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

Box of Wonders

Treasure from travels 1.JPG

Getting ready to meet your new class? Creating your new roleplay areas and setting up your reading corners? Here is a resource that all teachers could create for their classess no matter what level their own foreign language skills. A box of wonders!

Remember how tiny some of your young language learners are. Don't forget that for some of them their worlds are built around their families, their street, their local area ....Others bring a world of experiences to your class.Let's broaden their horizons and share experiences.

Why not begin to make a "box of wonders" for your classroom and your new classes this next year? The box will make a great "talking about" resource too.Remember it's the touchy , feely actually looking at,exploring and investigating for ourselves moments that sometimes stay as clear memories.Nothing therefore is too small or too silly - think out of the box and think about things that the children may be interested in.

A box that the children can independently explore,kept in the role play or reading area.A box for quiet time or an activity for those who finish work  early etcetra. A box that you can occasionally bring out and share as a class activity ,linked to a cross curricular theme e.g foods, cities, buildings, rhymes , stories from around the World etc...... 

Start building your box of wonders from items you may not even realise you already have at home, have access to on the internet and maybe already in your school...

My box of wonders would contain....

  • Birthday cards
  • Maps of cities, countries, continents
  • A globe
  • Old passports
  • Tickets - for travel/ planes/ trains/ buses
  • Food wrappings with  other languages written on them
  • Photos of shops in our own town that have writing in other languages and scripts
  • Magazine and newspaper front pages- I will be putting in my box my Winnie Puuh German magazine, my old Okapi and Astrapi French magazines , my son's Spanish football magazines etcetra
  • Pictures of famous people from other countries- singers, sports stars, people from history
  • Traditional dress pictures and items - may even add my own (quite old) traditional Welsh dress doll
  • Pictures of famous monuments and items- I even have a small Eiffel tower that I would put in my box of wonders and a toy Merzedes car , a beret, an apron with World foods on it, a german Didl , minerals from Mount Vesuvius, dutch clogs,model Lufthansa plane, my Nepalese beads ....etcetra
  • Holiday pictures/ photos of views etc-
  • Pictures of foods
  • Pictures of sports from around the world
  • Postcards from other countries
  • Familiar stories in other languages books
  • Printed off fronts covers f books that are familiar in different languages
  • A CD with sounds of other languages - maybe a familiar song in lots of languages
  • Target language DVD sleeves of familiar films 

And what could the children contribute to the box of wonders too....? A treasure chest that could grow and grow.

Sent from my iPhone


Back to school coordinators checklist

checklist (1).jpg

Before you start to organise resources , planning and tracking tools for language learning this next academic year in school please make sure you take a look at our NEW Ready Made French and Spanish SOW on the PLN VLE .I think it will be a much easier way to organise year by year learning.

Network members have access  to the VLE using their unique username and password. We can send you a reminder of this if you email us directly here .Contact us . All staff in school can have access to this username and password.

Just in case you want to check what is on offer on the VLE then here is a previous blog post describing the tools the VLE and the SOW and resources for schools.

The user files on the VLE are your own independent and private sharing area where you can customise and share the academic year's language learning experience   

Here is a brief summary of the resources we think that you should have organised and be ready to stick in to books, put on the school intra-net or share in staff room, in the userfiles or as classroom display at the start pf the academic year.All these documents are accessible in the New Ready Made SOW. Take a look through the bullet point list here:

Go on to the VLE. Select the quick link to the Ready Made SOW we have put in your "favourites" area.

Take a look on the New Ready Made SOW for French and Spanish and on the oveview table you will find a "planning" section at the bottom of each year group's column.

