Planet Word. Be inspired!


Inspiration! Today, listening to David Crystal OBE, triggered so many fantastic ideas to share the languages spoken in our own communities and speak up for languages and their value in our communities.. Links between languages, celebrating languages, links between languages and literacy, sharing our languages…. the list goes on.


I had the great fortune today at ALL Language World 2019 to attend the Mary Glasgow Plenary Presentation, “Twenty five years of not (yet) having a House of Languages”. Intriguing title ! His vision is for a museum of “living “ languages to “speak up for languages” and to share the importance and relevance of languages in everyone’s lives.

During the presentation I was inspired to tweet possible ways that we in all our primary schools, clusters and MATs icould contribute to a nationwide interconnected “House of Languages”.

Here are the tweets in order of inspiration.Hope that may inspire some of you who read this to perhaps investigate further the suggestions and create “Planet Words” in yoour own communities and schools.

Alphabet sculptures……Great languages, literacy, home languages and Art links here.

Voice analysis- just what might your voice sound like on 10,20,30 years? Drama,science and language learning links here

Celebrating all languages in our schools. Bringing home languages and primary foreign languages together.Celebrate and collate all the languages we use and hear in our learning communities.

Exploring the “mundo lingua” space in Paris via this website link.Use this as a platform to design your own “mundo lingua” spaces in schools.

Enage with the wider local community.Create library spaces in shared areas to share books from all the languages spoken and written in our communities.

Take this further and create multi-lending spaces in empty spaces and shops in our local hgh streets.

Set your children a challenge.Design language museum spaces of the future.Be inspired by the internatioanl architecture competition to design suitable spaces with interactive devices to share the excitement and diversity of languages.

Celebrate “English” and its origins.Find out more about the Winchester project.Become experts in your own schools and look at the origins of the English language. Great literacy, languages, history and geography investigations here.

Explore “Planet Word” and find out about this interactive language museum in America is taking shape. Take inspiration from this and build a speaking wall or a languages walk of your own in school , to celebrate “Planet Word” in your own school.

PLN News Podcast- March

This is the March edition of the podcast, all things to do with the conference, CPD, premium dashboard and local network meetings

for CPD enquiries contact

for LNM enquiries contact

to ask about the new dashboard contact

to try out all our resources go to 

Any other enquiries go to

Hope CP and Success in Spanish.

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Welcome to Hope Primary in Huyton,Knowsley, Liverpool. Let’s celebrate their success in the implementation of primary Spanish as a successful and integral part of the curriculum. Spanish is taught across KS2 by class teachers and children in KS1 also have Spanish learning opportunities.

This blog post is a delight to write and to share the vision,commitment and excellent progress that the staff,,children and the wider school community have made in their goal to ensure effective and purposeful primary Spanish language learning in school for all their children.

Debbie McConnell, Assistant Head, along with SLT , school MFL Coordinators’ Caitlin and Helen and all the class teachers and school staff have invested time and commitment in exploring, developing and now establishing a Spanish curriculum that enriches the lives of all their pupils. As a traded support service, Primary Languages Network , has been able to support them on this journey since 2014. The school achieved the enhancing Primary Languages Development Award in 2017 and are now well on their way to working toward their “Outstanding” award..

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We have supported the school with staff Spanish upskilling , pedagogy CPD and have held some of our local network meetings at the school (open to all teachers in the area who may be interested in primary languages). Debbie took on the role of MFL Coordinator and planned the development of teaching and learning of Spanish , working alongside the PLDA mentor Catherine Simms from Primary Languages Network.

Take a look here. The schools follows the PLN Ready Made Spanish SOW and plans for progress in across the four core skills, grammar and language learning skills:

Staff and children explore Spanish in a very primary and fun way and make sure that the wider Spanish World comes to school, so that all children have the opportunity to explore language learning and culture.From making cultural comparisons around festival times:


and enjoying PE in Spanish with their class teachers and the PE coaches who come in to school:

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to Spanish yoga days with Irene, our PLN native speaker primary teacher and yoga coach.


