Mothers Day poem and book.

Heart books.JPG

Mothers' Day is next Sunday in Great Britain.A great opportunity to focus on the use adjectives to describe people with UKS2 children and possibly younger KS3 language learners .

We have created a lesson called "Spoken from the Heart". The lesson has sound file support,a step by step lesson plan plus children's writing frame in French and in Spanish.We try to support all teachers whether specialist or non-specialist teachers to be able to help their pupils achieve a quality target language outcome and in this instance this will be a take home book as a present for mums and carers with a recorded message too perhaps.  

mothers day lesson.png

The children listen,practise,join in and perform the poem alongside the video clips below. Everyone can access these on our You Tube Channel . (Network members can also access and download these from the VLE Seasonal Specials Spring 2 "Mothers Day " file,where you will also find the lesson plans and writing templates too). They have been created with native speakers and can also be used to produce your own class recorded performances for mums and carers and booklets based on the poem. Last year children who were working with our associate teacher,Joanne, created their own IPad video poems for their own mums.They were fantastic! 

The writing frame supports all the children to create their own "Spoken from the heart" booklets.

Heart cards.JPG
spoken from heart template.png

Network members can find all these resources in French and Spanish in Seasonal Specials on the Primary Languages Network Virtual Learning Environment.

Non-network members can access these from the Active Lingo French and Spanish shops on the Primary Languages Network website.  

You may like to listen in or listen after to our  Out of this World APPS and IT with primary languages webinar on Wedneday 15 March .More details here.

You can find out more about all we can offer schools here on Primary Languages Network website.

Contact the sales coordinator for a FREE tour of our Primary Languages Network virtual learning environment and take a look at our Ready Made SOW for KS2 and the stories within the SOW.

Long live books!

Vive les livres.jpg

This delightful French book (available in German "Mein Buch ,mein Freund,mein Abenteuer" and can be found in Spanish and Italian too) has one phrase per page with the most powerful images.The images and phrases enoucrage readers to think about how exciting books can be.! It uses phrases such as "livre gros" ( and the image is an elephant on a page) and "livre petit" ( and the image is a mouse on a page ) and "livre chapeau" ( a book as a hat!). The story book "Vive les livres" ends by suggesting that there is a book for everybody at all times! I love the book! 

Here is a slide share of the French version "Vive les livres".

With  or without the book here are some activities for your classes on world Book Day that this book has inspired me to create.

Gathering books for Mystery book Messages and a Post It  Activity

The children will have to consider book categories and also think of their own favourite book.
The types of books you are introduce will depend on the books in your own school library or class reading area and the children will be responsible for  selecting some of the books.

Have a look around your library or class reading area and find books that meet some of these suggested categories below:

big book,small book, funny book ,happy book ,sad book, sacry book , sunny book, sports book, recipe book , story book,book about animals, factual book , book about geopgraphy , book about history, book about paintings ,

Mystery Book  Message                   
First activity will work best if you have real books that show the different types of books that we are describing and practising with actions linked to the book types. However you could use a mixture of real books and also pictures of the type book you want the children to guess, say and add an action for each type of book.

  • Put the books at the front of the class or in the class library and write on "post its" the "mystery book message" (which is actually the phrase to describe one of the different types of books). Give one post it to a pair or a table.
  • Ask the children to solve the mysery book message and then to go and select a book that matches the mystery message. Here is an opportunity to use bilingual dictionaries to solve the mystery book message. 
  • They need to bring this to a collection point at front of the room and post the post it on the front of the book and stand it up as if on display for the class to see. 
  • As a class investigate the books the children have brought to the collection point and look at the mystery book messages.
  • You could take a photo of your new class display with the post it labels in view.
  • Now the class is ready for the next activity.  

·Bring the books to life with bookshelf freeze frame pattern performances!

  • Take a look at the books that the children have put on the collection point display.Read thre labels together. Work out as a class what each label means.
  • Add a mime to explain the book post it message and say the mystery book message for each book in a voice apporirate to the book e.g.. a scary action and a scary voice for the "sacry book" etcetra.
  • Working in pairs can the children select their four or five favourite book message mimes and voices and create a "bookshelf freeze frame pattern" of these books .The children need to say, act out and bring to life each of the four or five mystery book messages and in between each of the four book physical performances they must freeze frame as if they are books on the shelf waiting to be picked and brought to life. 
  • Invite volunteers to share their "bookshelf freeze frame pattern performances".
  • If there is time the next activity will be an opportunity to explore extra language to describe the books.

Mystery book message lift the flap posters.

