Making real progress 2

colour coded lollipop sentence structure game.jpg

The evidence shared by Primary Languages Network teachers in a variety of settings ranging from small urban state primary schools to large academy trusts and several public school shows examples of the four core skills and language learning skills captured in the classroom on the day the learning took place from KS1 to UKS2. We have decided to always show a fair spectrum of examples of work so that teachers can have confidence in the range of work that see in their own classrooms. You can take a look back at the evidence we shared in the first blog post in this series: “Making real progress 1”.

The evidence has been gathered from a sample of our 300 plus Primary Languages Network schools in French,Spanish and German from KS1 to UKS2 since early October 2018. .

Our listening and responding activities this half term have challenged the learners to use their developing listening skills not only to listen and join in but also to apply familiar language knowledge to new learning experiences.Here’s a perfect example of this!.

You can find out more here about our PLN Super Days with Yoga.

Learning languages,enjoying stories and becoming confident listeners is an integral part of the progress we help children to make throughout the year in primary language learning.Starting early in KS1 enables the children to build their confidence in listening to both familiar and unfamiliar language.

The teacher in the photo above is a native speaker of the language.You can find out more about the role our associate teachers play in 49 of our network schools here: Primary languages classroom teacher service

Throughout our language lessons across the academic year we revisit and practise sounds and spellings of the target languages.

We are now beginning to focus upon reasoning and mastery of sound spelling right from the start of learning a language in Year 3.

Our Ready Made SOW enables teachers to use everyday language in new ways.We love the robots and commands in Year 4 and so do the children and it’s that time of year again for Year 4 to programme their robots.

From listening and responding to speaking single words, phrases and sentences the focus this half term is upon familiar language being revisited and new language being intorduced and used in creative and memorable learning opportunities.

As the year progresses we never forget the basics.Year 4 have been revisiting numbers and linking this to simple number sentences in Maths. Year 4 and 5 have been exploring more complicated number sequences and exploring and practising their listening skills with a fantastic Disney learning hook!

It wouldn’t be PRIMARY languages if we didn’t ensure that we celebrated along with the whole school community.This term offers so many opportunities to develop language learning skills, build language knowledge and share in the whole school celebrations calednar too.Here are some of the examples shared with us of children making progress in listening.speaking ,reading and writing linked to special annual events this term.Plus this year we couldn’t help developing 3rd person singular writing skills in Year 5 linked to our work on verbs and personal information to celebrate the visit of”The Giants” to Liverpool!

It’s a pleasure to see how the learners are exploring unfamiliar language and combining this with their growing confidence in writing in a target language to be creative and to create class display and even to write their own simple poems with scaffolded support.

As always we continue to develop children’s understanding and appreciation of the cultures and communities in which the target languages are spoken as first languages.

Two wonderful examples we received recently are shared below.

Thank you to all contributors.

All the work is based upon the Primary Languages VLE and the Ready Made SOW plus our Seasonal Specials,KS1 materials and Cross Curricular materials,

Festive freebies

Spanish rudolph book mark.JPG

Our festive “Rudolph Bookmark Corners” are a FREEBIE for everyone in the run up to the festive season. Use as a beginners’ consolidation reading and writing activity and revisit basic numbers and colours and practises the spelling of a target language Xmas greeting. Make them and take them home as a gift too. Ideal for Year 2 or Year 3 language learners.

They are also one of the simple resources that will make up the” Primary Languages Network Xmas Bundle 2018” on the Primary Languages Network VLE. this year.Network members will find them in Seasonal Specials Autumn 2 and non-network members can download them for FREE from the Active Lingo shop - here’s the quick links:

French Rudolph Bookmark Corner

Spanish Rudolph Bookmark Corner

German Rudolph Bookmark Corner

It's a Christmas Rescue!

2018-11-08 20_58_14-#F_The Christmas rescue Story French.pptx - PowerPoint.png

Refresh your Xmas primary language learning activities with these brand new Xmas French and Spanish bundles and original story resource.Listening,speaking,reading, writing and performance activities based upon our original and simple “Christmas Rescue” story. Santa’s sleigh has broken down and the alien family and their space ship save the day!

The resources and lesson guides practise:

  • nouns (focus on presents the children may like to give and receive),

  • ordinal numbers when sequencing a story (literacy reinforcement and fronted adverbials),

  • listening activity based on the “Ordinal Number “lesson power point version of the “Christmas Rescue” story,using native speaker sound files

  • pronunciation and intonation practise with the native speaker sound files

  • listening and enjoying story in French or Spanish

  • reading aloud and joining in with the Xmas story

  • memory and recall skills

  • story retelling with our story map,

    You may wish to learn more about the resources and lessons.Click here to listen to the CPD webinar “All I want for Xmas”.

