Spanish at Cherry Tree

At Cherry Tree we endeavour to integrate language learning into everyday school life, with teachers, teaching assistants, school catering staff, parents and children using and experimenting with their knowledge of different languages whenever the opportunity arises. 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 their ability to communicate, including key skills of speaking and listening and extends their knowledge of how language works.

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. Learning Spanish provides excitement, enjoyment and challenge for children and teachers, helping to create enthusiastic learners and to develop positive attitudes to language learning throughout life. It gives us all a new perspective on the world, encouraging us to understand our own cultures and those of others.  The natural links between languages and all other areas of the curriculum can enrich the overall teaching and learning experience.


How do we teach Spanish at Cherry Tree?

We aim to foster an interest in language learning by introducing children to another language in a way that is enjoyable and accessible to all pupils; we aim to stimulate and encourage children’s curiosity about language and creativity by providing opportunities to experiment with it.

In KS1 children are introduced to simple Spanish vocabulary through a number of songs to support oracy and literacy, and in particular develop speaking and listening skills. This is built upon in KS2 with a steady progression over the four years preparing our pupils for future language study at Secondary school. Through weekly timetabled Spanish lessons children learn how to read and write in Spanish and develop their awareness of cultural similarities and differences.

The study of Spanish provides pupils with an added perspective on their first language and gives an extra dimension to teaching and learning across the curriculum.

Equal Opportunities

Primary Languages teaching at Cherry Tree is fully inclusive.  No child is excluded by reason of a learning difficulty, or because they have English as an additional language.  Experience has indeed shown that such children can derive particular benefit from taking part in Primary Languages learning activities in which they may be less disadvantaged than in other areas of the curriculum. 

Language learning activities are planned in such a way as to encourage the full and active participation of all pupils and non-specialist teachers.  Work is differentiated as appropriate to the needs of individual children.  Pairs and groups for collaborative work may be made up in different ways, depending on the task.

What Spanish experiences do the children have at Cherry Tree?

Speaking and listening

The children will learn to listen carefully and recognise sounds and combinations of sounds which are similar to, or different from, those of English. Over time they develop their understanding and ability to respond with increasing competence, accuracy and confidence in a range of situations. We learn to join in with songs, rhymes, raps and stories which enable them to practise the sounds of the language in an enjoyable and non-threatening way. They take part in rehearsed conversations at an appropriate level, reacting to instructions and questions and expressing opinions and feelings. In upper KS2 pupils memorise and recite short texts, and prepare performances confidently and with regard to the audience.

Reading and writing

The children learn grapheme-phoneme correspondences and how to remember vocabulary through directly taught and reinforced word games and similar activities. They read stories and rhymes for enjoyment and to gain awareness of the structure of the written language. They read, copy and write independently familiar words and simple phrases in context, e.g. classroom items, display labels, weather chart and the date. Over time they develop their abilities to write phrases and short sentences independently from memory and adapt these to create new sentences to express ideas clearly. Pupils broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into written material through the use of bilingual dictionaries. They develop an understanding of basic grammar appropriate to Spanish, such as: feminine and masculine forms and the conjugation of high frequency verbs; They learn key features and patterns of the language and how these differ from or are similar to English and how to apply these to build sentences.

Intercultural understanding

Primary Languages provides a basis for teaching and learning about other cultures, and this is incorporated into many areas of the curriculum including personal and social education and citizenship, geography, religious education, design and technology, music, art and dance. We have close links with the Atalia School in Gijon Northern Spain and have completed numerous joint projects. The most recent being our international cook book which we were able to put together through remote learning during lock down. Through our joint projects our pupils have gained insight of the similarities and differences in everyday life, social conventions, traditional stories and celebrations of our many cultures. They recognise how symbols, products and objects can represent the culture of a country, and how aspects of the culture of different countries become incorporated in the daily life of others. They are beginning to recognise and mistrust stereotypes, and understand and respect cultural diversity.



Useful Websites

Cbeebies Español