  • Give each child an A4 piece of plain paper.
  • Each child should place the piece of paper portratit style in front of them on the desk.
  • ask the children to fold  the A4 piece of paper in half  and make a crease.
  • Ask the children to open up the paper and make sure it is portrait style in front of them .
  • Fold over the top hakld of the piece of paper and make a crease .
  • Open up the folded over half and make sure that this can work as a flap.
  • Underneath the flap the children need to write nouns and adjectives and possibly infinitives of verbs associated with the type of book they have selected,For instance for a scary book the children may decide to write the target language nouns for ghost , witch , bat , vampire, cauldron and adjectives for creepy, dark etc.They should add a small diagram or picture to explain each of their nouns and adjectives etc.
  • On top of the flap they need to write the mystery book message in the target language in hand writing appropriate to the title - e.g scary hand writing. for a scary book .
  • On the bottom half of the page the children should use the book the class have found and put in the collection area to add a drawing of the book , its title and the name of the author.
  • You could  ask class volunteers to compile all of these in to a sugar paper "World Book Day Mystery Book Message" compilation so that all the children can look through and see each others ideas.  

You may like to listen in or listen after to our Active and Creative Story webinar next week 28 February 2018.More details here.

You can find out more about all we can offer schools here on Primary Languages Network website.

Contact the sales coordinator for a FREE tour of our Primary Languages Network virtual learning environment and take a look at our Ready Made SOW for KS2 and the stories within the SOW.

World Book Day


Link your language learning during the week of World Book Day to well known and familiar stories and characters.Perhaps even link the language learning on the day to a character the children or you may decide to pretend to be on the day .

Here are some blog posts with lessons and activities that may help link language learning and World Book Day stories and characters.

Roald Dahl Stories and Characters

Roald Dahl Day ideas - easy to transfer to World Book Day. Create simple personal informatioj cards about different characters.

Roald Dahl Reading Mystery Tour- explore the memorable items and objects from Roald Dahl's books e.g. Willy Wonka's glass escalator or The Twits upside down rooms.

Where's Wally prepositions  .jpg

Where's Wally ? - Take the class on a total physical response language learning jpurney to find Wally and practise the use of prepositions of place.

Table Top Stories - Pick a repetitive story.Explore the simple story line and characters and order that objects appear in the story with a table top display of small  prompt items representing key points on the story. A great total physical response activity and memory skills practise activity.


A Mad Hatter's Tea Party - building target language role plays and creating fantatsical descriptions of food. Activities based upon Alice and Wonderland with a fcous upon the Mad Hatter's tea party.

Alice in W.jpg

Alice in Wonderland - Spoken and written descriptions of characters.Adding challenge for UKS2 and looking at use of nouns,adjectives and bilingual dictionaries.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears- steps and ideas to produce a shadow puppet performance.

Going in a Bear Hunt rhyme with KS1 in Spanish.Active learning and a total physical response, listening and joining in.


Exploring Elmer - listening, joining in ,going on a jungle hunt with card telescopes, acting out and creating simple story files.


Cartoon concertina characters- creating very simple written sentence descriptions about cartoon characters. the eample in the blog post is based on Dennis the Menace but is easily transferable to othet characters.

story box.jpg

Story Character Boxes- reflecting on traditional tales and famous characyters and creating our very own story boxes filled with nouns and adjectives and possibly verb cards that remind us of the story.  

You may like to listen in or listen after to our Active and Creative Story webinar next week 28 February 2018.More details here.

You can find out more about all we can offer schools here on Primary Languages Network website.

Contact the sales coordinator for a FREE tour of our Primary Languages Network virtual learning environment and take a look at our Ready Made SOW for KS2 and the stories within the SOW.

Progress over time.


An example of work by one of the 250 Primary Languages Network schools.

"Carnival" means celebrations across Europe. An ideal opportunity to celebrate with our Year 5 language learners their progress over time. How do we make this progress? Below is a snapshot step by step guide to our progress with colours as adjectives over time.

With our Primary Languages Network Ready Made French and Ready Made Spanish schemes of work we help learners (and teachers) from the start of Key Stage 2 to progress stage by stage in their own personal development of:

  • language learning skills
  • competency in pronunciation and intonation
  • knowledge and understanding of the use of language content
  • knowledge and understanding of grammar,
  • self confidence
  • self efficacy
  • making purposeful links between the learning of a new target language, literacy and home languages.

We start in Autumn 1 Year 3  with our stage one learners.It's important to note that stage one learners can also be children who are Year 6 who are just starting to learn a language too. 

We plot the learning pathway with simple bullet point activities in core lesson plans, exploring language learning skills at the age and stage appropriate level with engaging resources.

colours lesson plan 1.png

We reinforce and revisit core learning  as we progress on the learning pathway .No surprise then that in Year 3 (stage one learners) Spring 2 we focus once again on colours with games and songs.We take the opportunity to explore carnival with a carnival colour song.  