The school takes every opportunity to explore literacy and links between languages and literacy in their Spanish language learning lessons:

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They share their success in Spanish with the whole school and the wider community at community assemblies:

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and hold Spanish Super Days where the children, wider community of school staff get involved and native speakers are invited in to deliver Super Day activites:

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And because the school aims to support their children to beieve in their own future success and to respect others’ knowledge and achievements , Spanish is thriving as a whole school learning project which they are even happy to share with their feeder high school too! Well done Hope CP!

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PLN podcast #4-Suzanne O'Farrell -- Revitalising Language Learning.


#4 Suzanne O’Farrell

Revitalising Secondary MFL

This podcast is a conversation with Suzanne O'Farrell, ASCL MFL Lead, supporting primary and secondary school leaders in supporting effective MFL provision in schools, an experienced secondary Head and former MFL Head of Department. In conversation with a young teacher, who speaks Spanish and now works with teachers and schools in the primary sector, she offers great insights into her previous roles and future ambitions and aspirations for education

Take a listen! Suzanne is a bubbly and enthusiastic leader in our sector and somebody (after listening to this podcast) in which we can put our trust to continue to support school leaders as they seek to improve standards in modern foreign languages’ provision in primary and secondary education.

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The evidence shared by Primary Languages Network teachers shows examples of the four core skills and language learning skills.The examples have been captured in the classroom on the day that the learning took place from KS1 to UKS2. We hope that these examples help primary schools have confidence in their own primary languages teaching and learning plus we hope that the evidence in the Making Progress” blogposts so far support secondary colleagues in their developing understanding of the language learning in primary schools. (Links or our Making Progress 1 - Sept to Oct 2018 and Making Progress 2 Oct- Dec 2018)

The evidence in this post has been gathered from a sample of our 330 plus Primary Languages Network schools in French,Spanish and German (KS1 to UKS2) between end of Christmas term 2018 and Feburary half term 2019 .

The title photo is taken from our Canon Burrows CE Case Study video (December 2018).

It looks like lots of our schools have been taking children on virtual trips to target language countries or receiving and writing letters and cards to children in partner schools abroad. You can also see here examples of classroom learning games, speaking and listening activities, independent writing,sound spelling and appropriate grammar actvities.

So let’s start with children at St Gerard’s in Year 2 meeting their Spanish friends via Skype - a regular occurence at St Gerard’s with our associate Primary Languages Network teacher, Ana,

From school to Spain and back again in one day.Whole school virtual visit to Spain by primary school children and staff..

Including visits to other Spanish speaking countries too and also comic book stories.

Establishing good language learning habits for the future.Taking challenges home and practising language with the rest of the family.

French Year 3 beginners and a game of Quiz Quiz Swap to practise months of the year.

Firts year of language learning and starting to explore grammar.Practising plurals with Year 3 and work on animal nouns in Spanish.

Emphasis on sound spelling links.Revisiting letters and sounds in Year 4 and gathering evidence of understanding by encouraging children’s own notes about how to pronounce tricky Spanish letters.

Simple accurate sentence writing with a touch of creativity. Creating our own alien family on the moon. Year 4 Spanish.

Busy in French in Year 4 too, creating our own alien characters too and practising accurate simple personal information sentences.Thanks to Queen’s Park for this photo.


Year 4 ,creating Spanish spoken texts and preparing to create their Viva Video movie books , to introduce their own descriptions of members of our “Alien Family” .

Snowy day Spanish and a great opportunity to work with bilingual dictionaires and explore words to describe snomwen in Spanish.

From nouns to adjectives and now to verbs. Conjugating the verb “to be” in French and linking this to our panto character lesson plan in Year 5 French .

French and celebrations. Practising writing simple descriptive sentences to design Epiphany crowns in Year 4 and 5 classes around the Primary Languages Network schools at the start of 2019 .


Freeze frame drama and performance in Spanish with Year 5

German in primary .Year 5 and 6 learning German and making links with penfriends in Germany.

Receiving Christmas letters from penfriends in Spain -UKS2 Spanish language learners.