Here you can find and then clipboard to userfiles and year groups' folder or download and print:

  • Pupils' language learning and year group specific exercise book covers
  • French or Spanish marking code sheets (one per child's exercise book)
  • How we learn French /Spanish powerpoint slide - for eiethr you classroom wall, your own intra-net languages' page or  individual prints offs for exercise books
  • AfL clouds - one per term per year group for children's reference and to be completed by the children as they progress through the Ready Made SOW. (The word document means you can enlarge or amend the bubbles and content)
  • SOW content medium term planning sheet for you teacher's folder and/or to share with parents on the intra-net
  • Tracking sheet with content,phonics, grammar , assessments and DfE Attainment Target tracking - one sheet per class and specific sheets for each year group - as teacher record and guide of progress of the class
  • Assessment folder with Puzzle It Outs, listening sound files and transcripts and also reading texts and transcripts. Plus a spreadsheet per class to record progress.


Anyone for word tennis?

•       Work in pairs 

•       Create a set of 20 small cards with prompt pictures or words in English on them that you have learned this year in primary languages.

•       Swap sets of cards with another pair.

•       Create a paper tennis court for you both to play word tennis upon .

•       Draw the tennis court lay out- you need   two front boxes and a back box each plus a net in between.

•       Each player numbers their own back box on the court with a number "6" and the front two boxes with any number of your choice between 1 and 5.

•       You will need a dice and a set of prompt cards- made up of colours, days, months, fruits, animals -either prompt pictures or English word prompts.

•       The tennis match lasts 10 minutes. Time this on a watch.

•       Each player rolls the dice and needs a 6 to start. 

•       When the player rolls a "6" then the player can then select two cards from the pile of prompt cards and try to say or write down in the target language the words prompted by the cards.

•       If the player can complete the spoken or written task correctly then the player keeps the cards.

•       Otherwise the cards get passed across the net to the other player and this player can have a go at saying or writing the target language. 

•       Once each player has rolled the first "6" then when it is the player’s turn to roll the dice, if the dice lands on a “6” pick up two cards and try to answer the prompts.

•       If the dice lands on one of the numbers in that players front boxes on the court then the player who rolls it can pick up on card and try to say or write it in the target language.   

Winner is the player with the most cards at the end of the match.


What is the Ready Made KS2 SoW?

1.The Ready Made French and Spanish SoW are accessible via our Primary Languages Network VLE. It has been created for both non-specialist and specialist teachers of languages. So what is the VLE ? The VLE is a virtual learning environment that allows everyone using our materials and services to keep in touch and to share and network plus we can update our materials and resources immediately and continue to build upon the good practice a nd resources we share.The video below will explain more about the VLE and it also explains the tools of the Ready Made SOW iwhich is hosted on the VLEand how this works.

Interested? Well we offer three types of membership: teacher membership , online membership  for schools which includes webinar CPD and premium school membership.which includes local contact and face to face meetings.

2. In Ready Made SOW there are lesson plans from Year 3 Autumn 1 through to Year 6 Summer 2.All lesson plans have been tried and tested and checked, revised and added to with the help of our associate PLN language teachers , who teach over 10,000 children per week in KS1 and KS2.Specialists and non-specialists can use these are the back bone of their language teaching and learning or as a platform upon whihc to build their own creative approaches.

3.Every lesson plan has maximum 3 activities. Each activity has the main DfE Attainment Target addressed by the activity and the appropriate age and stage skill level learning objective (linked to KS2 Framework).All lesson plans have direct links to the basic resources required so that teachers can deliver the core three activities on every lesson plan, no matter what level they are in the target language.


4.The VLE allows you  to clipboard, download and print from any document including lesson plans and resources from the Ready Made SOW, so you can organise planning as required by school.Your Userfiles on the VLe act as a great storage space for clipbiarded materials and this means that you can share these with all your school if you are an online or premium member.

4.In each  half term section from Y3 Aut 1 to Y6 Sum 2 there will be maxmum seven lessons (approximatley 40-45 minutes per lesson if recommended) with a core theme and a maximum of three sub-sections or themes that fit easily with the age,stage and whole school primary curriculum. 

