Spanish at Springfield
Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. (National Curriculum)
At Springfield, we are proud of our rich and ambitious Spanish curriculum. Our curriculum is designed to ensure that all children develop competence and confidence in communicating in Spanish through both understanding and producing language by the end of their primary journey.
We believe every child is entitled to develop a strong foundational understanding of how to learn another language, so they are empowered to learn any language they may choose in the future.Our approach to teaching Spanish is underpinned by an understanding that learning one language opens the doors to learning others. By learning languages, we encourage children to broaden their horizons and appreciate the fact that they are global citizens. We seek to empower our children for their future where living, working or travelling abroad may require the confidence and skill to communicate in another language.
Our school community hugely values the variety of languages spoken by its members. We celebrate the fact that many of our children already speak more than one language – and that many members of our staff team and families are multilingual. Throughout our curriculum, we have a strong focus on effective communication and a culture of loving language and appreciating the power and beauty it holds.
Our Springfield VERSE teaches children that they have a valued voice. In our Spanish curriculum, we encourage children to appreciate the opportunities that speaking more than one language will provide them to hear from and be heard by people from a range of backgrounds across the globe.
How we plan for and teach Spanish
Pupils begin learning Spanish in Year 2, with early exposure to the language through songs and rhymes. There is a particular emphasis in developing children’s phonic awareness so they can confidently and accurately pronounce words in an increasingly accurate accent.
Pupils in Key Stage Two have a weekly Spanish lesson throughout the year. Our specialist Spanish teacher is a native speaker of Spanish and is supported by the Hackney Education scheme of work and other high-quality resources to plan and teach engaging lessons broken into small, progressive steps with opportunities for meaningful practice and review. Our Spanish-speaking MFL lead works closely with the specialist teacher to provide relevant CPD opportunities, provide support and evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum and responsive teaching in securing retention and progress for every child.
All lessons develop three key cornerstones of language development: phonics, vocabulary and grammar. Learning is broken into small steps, modelled explicitly, practised deliberately and reviewed regularly and intentionally. Carefully selected high-frequency vocabulary is taught explicitly and revisited systematically over time to ensure automatic and fluent recall from long-term memory. Children learn grammatical structures, patterns and rules in a logically organised sequence. An emphasis is placed on reusable structures that children can learn to adapt and extend. Meaningful comparisons are made between the similarities and differences in English and Spanish sentence structures. An emphasis in understanding and identifying word classes is prioritised in vocabulary and grammar instruction.
In addition to the rigorous teaching of the Spanish language, lessons provide opportunities for children to explore different Spanish-speaking cultures to develop their intercultural understanding.
Spanish lessons are very popular at Springfield. By the end of Key Stage Two, our children relish the chance to have conversations, to read a range of texts and to generate language for a range of purposes based on their knowledge of phonics, vocabulary and grammar. They leave Springfield ready and motivated for their next steps in language learning.
How we evaluate learning in Spanish
The specialist Spanish teacher regularly assesses children’s progress in Spanish through listening to children’s spoken communication and evaluating their application of phonic knowledge, vocabulary and grammatical structures in a range of contexts. Children’s writing is also evaluated as a form of assessment of their application of phonics for spelling, precise use of vocabulary and manipulation of grammar.
At the end of a unit of learning, children’s progress is assessed against the unit objectives and next steps are planned for. Children are also involved in peer and self-assessment opportunities against specific criteria and are taught to reflect on their learning to draw out areas of strength and next steps.
For more detailed information about Spanish learning in each year group, take a look at our Spanish subject overview here: Spanish at Springfield