Language learning at Whitehouse Common

“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.
Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.”
National Curriculum in England, Languages Programmes of Study (DfE2013)

“Learning a language enriches the curriculum.  It provides excitement, enjoyment and challenge for children and teachers, helping to create enthusiastic learners and to develop positive attitudes to language learning throughout life.  The natural links between languages and other areas of the curriculum can enhance the overall teaching and learning experience.  The skills, knowledge and understanding gained can make a major contribution to the development of children’s oracy and literacy and to their understanding of their own culture/s and those of others.” 
The Key Stage 2 Framework for Languages (DfES 2005), Part Two page 4.

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

Nelson Mandela


Czech proverb

At Whitehouse Common School we believe that the learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils.  It helps them to develop communication skills including key skills of speaking and listening and extends their knowledge of how language works.  Learning another language gives children a new perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures and those of others.

From September 2014, Languages have been a statutory part of the National Curriculum at KS2 and above. Whitehouse Common Primary School recognises the value of this initiative and will provide age-appropriate Primary Languages learning opportunities for all children throughout the school.  The focus language taught in our school is Spanish.


 What does it look like?

Watch our video to find out! 


The aims of Primary Languages teaching at Whitehouse Common School are:
·    to foster an interest in language learning by introducing children to other languages in a way that is enjoyable and accessible to all pupils;
·    to stimulate and encourage children’s curiosity about language and creativity in experimenting with it;
·    to support the wider curriculum by developing independent questioning learners
·    to help children develop their awareness of cultural similarities and differences;
·    to lay the foundations for future language study by pupils;
·    to provide an added perspective on first language teaching and learning;
·    to give an extra dimension to teaching and learning across the curriculum.

The learning and teaching of languages.

The Languages Programme of Study, downloadable here, sets out the expectations for ‘substantial progress’ by the end of KS2 covering listening speaking reading writing and grammar.

At Whitehouse Common School we integrate language learning into everyday school life, with teachers, teaching assistants and children using and experimenting with their knowledge of different languages whenever the opportunity arises.  We foster a problem-solving approach, giving children opportunities to work out language use for themselves in a supportive context where risk-taking and creativity are encouraged, and there is an emphasis on having fun with the new language.  ICT is used where appropriate to enhance teaching and learning.

How do children learn?

There are three contexts in which language teaching and learning takes place:
1.    discrete language lessons
2.    language embedded in other lessons (cross curricular activities)
3.    ‘incidental language’ (e.g. as part of school routines)

What do children learn?

In Foundation and Key Stage 1, pupils follow the Little Languages scheme of work. This provides short lessons of 10-20 minutes that may be repeated throughout the week and is based on songs, stories, rhymes and simple activities that introduce pupils to basic vocabulary and the sounds of Spanish whilst offering opportunities to learn about the culture of Spain as well as other languages and countries. Additional activities linked to topics are also included where appropriate.

In Key Stage 2, pupils follow the Lightbulb Languages scheme of work adapted to suit our school. You can access an overview here. The scheme covers all the objectives and aims of the Programme of Study, and throughout the four years of KS2, children will learn songs, rhymes and stories as well as participating in role play, writing texts of varying lengths and for a variety of purposes, and speaking Spanish in a variety of contexts. Additional activities linked to topics and in support of literacy and maths skills are also added where appropriate, and pupils are always encouraged to make connections between Spanish and languages that they speak or with which they are familiar.

For more information, please contact the Language Coordinator via the school office.



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