Modern Foreign Languages

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Modern Foreign Languages Knowledge and Skills Progression


At St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School the core modern foreign language taught is Spanish. It is our intention that all children in Key Stage 2 will access quality teaching of Spanish from our school’s language specialist in order to adequately prepare them for Key Stage 3. Key Stage 1 children will be introduced to Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) through exploring other languages informally when appropriate. We have developed a bespoke MFL curriculum, which covers all the components of the national curriculum’s programme of study and the key skills that meets the current needs of our pupils here at St Thomas'.


We use the national curriculum statutory requirements for MFL to create medium term plans. These plans are used as an overview and outline the objectives of the Spanish language to be taught across Key Stage 2 during the academic year.
We also use a scheme of work which forms the short term planning and delivery for this subject. We use these plans to break down the statutory objectives and requirements into a sequence of progressive and age appropriate lessons which build on our pupils’ previous learning. We use the scheme of work alongside our progression in Spanish skills document to plan for the particular skills to be taught within the lessons and across the Key Stage.
When delivering our language we make links, when appropriate, to work in other subjects such as Geography, History, Music, English and RE. In a typical Spanish lesson our pupils are provided with time to:
  • review and consolidate previous knowledge
  • discuss objectives, key vocabulary and success criteria
  • listen to songs, rhymes, poems and instructions in Spanish
  • identify and develop (build on) knowledge and understanding
  • develop key skills
  • take part in independent and collaborative tasks
  • self-evaluate and review their learning and that of others
Throughout the year we also provide opportunities for our pupils to increase their cultural capital and enhance their language skills through our annual International Food Festival and themed weeks.


The impact of the teaching of Spanish on our pupils means that the majority of children:
  • achieve age related expectations by the end of the academic year
  • begin to develop confidence when communicating in Spanish through speaking, listening, reading and writing
  • recognise and use key Spanish vocabulary when speaking, listening, reading and writing
  • retain and retrieve the knowledge and skills that are particular to the learning of a modern foreign language
We also conduct short formal written and informal conversational assessments on the areas covered throughout the half-term. This information is used to help evaluate pupil progress within the subject and to inform the subsequent planning of lessons and activities. Although these assessments are carried out on a half-termly basis, our specialist Spanish teacher evaluates pupils’ knowledge and understanding within lessons and on a week by week basis. Having this approach not only enables our pupils to learn, know and remember more but also helps to prepare them for any future language study in Key Stage 3.