    Plus the additional resources:a letter to Santa using our Santa’s wishlist letter and designing brand new Xmas jumpers for the superheores of the story resource - the alien family.It’s your choice whether you use these two additional resources separately or as a lead in and celebration of the story in a sequence of lessons in the run up to Xmas.Take a look below at examples of the resources……

Explore the story in Spanish ,French and English .The French and Spanish stories have simple sentences and native spekaer sound file support as the alien family help Santa deliver presents to the elf , the gingerbread man and the polar bear after Santa’s sleigh breaks down.

S El rescate 2.png

Use the story map and the sentence bricks to rebuild and then retell the story. Explore listening skills with the “Ordinal Number” version of the story and link this to your class’ work in Literacy on fronted adverbials.

story map.png

Explore the presents and the nouns in Santa’s sack with our Xmas nouns flashcards and native speaker sound files.Set the scene to the story and write your letters to Santa.

Letter to Santa .png

Finally design your own Xmas jumpers for the Candy Cane company and also for the alien family.

F_Christmas Jumper Guess Who French.pptx [Protected Vi.png

All the resources are available in French, Spanish and English from our Active Lingo Shop on the Primary Languages Network website.Plus our PLN network members can access all these materials as normal for free in the Network Resources area of the PLN VLE .

Non- network members can buy these resources as a bundle from our Active Lingo shop for just £4.99.

In French

In Spanish

Plus we now have the Christmas Rescue Story resources in English with WAGOLL text and Writing Checklists for just £2.99.



As Primary Languages Network we teach Primary French to thousands of children each week.Our “People Pillar Poems “ about soldiers in WW1 is enabling us this week(and possibly next) to explore with UKS2 language learners, “Remembrance of WW1” and “Armistice”.

The activity is based upon the blog post I wrote in 2016, “People Pillar Poems “:nouns and adjectives to describe specific types of people and creatvely used in pillar like poems.

Our native French speaker associate teacher,Steph Pierre, used this blog post as a spring board to create a complete lesson powerpoint for all our Primary Languages Network teachers to use describing the soldiers (les poilus) in WW1.(If you are a network member then the whole resource is on the PLN VLE in Seasonal Specials Autumn 2).Below are some FREE materials from the resource that everyone can use to create their own people pillar poems.


Share and discuss facts about Armistice.


Use bilingual dictionaries to look up the highlighted adjectives and understand the simple poem about a soldier (slide above).

Use the gap filler template below to write poems.


Finally write out the poems and making a class display of the people pillar WW1 soldier poems they have created.In instances children are dedicating the poems to their own ancestors who fought in WW1.The template for the people pillar poem is in the blog post.Thanks to Clare Seccombe who created the template after I wrote the blog post.

We hope you find this FREE activity useful .

P1340091 (1).JPG

Sparkle time!


November school days can be dark and cold. Add sparkle,action and illumination to the school day and your primary languages teaching and learning with our “Let’s Sparkle” performance poem. Plus there is an activity guide on creative and active ways to exploit the simple spoken and written text from KS1 through to Year 6.Could help you create a performance for a Winter assembly,Diwali and festivals of light weeks or even a Christmas show!

Why not listen to, join in with, practise and perform our “Let’s Sparkle” poem and revisit core language that every foreign language learner will have met in first couple of months of language learning?

The poem has a repetitive verse and practises greetings,simple feelings, numbers 1-10 and some common colours. More details and the downloadable documents are available here in our Active Lingo Shop in French,Spanish ,German and English (with text and native speaker sound files too).

Let’s sparkle poem, sound files and activity guide. French

Let’s sparkle poem, sound files and activity guide Spanish

Let’s sparkle poem ,sound files and activity guide German

Let’s sparkle poem,sound files and activity guide English

How have we used the resources?
A class listen and join in activity.
Writing our own new verses with core target language.
Creating our own actions and performances
Creating a class video to add as a QR to the class Xmas greeting card home
To celebrate Diwali

And if you are already a Primary Languages Network member and use our Ready Made SOW then you will find that it is already part of the Year 4 Autumn 2 SOW too.

Physical fireworks

2018-10-15 20_55_53-Window.png

Listen ,respond and create physical firework displays in your French and Spanish language lessons. Combine simple gymnastics and creating shapes with target language listening and physical responses.