Y3 Spr 2 lesson.png
Y3 spring 2 rainbow.png

Progress over time means we move from simple practise of core language, pronunciation and simple reading and writing of familiar words. In Year 4 (Stage 2) we revisit , refresh and explore this simple language learning knowledge in new and extended ways and explore its application in short simple sentences in listening,speaking ,reading and writing. We begin to focus on grammar and the use of colours with nouns in the target language. 

Y4 Spr 2.png
alien family sheet.png

Being creative with language learning allows the learners the opportunities to see how imaginative and independent they can already be with their developing language learning skills and content and grammar knowledge. Stepping in to the World of our alien family or exploring through drama and performance sentence level descriptions of animals as we walk through the jungle,children face language learning challenges that are attractive,differentiated and achievable. 

Y4 Sum 1 lesson plan.png

We have learned over time that native speaker sound files and video clips ensure that core language is always practised and reinforced accurately as we move forward .We are seeing some really effective and creative progress  because of this support.

jungle animals.png
Alien portrait gallery.jpg

Arriving in Spring 2 Year 5 our learners have investigated colours and adjectives  at word,phrase and sentence level and can now celebrate their basic competency in the use of nouns and adjectives with accurate agreement in short text level descriptions.It's carnival time and we are going to create our own carnival outfits.

We start with clear supported language practise, pronunciation and intonation suppport,review of prior learning in a new context and we explore language learniung skills and grammar at Year 5 stage 3 level

y5 spr 2 lesson plan.png
carnival characters.png

Until finally we can celebrate with class spoken and written descriptions of carnival clothes.


We are learning that progress never stops! As a group of primary practitioners we are pushing each other and ourselves to make sure our language learning is topical, achievable,attractive , purposeful and has challenge.We see the great benefit too of links with literacy and across the wider curriculum.

Recently we have begun to explore nouns,colours ,adjectival agreement and expanded noun  phrases with "Dragons and Unicorns. This was inspired by a "children's choice" vote. Over time , as we progress, this will be incorporated within the body of the SOW as part of the learning pathway. You can see below the same links being made - colours, colours as adjectives, word level, phrases level , senetnce and text level investigations and opportunities to strengthen over time language learning skills. What is very important to remember is that we have a clear plotted pathway from Year 3 to Year 5 and then beyond  in to Year 6 which enables us as classroom practitioners to step away from the core learning and explore these resources to promote progress in our pupils' language learning.

dragons comic book.png
dragons unicorns .png

You can listen to our most current creative webinar on "Dragons and Unicorns"

To find out more about Primary Languages Network ,you can contact us via the link below:

Primary Languages Network Contact Page



Open door on languages!

EDL 2.png

What a brilliant week in our network! It's been a celebration of "all things" languages and we have thoroughly enjoyed working with KS1 and KS2 children here in  the North West of England and witnessing their sheer delight in exploring languages and so importantly sharing their own knowledge of languages. Who says we are a mono-lingual country or that our children can't learn other languages? Take a look at this snapshot of tweets and pictures ......



Emojis and feelings

spanish adjectives 1.jpg

How important do the children think that facial expressions are? Can the children look at a range of emojis with you and decide what emotion each emoji expresses. 

Share a range of target language phrases that express these possible emotions in the target language.Ask the children with a partner to link the emoji pictures and the phrases.Take feedback.Does the class agree with individual pairs?

Show a short clip of World Faces- and ask the children to look at the faces and see the expressions .Select faces to pause the video and investigate the emotion in the picture.

Ask the children to draw an emoji and write a target language matching expression for the face when you have pause the video

Can some of the children say their written phrases to the class and create the face and actions that go with the phrase. 

Share a short clip of the Marcel Marceau Mask Maker video and ask the children as they watch to decide which phrases they have been practising may best suit the facial expressions they see in the masks that Marcel Marceau creates with his face.

Ask the children to create a 21st Century version of mask making story – an emoji story. Can the children draw “emojis” for each target language phrase they want to say in the order they want to say these phrases? Can a partner identify and say the phrases represented by the emojis?

 Ask the children to create their own “emoji” charts ( emojis and phrases) in the order they think reflect the change in mood and emotions from very happy to very sad.

Additional activities to use alongside these ideas can be accessed by Primary Languages Network member schools.Find out more details here 



Autumn approaches

Autumn poem.jpg

Autumn is here! Below are some ways that you may like to approach the practise of core language content and language learning skills iwith your classes,drawing on the inspiration of Autumn.