Taking a cultural and language learning virtual visit to Paris and Montmartre,practising spoken French role plays on the virtual visit around the city.

Continuing to develop and extend writing skills:Year 6 French and extended sentence writing,sharing sporting opinions.

PLN Podcast #3-- Therese Comfort-- 'Why we are doing this….'


PLN Podcast #3

with Therese Comfort

Today’s podcast is with Therese Comfort, a primary school teacher and former national lead for primary languages at CiLT.

Therese brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and practical approaches to in-class teaching of primary languages for both the specialist and the non-specialist teacher.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast on Itunes

PLN News podcast- Feb 19 // Click2Teach // PLN Conference 1019 // CPD and associate updates

In this month’s discussion points, we introduce the new 'Click2Teach' curriculum, which runs alongside the Ready Made KS2 SOW in French,Soanish and German and is designed to get your schools non-specialists teaching languages, with its easier to use, game-based, less in-depth curriculum.

Also, we will update you on the PLN conference date and theme and upcoming LNM meetings dates. We also look into what Susanne has been doing with the ITT training, get an update from Emilie in regards to our languages associates and its prospective expansion, and finally receive admin updates from Catherine, in regards to new associates and the PLDA award

Click on the links below if you are interested in any of the topics


For a demonstration of our resources contact

For info about our languages associates contact

for info about our CPD courses contact

any other enquiries contact 

Celebrating whole school success - learning Spanish at Canon Burrows CE, Tameside

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Canon Burrows CE Primary School - Tameside


It’s a delight to share with you our case study (and video) of the outstanding success in the teaching and learning of Spanish by both the staff and children at Canon Burrows CE - Tameside.


The whole school commitment to the teaching and learning of primary foreign languages is quite amazing!

Primary Languages Network first began to work with the school in 2013, when the school became Premium network members.

Presentation of the “Outstanding” Primary Languages Award to Canon Burrows CE

Presentation of the “Outstanding” Primary Languages Award to Canon Burrows CE

Canon Burrows CE received their well deserved “outstanding” Primary Languages Development Award in October 2018. The success of Spanish in the school is due to the commitment and hard work of; Elizabeth Adamson (Liz) the MFL Coordinator; the support and vision of SLT and the willingness of all the staff to engage with the teaching and learning of Spanish across KS2.

The school are supported by a Spanish language teacher and the key language teaching time in class is seen as teacher CPD and staff join in, learn with the class and then teach aspects of the learning themselves later in the week to their own pupils.


The staff, who are all non-specialists in Spanish, feel confident that they can deliver Spanish to their own classes. Liz has ensured that all staff work with the resources on the VLE, access the native speaker clips and sound files in the Ready Made SOW and receive regular updates and CPD to enable them to develop their understanding of the language and very importantly the pedagogy. Liz, herself, has accessed; 1 to 1 consultancy support each year, visited and observed other PLN member schools’ Spanish learning programmes and has organised staff CPD from Primary Languages Network and has attended the annual PLN conferences.

Each of these CPD components has ensured the progress and success the school can see in the teaching and learning of Spanish. Last year (2018) the staff wanted to focus on Spanish up-skilling and also on “making progress in MFL ” , a bespoke package of CPD delivered by our associate teacher trainers.

Susanne Wilson of Primary Languages Network delivering staff CPD at Canon Burrows CE

Susanne Wilson of Primary Languages Network delivering staff CPD at Canon Burrows CE

SLT explain to the children that they are all on a learning journey together, making the whole learning experience more positive across the wider school community too.

This shared learning journey has enabled the staff and the children to make great progress in their ability to communicate effectively across the four core skills with age and stage appropriate Spanish. These snapshots below are samples of evidence mapping progress across word to sentence to text level, from exploring carnival ,making masks and practising and recording simple questions and answers:

… learning how to use of bilingual dictionaries, record and remember new language:

… learning how to use of bilingual dictionaries, record and remember new language:

…….to writing postcards to describe famous Spanish cities they have explored:

…….to writing postcards to describe famous Spanish cities they have explored:

……to engaging with penfriends in a Spanish school and sending and receiving letters at different times throughout the year

……to engaging with penfriends in a Spanish school and sending and receiving letters at different times throughout the year

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Every year they celebrate the school celebrates their successful progress with language sharing assemblies, where each year group teaches the rest of the school something they have learnt.