We have created a simple three step lesson guide ,written by a PE specialist and based on creating three gymnastics movements (stretch, pike and tuck) with accompanying phrase and sound files by native speakers.

photo .jpg

Plus the alien character prompt cards will support your children as they create the physical shapes and will reinforce the gymnastic poses they are practising.

2018-10-15 20_56_30-Window.png

The three activities lead to the creation of group work where the children produce their own physical firework displays , based on well known types of fireworks they might see at a local firework display.


Why not work alongside the PE specialist or coach in school? One of our network schools,Bradshaw CP, combined Spanish language learning with a PE coaching session and the Spanish teacher worked alongside and supported the non- Spanish speaking PE coach to develop a sensational sequence of gymnastics and Spanish language learning .This is what Gwyneth Wellings, the Spanish teacher, had to say:

This afternoon our year 4 children enjoyed a PE lesson in Spanish. Tom Dore our PE assistant used the Physical Fireworks with Spanish plan from the network. He isn’t a Spanish speaker but he made a real effort to use all the commands and to pronounce them. Afterwards he told me how much he had enjoyed it. He is hoping to use the plan for years 5 & 6 later in the week. I am thrilled - at last Spanish is being used for cross curricular purposes and not just in the Spanish lessons

You can access this resource as Primary Languages Network Premium Member on our VLE in the PE and Languages Pack or you can purchase the resource for just 0.99 pence from our Active Lingo shop in French, or Spanish.

Active Lingo home pic.png

Spooky goings on!


Spooky sentences, both spoken and written in target languages in school allow your classes to make links across the curriculum at this time of year. Yes we are working with limited language but gosh we can be creatibve with this language!

The photo above is of “spooky party tooters” seen in a French shop last year. Great opportunity to use the photo as a stimulus or hook to create spooky chants, spooky voices, spooky greetings and farewells.Why not record these spooky sayings and create your own spooky statements cauldrons too in which children can keep a record of their “spooky spoken phrases and sentences” as written ingredients to a potion. We have created a simple activity sheet and teacher’s activity guider for this.Network members can find these in our Seasonal Specials on the Primary Languages Network VLE and this year non- network members can download the activity sheet as a “freebie” from the Active Lingo shop (just select your target language) and search for the sheet “Spooky Statements”. (link here goes to the sheet in the Active Lingo French shop).

A spooky poem anyone? Why not practise and perform our spooky poems?

poeme fantomatique.png

And then engage the class in special language detective work,using our “messy magic” sheets to help the witch put ingredients in her cauldron for her spell. Network members can access these poems in French and Spanish on the Primary Languages Network VLE .Non-network mebers can access the resource in our Active Lingo shop here: French: poeme fantomatique and messy magic sheet or Spanish poema fantasmal .

And what about a story about a witch’s day at school?

As Primary Langauges Network members , take advantage of the Seasonal Specials Halloween folder resources : our snakes and ladders game (practising numbers and commands) and our witch’s day at school story with audio and lesson plan activities in our Ready Made SOW Year 5 Autumn 1. Non network members you can access the story here in the Active Lingo Shop Witch’s Day at School in French or Witch’s Day at School in Spanish .

Enjoy some spookily successful language learning.

Creative minds


This is a fabulous example of how the resources we create, are taken and developed and expanded upon by primary schools.Thanks to Carol and her team,the children are exploring mindfulness using a foreign language as the vehicle for this.They are then linking their target language mindfulness to creative outcomes across the wider school curriculum.The whole school have embraced the use of this resource and are finding ways to weave it through their daily school life.

I wrote about how this resource can be used to develop mindful listening in a previous blog post. Now we are seeing how schools are taking the clips and using them as very useful well being, language learning and creative learning resources beyond the language learning classroom.

Yesterday with colleagues at a CPD meeting we discussed how the clips can be used in so many creative ways.For example, the planets’ video in the 10 for £10 pack available in our Active Lingo French and Spanish shops, can be used to be creative and go on an imaginary space journey and think about colours and sounds on a different planet.Ideal to use too with our Ready Made SOW too and our family from outer space,if your school is a Primary Languages Network premium member..


You can see samples of the videos on our website here Bitesize mindfulness videos .It was devised,filmed and created by members of the Primary Languages Network team with native speaker voices and visual target language.

Making real progress 1


Just as the slogan on the bag below states, we understand that language learning offers children the chance to explore the World and this goes beyond just academic value.However to enable some of the world of education to harness the power of primary languages, we are aware that evidence of progress is required,So this year my colleagues and I are going to intermittently generate progress blog posts. We will also be sharing this evidence on our Twitter feed too (@JanetLloydnet).