Autumn markets: Maths and Literacy links

  • What in the World is it? Taste and touch and sensations
  • Venn diagrams
  • Quantity and number of ....
  • Numbers , fruits , vegetables and guesstimations
  • Investigate descrtipton - nouns, adjectives , verbs
  • Market stall museums

Autumn and a walk in the park

  • 3D maps
  • Directions
  • Commands
  • Objects and nouns

Autumn celebrations and a touch of creativity

  • Incredible word harvest of fruit and vegetables
  • Woodland creatures
  • Puppets - owls
  • What does Autumn mean to me?- create a memory and feelings box 

All the information shared in these blog posts helps to create "Enhanced Learning " opportunities for our young language learners in our NEW Ready Made French, Spanish and German SOW for network members.Find out more here : Network Membership


Roald Dahl Day and language learning

roald dahl day 2.jpg

Here are some easy to organise and quick ways to incorporate characters and books from the wonderful author Roald Dahl in to your teaching on Roald Dahl Day or during the week after 13th September.

roald dahl day 1.jpg

Celebrating Roald Dahl Day in a foreign language

  • Story title recognition
  • What's our favourite story?
  • Building characters
  • Silhouette characters - sentence structure activity using nouns,  adjectives and verbs

Roald Dahl Reading Mystery Tour

  • Matching objects (pictures and nouns/ just nouns ) to story lines  
  • Matching language to story lines
  • Matching mystery sentences to book titles
  • Building descriptions - simple or complex sentences to create book storyline information

Popcorn whizzbanger birthday cards

  • Playing with adjectives
  • Popcorn adjectives charades


All the resources and activities are just a small part of the resources and materials accessible to network members on Primary Languages Network

For membership details see here


European Day of Languages

Treasure frm travels 2.png

How can you make European Day of Languages vibrant,fun and have a positive impact on the whole primary school and set the scene for a year of effective primary foreign language learning?

Below are links to activities that have worked for us (the PLN associate teachers, myself and PLN network schools) over the past few years.

Network members can access all the resources and materials for the suggested activities on the VLE in Seasonal Specials Autumn 1 folder  and also in the Cross Curricular area Celebrations folder.

This year our new resources and activities are called "Opening doors "  

 A grand day out

If a picture paints a thousand words .....

Celebrating "International Literacy Day" with links to European Day of Languages

Changing faces and creative PopArt challenge

Celebrating Roald Dahl Day and linking this to European Day of Languages

Bouquets of greetings for European Day of Languages

Klee facial expressions and flap faces

 Open the language door!

Oh and if you are network members then take a look at the work we did on launching aspirations and making and flying kites. The resource pack for whole school activities is called "Let's go fly a kite" 

Monet colour cathedrals

building map of target language country and adding to it as you find out more.jpg

During the holidays I happened to read a book about Monet and was taken by the fact that he painted Rouen cathedral 28 times between 1892 and 1893. He captured the cathedral in different lights and at different times of day. 

Perfect link between Art and language learning here! 

  • Locate the cathedral on Google Maps. Go on a real time tour of the area and the cathedral with Google Maps.Explore pictures and photographs of the actual cathedral. 
  • Take a look at some of the different picture Monet painted of the cathedral. Share these on a screen and give the children limited time to write down colours in either English or the target language that they see in the pictures.
  • Give the children time to compile a written target language list of all the colours and to check or look up colours in bilingual dictionaries.
  • Take verbal feedback of the colours from the children and record these on the flip chart.
  • Give children a blank piece of paper and ask the children to create a colour word cathedral of their own.Ask the children to build their own colour cathedrals using all the colours they noticed in Monet's pictures,from the bottom of the building up to the top, in an order they feel best fits the size and shape of the building.This activity will work best if they can use coloured pencils and pens to match the target language words.
  • Ask the children when they have finished their colour wordbuildings to now add similes for each colour. Let the children look at Monet's paintings again to inspire these simple similies using the key word "comme" e.g. bleu comme le ciel etcetra.
  • The children can then create a list of their similes and create their own similie word sculptures of the cathedral .
  • Colour word cathedrals and simile word sculptures can then be used to create a class display 

Coordinators' Checklists


Month by month "Coordinators' Checklists "!As valid this year as last!

Last year ,month by month ,I wrote a series of "Coordinators' checklist" blog posts to help with the academic year's roll out of effective primary language teaching and learning.The blog posts were written for all coordinators and teachers in charge of language teaching and also offer specific guidance to coordinators able to access our own network resources too.

First week back, coordinators' checklist (Sept)

Coordinators' October Checklist 

Coordinators' November Checklist

Coordinators' December Checklist

Coordinators' January Checklist

Coordinators' February Checklist

Coordinators' March Checklist

Coordinators' April checklist

Coordinators' May Checklist