5. Each sub section has a pick and mix variety of options to enhance the basic lesson planning. In the Activities and Resources section you will find activities folder with age and stage appropriate resources and materials addressing the DfE 12 ATs and progression in skills. grammar focus folder, assessment folder with the half termly Puzzle It Out sheets for the 4 core skillslistening and reading transcripts and the assessment benchmarks (based on the Common European Framework descriptors

7. The Listening and Responding folder contains listening tools to support the development of listening skills for example: “Sounds Like” native speaker key phonics power points and the listening podcasts with user guides and transcripts to encourage the exploration of more challenging listening skills.

8. The native speaker folder is where you will find the C’est Emilie or Es Irene clips. Great for non-specialist and specialist teachers to bring a new native speaker in to the classroom and to observe the children responding to and practising the language.

9. Both the podcasts and the native speaker clips have “How to use “ PDFs with ways to use the materials to practise the core language or to be more creative and develop your own radio re cordings or video performances.

10. The phonics folder suggests a simple tracking activity per half term to check children’s developing understanding of sound spelling links

11. The writing folders contain the writing sheets to allow all children to practise the written form of the language they have spent time practising in a creative way. Plus the Talk and Write folders (3 per year) contain the stage by stage structure to creative and independent writing where children move away from the core language and explore how to manipulate text to tell their own stories. 

12. Our language support for non-specialists is comprehensive and the key phrases and sound files are accessible in this area.There are key phrases and sound files plus we have created power points with sound files , one slide per sound file to allow your teachers to practise specific core language too.These powerpoints can be used with classes fpr listening games and activities too.

13. The enhanced learning section offers you ideas and ways to create outstanding approaches to learning from the blogposts of the themes that Janet has written, to the snapshots of lessons by the associate PLN teachers that we have recorded, to the examples (photos) of work done by the network schools, to possible APPs you can use to develop the language learning and visual display you can download and use in the classroom.

14.We have a grammar focus folder in each section where appropriate and we offer an assessment folder with the half termly Puzzle It Out sheets for the 4 core skills plus listening and reading transcripts and the assessment benchmarks (based on the Common European Framework descriptors) should your school wish to formally assess.

15. Should you want to step away from the core curriculum then our creative alternatives sections allow you the chance to link learning across the curriculum: art, dance, music, history, geography etcetra. So you can for example swap animals to dinosaurs, daily routine to the daily routine of prehistoric man , take a step down memory lane with schools and subjects, explore castles rather than everyday house and home.

16. Each year group has a planning section, specific to the year group. This contains the tools the teacher requires to successfully plan for a year’s learning at the appropriate age and stage.Here you will find the class tracker sheets, the spreadsheets for assessment data, medium term planning , grammar and transitional language overviews , long term planning, teacher guidance and support on grammar and structure, reporting to parent tools etcetra.....

17.The Ready Made SOW continues to grow and we will be adding to the above areas as we explore and find more ways that teachers require support or that can engage children in creative purposeful learning in primary languages.

Personality swirls

What a great way to round off a year's language learning- no matter what age or stage.I love these personality swirls.Great final page in  language learning pupils' record books for the year.Very simple to create and a way of celebrating the personality and the progress in language learning.Great reference point and memory jogger for each pupil next year too!

  • Ask pupils to pin-point a central point on a blank piece of white paper or on a page in their pupil record books.
  • From the central point ask them to draw wavy lines out from this central point to the edge of the page.Six maximum sections should be created.
  •  Practise with the children phrases and statements they can now say in the target language about themselves- name, age, where they live, pets, likes, dislikes, adjectives to decribe themselves, sports, foods etcetra, etcetra.....
  • Ask the children to draw and write one of  six pieces of information about themselves in each of the individual wavy sections of their personality swirls.
  • Ask the children to complete their personality swirls with patterns, images and colours that represent pictorially the words, phrases, sentences they have written.
  • The personality swirls can be shared by the children with their next class teacher on transition day or "looked back at"  as a reference and memory prompt during next year's language learning.