The evidence shared by Primary Languages Network teachers in a variety of settings ranging from small urban state primary schools to large academy trusts and one public school are examples of the four core skills and language learning skills captured in the classroom on the day the learning took place from KS1 to UKS2.Not the best but a fair range of examples of work. Evidence of progress can not be purely based upon the children’s ability to write sentences. Language learning is surely far more than just this. So let’s start with evidence that reaches out beyond language learning and adds value to every child’s progress. Let’s start with European Day of Languages 2018, Mindfulness in a foreign language,Yoga and Spanish/French super days and cultural exchanges.

And now the first of a series of Twitter posts that we have shared as individual items and hope will help those who read this to gain an insight in to and maybe better understanding of what progress over time in primary languages really looks like. Remember this is our first evidence gathering of the academic year and is just a reflection of the first three to four weeks of our learning year 2018….

Poem time.L'automne arrive!


At this time of year we practise colours in French so it seems an easy link to make with Autumn and tha changes in colours all around us on the trees.So what have we created? Here is a sneak preview…

Taster.pdf - Adobe Reader.png

A simple French Autumn poem, looking at the change in seasons from Summer to Autumn and the change in colours of the trees and the leaves.

Children are encouraged to join in, to imagine they are on the walk and act out the text that they read aloud.This will lead beautifully in to an assembly performance for some of you , we are certain!

The “Teacher’s Activity Guide” suggests ways to exploit the poem, practise colours, understand the meaning of familiar and some unfamiliar nouns and get ready to perform the poem.

There is also an “Autumn Leaves’ Links” activity sheet to accompany the poem and allow teachers to extend the language learning for more advanced primary French learners. Let’s look for adjectives and nouns and write our own versions.

Network members can access the poem on the VLE in Seasonal Specials

Non-network members can purchase the poem plus the teacher’s guide and the Autumn Leaves’ Links activity sheet, all for just 99 pence in our Active Lingo French shop.This is on the Primary Languages Network website. Here is the direct link to purchase the resource Autumn performance poem Active Lingo French

Smile! It's language learning!


End of very busy and important week in our network. We have celebrated European Day of Languages as always and it has been a delight to see the ideas and creativity based upon our Primary Languages Network 2018 theme of “Everyone smiles in the same language”.

We work with small country schools, large urban schools, schools with 98/99% EAL, alsorts of schools. This week is an annual opportunity to celebrate diversity of languages,cultures within our school communities and beyond.(During the year as a network we work together to promote primary language learning of French,Spanish and German as a whole school learning opportunity, guided and supported by our Ready Made Schemes of Work. ) We find it amazing everytime we hear a child in a school speak in anther language or share knowledge of their own language learning experiences or cultural celebrations.This week allows us to remember that we are all part of one large global communicating community.

Take a look below at this sample of how schools have been celebrating languages within their school communities and new languages beyond their own school experience.Thank you to everyone.

Everyone smiles in the same language.

Smiley spoons.jpg

Everyone smiles in the same language! The idea to develop this as a one off stand alone lesson and to link this to an exploration of feelings and emotions came to me when I was at the Bilbao Guggenheim this Spring. Esther Ferrer’s interactive installation “las risas del mundo” ( see below in this Tweet from “descubrir el arte”) engages you with faces that appear on interactive screens and smile back at you as you look at the face.Each screen is placed above an area/ country of the World and each face on the screen is a person from that area or place.

What a brilliant way to celebrate diversity and range of languages spoken in your schools.

As a team of primary teachers we will use this to celebrate EDOL.We produce a set of simple resources and a focus for Primary Langauges Network every year in September to celebrate European Day of Languages.It’s a day established languages of the World.This has inspired our theme this year “Everyone smiles in the same language”.

Here are a few ways that we are adapting the theme for the classroom:

With a song launched at our annual Primary Languages Network conference:

Writing our own extended sentences to describe our feelings and emotions,using them for speaking ,reading aloud and listening activities and creating a photographic display linked to “las risas del mundo”.

Discussing and understanding how to empathise with each other and feelings and looking out for non verbal communication and listening to spoken communication about feelings and emotions.

And finally! A Class World map of smiles. Create your own Art installation of smiles. Ask children to research verbs for “to smile” and“ to laugh”  in languages from around the World or to share home language vocabulary they already know and use. Ask the children to record these words and create emojis to represent these verbs. On a map of the World create an emoji record of the written word and the drawn emojis, sticking the emojis near or on the countries where the language is spoken.