The MFL curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient – like all curriculum areas.
We want to equip them with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the MFL National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. For example, in the Autumn term, all year groups begin a speaking and listening topic which allows them to understand and respond in Spanish. These skills aim to support children in travel in their future lives. It is intended to have a positive impact on employment and future learning. The children enjoy learning Spanish at our school and regularly show off their new spoken talents during whole class discussions with the FLT.
As a study of Humanities, we want our children to use the vibrancy of our great city to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, co-operate with one another and appreciate what they have. We achieve this by providing a strong SMSC curriculum, with British Values and our core values placed at the heart of everything we do. This often feeds into the computing curriculum. For example, in the Spring term, we research the Spanish religious festival ‘Semana Santa’ to explore how another country celebrate the same religion. The children are immersed in music, food and traditions within a range of European countries. We aim to equip the children with a range of culture which they may continue to experience in their own future travel around European countries. We believe this encourages the children to be more inclusive and have a better awareness of others from different backgrounds. We teach our children to sing bilingually, singing Spanish songs at every one of our festivals, such as ‘Harvest Samba’ and ‘Noche de Paz.’ We have a high level of EAL in our school, therefore it is important that communication and language is key. During International Week, the children get to explore a wider range of countries from the other continents in the world.
Our intent is to give our children the valuable opportunity to develop positive attitudes to and respect for languages and cultures other than their own. In our school, we have FLT to lead Spanish lessons around the school, however the children do have some independent working time to consolidate their language. The presence of a native speaker, allows the children to be immersed in the language and the FLT’s culture, which gives children more knowledge of the Hispano-American world.
We enrich their time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities which are normally out of reach – this piques their interests and passions. For example, we liaise with a local Secondary School to encourage the learning of languages to continue. The children from this school present range of Spanish topics to the children and allow them to take part in a range of activities.
At St. Elizabeth’s we take languages seriously. In order to incorporate the language into our classroom we give the children the choice to greet, respond to the register and ask questions in Spanish. This allows the children to build confidence and become immersed in the language. We implement our curriculum to foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of both the world around them and their own language. The impact is that our children will be able to acquire and develop language skills, using what they have learned in a range of contexts with increasing competence and confidence.
At St. Elizabeth’s, we believe the learning of a language is imperative for holistic learning of other curriculum subjects. Key areas of learning such as speech and language, memory and language acquisition are all fundamental areas of our MFL curriculum. Implementing a curriculum which promotes the ability to ask and respond to questions in the given language with the eventual aim of taking this skill abroad or increasing future employment opportunities for our children.
We deliver a scheme of learning in MFL that meets the National Curriculum requirements provided by School Improvement Liverpool. This enables us to be consistent with other language learners of the same age within the wider community. The school employs a specialist native speaking MFL teacher, to work across the KS2 classes. These lessons are delivered on a weekly basis, lasting thirty minutes per session. Our FLT is a native of South America, exposing the children to deepen their knowledge of the Peninsular region of Spain and the Hispano-American countries.
The children develop subject-specific skills and vocabulary during their lessons and they build upon their prior learning and recap each week so that the children’s knowledge is secure. The four key areas of language learning are; speaking, listening, reading and writing. These themes are mirrored within our English Literacy sessions and links are made between the two in terms of vocabulary and grammar. This style of cognitive learning allows the children to make connections through their learning, aiming to increase memory and ability. By receiving a deeper understanding of the curriculum, our children are encouraged to take a dominant role in their own learning.
MFL Planning is sequenced to promote progression in terms of age-related expectations. Each year, there are clear progression markers for example, Year 3 are expected to know numbers up to ten in Spanish; this is increased to forty in Year 4. Building on prior learning is an essential part of the cognitive learning approach we foster as a school. Key vocabulary is present in classrooms and staff make use of any opportunities to include our studied language into our daily routines e.g. registers. We try to incorporate MFL into other curriculum areas such as DT when we are creating local dishes from different countries and Geography when we compare different regions of the world.
We foster to incorporate a second language into the lives of our students, we regularly give them opportunities to be immersed in the Spanish language. To keep up to date with Spanish people, we celebrate many of the Spanish festivals. These are usually religious festivals which allow us to see shared values amongst different nationalities when practising the same religion. This type of enrichment allows our children to be exposed to key elements of Spanish life and deepen their learning of the language.
Formative assessment is achieved through Quality First teaching and teacher judgement. Regular questioning and targeting disadvantaged children allows our FLT to make an informed assessment in Years 3-5. In Year 6, the children complete a summative assessment focusing on all four key areas of language learning. These assessments are transferred into a written transition document which gives the children’s chosen secondary schools a clear understanding of where the child is working.
Our FLT uses this information to inform their short-term planning and short-term interventions. This helps us provide the best possible support for all of our pupils, including the more able. The assessment milestones for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down for each year group. This means that skills in MFL are progressive and build year on year.
Our FLT uses formative assessment grids standardised by Liverpool School Improvement to systematically assess what the children know as the topic progresses and inform their future planning. These formative assessment grids then inform summative assessment judgements for each topic.
Assessment information is collected frequently and analysed as part of our monitoring cycle. This process provides an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in MFL. A comprehensive monitoring cycle is developed at the beginning of each academic year. This identifies when monitoring is undertaken. The next MFL scrutiny will take place in September 2020, as this will give us a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses within this subject. Monitoring in MFL includes book scrutinies, lesson observations and/or learning walks, pupil/parent and/or staff voice.
All of this information is gathered and reviewed. It is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.