Language Curriculum at Bishop Road
At Bishop Road, children learn a range of languages. Meaningful vocabulary is discovered through songs, games and exciting activities. Children develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills as they become confident in their understanding.
In Key Stage 1, children are introduced to learning a different language as they discover key French vocabulary for greetings, colours and numbers. Here, children learn through songs and simple games, and even enjoy a story in another language!
In Year 3, with a link to their topic on the Romans, children learn Latin. The Latin lessons are based on a real Roman family who lived at Vindolanda, and the vocabulary is based on archaeological evidence as far as possible. Many topics are covered such as greetings, food and even Latin names for animals. Children also begin to learn simple grammatical rules such as verb endings and adjectival agreements.
In Year 4, children begin to learn Spanish. Topics include greetings, colours and numbers and simple grammatical rules such as agreements for adjectives. After developing their vocabulary, children begin to build simple sentences to convey what they have learned.
Children develop their Spanish learning further in Year 5. Here, topics include describing personality and appearance, places in my town and rooms in a house. With more advanced language skills, children begin to write short paragraphs and hold conversations with their classmates.
In Year 6, children link their Spanish learning with the location study that is part of their Geography learning. In the context of South American cities, children learn vocabulary based on tourism and features of cities, and apply their learning as they produce travel brochures for Spanish-speaking cities of South America. The Year 6 pupils also develop their oral skills, as they use key Spanish vocabulary in a presentation about their city to a Year 5 audience.
Year 3 read through a comic strip story about a Roman emperor, Marcellus, visiting our Roman family in Vindolanda. In the story, the young child, Rufus, accidentally knocks over the pavo (peacock) they were going to eat for their luxurious dinner! Year 3 retold this story through drama, speaking the words in Latin with appropriate actions.
At Christmas, we celebrated our language learning by writing our message in the language we studied. Discovering the greeting was great fun and we enjoyed being creative with our designs.
Earth and Beyond!
To link with our whole school topic on Space, all Key Stage 2 classes completed the same activity in the language they study. We rolled a dice to decide how many of each body part we would have, then drew an alien which had all of these body parts – we had pictures with 5 legs and 6 eyes! We then learned the names for the body parts in our language, sang a song about them to the tune of ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’, and labelled our aliens. The children thoroughly enjoyed this project and produced some imaginative and impressive drawings!
Years 4 and 5 were very lucky to spend time with a visitor who taught us how to flamenco dance! First we learned about the clothing that flamenco dancers wear and the accessories they use, and learned the Spanish names for these items. We were able to try on the beautiful patterned shawls and flowers for our hair, and to explore what it’s like to hold flamenco objects such as fans and castanets. Next, we learned the two special ways to clap as part of a flamenco dance, and lastly we had a go at a flamenco routine. Some of the steps were really tricky but it was great fun dancing to such energetic music.
Fun and Games
Some Year 4 pupils helped me try out a new game to see if it would help with learning Spanish. The game was called ‘Kloo’ and the aim was to build sentences using cards. Each card had either a verb, an adjective, a noun or a connective on, and you had to play these in the correct order to make a sensible sentence. There are many different game formats that you can play with the ‘Kloo’ cards, and it really does widen your vocabulary and develop your understanding of grammar. I am looking forward to playing this game with more pupils in the future!