St Mary's RC Primary School, ManchesterSt Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School

St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School

Foreign Language

St. Mary’s R.C Primary School


Primary Curriculum – FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Intent: Why we teach FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Our intent in St. Mary's for our FOREIGN LANGUAGE curriculum is to have clear progression in the understanding of Spanish throughout  the school. All teachers will be given support in understanding the vision and following our curriculum.

Children in school generally rarely have any exposure to Spanish outside of school so we need to begin with the basics. Our secondary feeder schools require children to have some understanding of another language and prepare children for KS3.

Learning a foreign language is a necessary part of being a member of a multi-cultural society and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster children's curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable children to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read  literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping children to study and work in other countries.

Children have weekly lessons in Spanish  throughout Key Stage 2, using the Rachel Hawkes programme of study in addition to other resources, such as Babelzone.  Areas covered include: numbers, colours, greetings, classroom instructions,  food and drink,

It is intended that when children leave St. Mary's, they will have a natural curiosity and confidence to explore, other countries, cultures and languages, accepting that, in a multi-lingual  society it is a valuable skill to be able to communicate effectively with others in another language.  They will be engaged and prepared to continue language learning at High School

Key Skills :

The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • 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
  • can 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.



Pupils are taught to:


  • listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
  • explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
  • engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help
  • speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures ? develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases
  • present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences
  • read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
  • appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language
  • broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
  • write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clear
  • describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
  • understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.
  • Signs around the school are written in Spanish, displays of the vocabulary relating to the current topic should be displayed and the Language of the Month noticeboard is changed each month.


How does St. Mary’s curriculum meet the needs of the children at our school?

Religious Values

The teachings of Jesus are central to every aspect of our learning, so we:

•         Must nurture their physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing by recognising and developing their God-given talents to their full potential. 

•      Value the unique nature of every child by teaching them to respect and appreciate

•       the diversity of language and cultures within our school and the wider world.

Key life skills for learning

Provide a curriculum  that will equip children with the values, skills and attributes needed to be independent thinkers and courageous learners, so we:

•        Provide children with opportunities to rehearse, apply and master our core learning behaviours of being able to focus, co-operate, reflect, work independently, be inventive, show resilience, self-belief and curiosity.

•       Understand that skills and concepts acquired through FOREIGN LANGUAGE are not exclusive to FOREIGN LANGUAGE

•       but closely linked to those required in all other areas of the curriculum.

•      Allow children to further develop a growth mindset and understand improvement is something that can be acquired through hard work & effort.



Opportunities to embrace cultural capital is part of our school ethos, so we:


•      encourage children to discover the wider world, the languages used , the celebrations such as Dias de los Muertos.

•      When promoting the Language of the Month, we are extending the children's knowledge and appreciation of the variety of languages used within our school community.



Impact : What FOREIGN LANGUAGE gives to our children


Assessment criteria is in the process of being developed, in line with national curriculum aims, to enable teachers to assess the progress of children in their language learning as they move through Key Stage 2, ensuring that children are supported and challenged as appropriate.  


Children are provided with a variety of activities to promote their engagement in the subject as well as provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary, to continue their studies successfully at High School. The Rachel Hawkes programme comprises of a booklet for each year group, which clearly shows a progression throughout the school, building on prior knowledge and extending language skills. An enjoyment of language will be fostered through a variety of activities including interactive games, singing, rhyme and traditional stories in the chosen language.


In order to recognise the diversity of languages within our school community, we promote Language of the Month. Each class in KS2 are introduced to the areas in the world where a particular language is spoken. Basic vocabulary is displayed and practised through activities such as registration and classroom greetings.


Pupil Voice is also used to further develop the FOREIGN LANGUAGE curriculum, through questioning of pupils' views and attitudes to learning a language. Verbal feedback and pupil interviews will ensure there is an impact on children's outcomes and that the children feel positive about languages


Future Plans: What Comes Next?


Establishing a scheme which shows progression building on previous skills learned and expanding future knowledge is a high priority.

Further the professional skills of staff members through in house training on methodology and forging links throughout the broader curriculum.


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