Modern Foreign Languages
At DCPS, we offer Spanish as part of the curriculum from Year 3 to Year 6, taught by a specialist MFL teacher. In Year 3 pupils have Spanish for 30 minutes per week, progressing to 60 minute lessons from Year 4 onwards.
We subscribe to a fun and educational website www.linguascope.com which children from all year groups can access at home and in school with a username and password provided to them each year. It allows children to practise their listening, speaking and reading skills independently as well as inside their lessons.
Initially in Year 3 we focus mostly on the spoken language; we learn how to pronounce basic vocabulary correctly through songs and games. A secure knowledge of vocabulary is a sound basis for language learning through Main Prep and beyond.
Then we start to concentrate on the learning of Spanish phonics in order to begin reading words that have previously been learnt orally. This helps to train children to spot patterns in written words as well as spell words correctly.
In Year 4 children begin 60-minute weekly lessons in Spanish, which focus on putting words together in basic sentences through writing and speaking. They begin to listen for keywords in spoken Spanish and learn how to use bilingual dictionaries in order to find out new words for themselves.
Years 5 and 6 extend their learning by creating sentences giving their opinions and progressing onto giving reasons for their opinions. They write short descriptive sentences using new vocabulary and focus on gender agreements in adjectives. They use the first person in verbs and in Year 6 can occasionally extend this to third person verb use. Years 5 and 6 have summer exams in Spanish, alongside their other subjects. Year 5 sit a reading, writing and listening exam whilst Year 6 are tested in the same skills with the addition of a short speaking test.
Alongside the Spanish curriculum, children in Main Prep have the option to practise their French in French club after school.