represent just how unique each of us are. The final jigsaws show how we are all different to others but that we all belong within the same class and school.
Year 6 developed their intercultural understanding by recognising the diversity that we have within our school community and the wider world. We discussed what it meant to be different and what belonging to another culture may be like. We created some acrostic poems to display our understanding of diversity.
Autumn Term 2021
In MFL , children have been learning how to count to 20 in Spanish, to ask how old someone is and to answer with their age. They have continued to practise holding simple conversations using the vocabulary they have learned. The children were encouraged to think about diversity and celebrate what makes them special including all of the different languages spoken by pupils in Year 3. Children looked at some Spanish Christmas traditions and compared this with their own celebrations. Feliz Navidad!
In Spanish this term Year 4 have been learning how to say when our birthday is in Spanish, mi cumpleaños. The children were able to use their prior knowledge of the days of the week, months of the year and numbers up to 31 and enjoyed practising their pronunciation too. To finish our topic of birthdays the children enjoyed creating their own birthday party invitation and were able to consolidate their prior learning to do this.
Year 5 started the new half term saying and recognising weather phrases. The children also learnt how to say the temperature. We then moved on to a new topic, which was learning about the gender of nouns and whether words were singular or plural, this was taught by looking at clothing worn for sporting activities. We rounded the half term off by revisiting the story and vocabulary associated with Hansel and Gretal. The children each sketched a scene from the story before using a dictionary to search for new words connected to their scene.
In Spanish this term we have been learning the names of places in town. Our topic was called ‘En Mi Pueblo’. We developed our sentences by including a range of verbs to describe what we do when visiting these places in town. Leading on from learning the vocabulary for places in town, we then looked at methods of transport. We learnt the names of different types of transport and described how we travelled to different places in town. We focused on using the verb ‘ir’ which means ‘to go’.
Summer Term 2021
In Spanish we learnt various different food names, including fruits and vegetables and how to express our preferences.
The topic in Spanish this half term was Family. We began by learning the vocabulary for different family members. We learnt how to say which family members live with us, what our family members are called and how old they are. We developed our skills as language detectives and tried to translate words and phrases containing the new vocabulary we had learnt. We finished the half term with a challenging word search, in which the words to find were in English however the words within the word search were in Spanish!
In summer 1, year 5 continued learning about likes and dislikes with a focus on sports. They also learnt about what clothes to wear when playing different sports and the best sports to play/do in different weather conditions.
In Year 6, the children have been busy identifying and naming the planets in Spanish. The children calculated how far each planet was from the sun and began to describe their features. Some of the descriptions included: enorme – enormous, pequeño – small, minúsculo – tiny, caliente – hot, frío – cold. The children also used their knowledge of colours to describe the appearance of the planets. The children have also consolidated their knowledge of one of our autumn term units – en mi pueblo (in my town). They produced a knowledge organiser to display the key phrases and vocabulary learnt. The children enjoyed decorating their knowledge organisers once they had recorded the key information.
Spring Term 2021
In Spring 1, children were learning about colours. They practised saying the names of
different colours and then used these names to describe the colours of different
objects. They also found out about Chinese New Year.
This half term children have been learning all about the items in their pencil case and
will be making mini-books next week.
This half term Year 4 have been continuing to learn the Spanish words for parts of
your face and have been looking at parts of the body. We combined our Spanish
vocabulary from Year 3 and 4 to describe and draw our own funny looking aliens. Some
had six legs, some had two heads, some had blue ears! We have now moved on to looking
at animals and have had to turn into animal detectives. We had to read some clues that
were written in Spanish and use all of our Spanish vocabulary to work out what animal
they were describing. We have also spent some time focussing on what countries have
Spanish as their main language.
Year 5 have enjoyed revisiting conversation starters and having a short conversation
with a friend. The children have talked about likes and dislikes as well as describing
what they look like and sharing their age.
Year 6 have been studying different verb forms to describe the differences between
places ‘then and now’. We carried out some research on our local area, Dereham, to
describe the changes from then to now. Year 6 enjoyed the Chinese New Year quiz
which was completed during our home learning period. We found out how to say the
names of different countries and languages and describe nationalities. We are now
enjoying learning about the planets of the solar system and how to say their names in
Autumn Term 2020
In Spanish this term we have covered so many exciting topics. In September, the children recognised European Day of Languages by speaking in different languages and researching different countries. Each year group completed an activity that focused on the cultural understanding of different countries. Later in the term, the children celebrated English as an Additional Language (EAL). The children discussed diversity and the aspects that makes everyone different. We then explored the diversity within our school community. Year groups created some fantastic acrostic poems that summarised diversity. To mark Christmas around the world, each year group learnt something new about the world around them. This helped to increase our geographical knowledge as well as deepen our cultural understanding of how Christmas is celebrated in other countries.
In our weekly Spanish lessons, Key Stage 2 have been learning lots of new vocabulary and have extended this knowledge to reading and writing. Year 3 have been learning how to greet people in Spanish, started to count from 1-15 and have been asking and answering questions about age. Year 4 have been busy recognising different days of the week, they have extended their knowledge of counting by counting from 16-31 and have been learning the names of different months of the year. Year 5 found it fascinating when they used big numbers (31-1,000) to count. They have been learning how to tell the time in Spanish, described what the weather is like and used phrases to tell others about their favourite sports. Year 6 have enjoyed learning about the places in town and the types of transport you could use to visit places in town. We are all looking forward to lots of new Spanish learning in the Spring term.
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!