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The school celebrates European Day of Languages each year which allows the whole school to; explore other cultures; make links across the curriculum for example DT and making recipes Art ,Dance ,History and to transfer language learning skills from one language to another:

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For Canon Burrows CE, the progress they have already made is outstanding. The combination of SLT vision and support, the incredible passion and commitment of the MFL coordinator and the engagement and enthusiasm of the whole staff contributes to this amazing progress. We look forward to seeing how much more the school progresses in its whole school language learning journey.

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Bring in the New Year!

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Bring in the New Year of language learning! Simple start of year lesson sequence below.

Quick and simple New Year’s language learning activity here with a touch of music and peformance too!

This video above is just a simple snap shot clip of a band marching in an “Epiphany” parade. It was filmed this weekend in Spain but can be used whatever the target language you teach, to celebrate the start of a new academic term at the start of 2019..

Here’s how we suggest you use the clip:

  • Set the scene and talk about celebrations in January and how people celebrate and bring in the new calendar year.

  • Revisit simple or core language taught or practised regularly last term. Think - greetings , numbers , colours, months. days of the week, feelings.

  • Play the clip of the band. Can the children recognise the tune being played?

  • Divide the class in to differentiated ability groups of 6 - 8 children .Give each “group” now working as a “marching and musical band” a core language focus - so one group focuses on numbers , one group focuses on months or colours etcetra.

  • Challenge the groups to put the core language to a familiar tune. We suggest this needs to a lively tune that they can then march to, like a band.

  • Ask the children to add performance and become a marching band, pretending to play imstruments and perform their core language marching songs and tunes.

  • Ask each group to present their performances to the class.

  • Join all the performances together and order the groups in a way that the class feels is the best fit both musically and in terms of types of core language.

  • Create a class performance and why not video it too!

PLN News Podcast #1- Jan 2019 // Mindfulness // ITT Training // Resources //Premium

Primary Languages News- January 2019

Firstly, Happy New Year to all! We hope you are having and are set to have your best year yet!

This is the brand new PLN news podcast in which we will update you with all things PLN on a monthly basis

In this news update, Will discusses the following topics:

  1. The effectiveness of using mindfulness in the classroom

  2. The benefits of the premium membership

  3. The success and details of our ITT training

  4. Last Year Primary Languages Development Award receivers

  5. Updates about the growth of PLN and our associates

  6. Resources to use in the new year

if you are interested in any of what is said here are links to:

Multilingual Happy New Year


Our classrooms within our growing Primary Languages Network schools have children with great skills - other language plus great curiosity about the World outside their own communities.Last year we created a New Year’s lesson to celebrate the “multi-lingual “ nature of our communities. Here is a very simple first lesson back to celebrate the New Year and to be able to explore with your children in your classes that all around the World people have started their own “new years” and wished each other all the best for ther new year too! .

Network members will find the complete lesson plan and resources plus this multi-lingual Happy New Year triarama in the Ready Made French,Spanish and German SOW in Year 5 Spring 1 .

Non-network members can download this triarama from the French ,Spanish and German Active Lingo shop on the Primary Languages Network website.

Here is a the direct link to access and download this for FREE.

International Happy New Year triarama in Active Lingo Shop to download.

Primary Languages podcast #2 --- Meet the team - Emilie Woodroffe


Episode #2

Meet the team - Emilie Woodroffe

Welcome to episode 2 of the primary languages podcast, where I sit down and have a conversation with Emilie Woodroffe. Emilie is now the associate coordinator at PLN, and has worked for nearly 10 years with Janet Lloyd. Tune in to this conversation about how she moved to England from France, and how she has ended up in a role tailor made for her abilities and interests. Relive her journey from British council languages assistant to associate teacher coordinator