Preparing children for life in the international community, we begin introducing our children to modern foreign languages from the age of 3.
Our aim at Danesfield Manor is to foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world through language teaching. We begin by introducing French to all children in Lower Phase (KS1) and continue by teaching Spanish throughout the Upper Phase (KS2). Immersion in these two important languages, combined with explicit teaching of the skills required for language acquisition, will ensure the children are ready for whatever language they go on to study at secondary school.
At this young age children enjoy experiencing new language through the use of songs, rhymes, games and activities in a fun, relaxed environment. Weekly lessons take place within the classroom environment with a specialist teacher and the children develop interest and confidence to speak, listen and write the language within their peer group.
Context for language learning is an explicit part of the teaching. We use authentic resources in the lessons (eg. familiar story books, video clips of native speakers) to inspire and engage the children in the relevant language. As the children progress through Upper Phase and become more proficient, we provide opportunities for children to communicate for practical purposes. This is done through projects with our partner school in Albacete, Spain: exchanging letters, videos, stories and songs.
In Year 6 the pupils take part in a week’s residential trip to Spain to offer the children an experience of Spanish culture and extended practice in speaking the language. Children visit the cultural and historic cities of Seville and Cadiz, take part in cooking lessons, art activities and sport sessions, and visit local markets and shops where they have the opportunity to practise their skills, all with the support of staff.