Word tapestries

legacy piece.jpg

I saw this beautiful piece of childrens work on Twitter.(Thanks to Sadie K below) It has inspired me to think of a lovely way to end the school year with Year 6 and to potentially create farewell good luck cards for the Year 6 leavers. Instead of the colourful blocks you see here I suggest we create colour word blocks and build a class target language word tapestry.

All we need to do :

  • Share with the class the beautiful piece of class art work in the picture on this blog post.
  • Explain that the class are going to make their own legacy piece filled with colour and target language favourite words and phrases.
  • Brainstorm with the class some favourite words and ask for reasons - is it the sound? Is it their favourite content etc?
  • Ask the children to jot down on whiteboards words and phrases they have enjoyed learning in the target language.Encourage them to do this from m emory and then also offer them the chance to look through written work or check spelling etc in bilingual dictionaries or on word mats.
  • Ask the children to think what colours and shapes best suit the words they have jotted for instance if the like the word for "the sea" in the target language ,would they write this in a wavey pattern with a blue crayon etc?
  • Now give each child a small square of paper or catrd and ask them to create their colurful word shape tapestry blick , made of the words they have jotted down on their whiteboards in the target language.
  • Collect all the completed squares in and ask for volunteers to compile a sugar paper display , glueing the squares on to the sugar paper.
  • this is the class' target language word tapestry.
  • Take a photo of the finished tapestry and use the photo to create good luck post cards- one per child with a target language best wish written on the reverse side to be given out at the leavers' assembly to each child.
  • You can show the whole word tapestry as a photo on the screen behind them as they say their farewells at the leavers' assembly too..... 

Let's harness all our skills

This is a snap shot .It's a moment in time! It has given me food for thought!

At our #PLN17 conference last week ,Dan Alliot and Joanne Hornby performed an example of  a lesson activity "Physical Puppeteers".

What's so special? Why is it a moment in time? Why has it given me food for thought?

Well it has made me reflect yet again on the question - just how can we harness the skills and knowledge of so many,gathered over a long period of time, to ensure that primary languages thrives? 

It is just a snapshot, a glimpse of bringing expertise together and making an effective and memorable learning experience.

Just what happened? Dan needed a volunteer to be the puppet for his language activity. I introduced Dan and Joanne  briefly at coffee time and ....

  • The performance was superb!
  • Dan Alliot is a national trainer and education consultant. Joanne is an oustanding primary languages practitioner.
  • 170 delegates watched this performance at our conference.
  • Amongst the audience were NQTs,HLTAs, MFL coordinators, SLT, Primary PGCE MFL trained teachers, PPA teachers, specialist and non-specialist language teachers,education consultants, former PFL local authority consultants and national experts in PFL. 
  • Dan and Joanne's example activity was based on lesson activities created by myself with a group of KS5 language students working with KS1 and KS2 language learners back in about 1997! Three of these students went on to do languages at university and atleast two of them are now teachers.One became an MFL AST.
  • Dan saw me deliver this at a national Primary Languages Show in 2002 , when I was a PL AST.  
  • Dan became part of the TDA team that organised the funding and contracts for PGCE Primary MFL ITT . (Joanne was one of these ITTs)
  • Dan visited us in Warrington in 2003 with the TDA to see how we were developing primary languages with non-specialist teachers. 
  • Joanne was a PGCE Primary MFL specialism student at Hope University in 2004/5 part of the programme funded by the TDA,where I delivered a workshop on Drama and Languages for the ITTs and shared this activity.
  • Joanne came to work as a primary school teacher in Warrington and continued her contact with primary languages and the work I was doing as the LA consultant for primary languages.
  • Since 2011 Joanne has worked with us,one day per week, as one of the 19 strong associate primary languages teacher team.  
  • Joanne is one of our team of associates who now train our Warrington TSA ITTs and delivers 1 to 1 coordinators' consultancy to network schools across the North West. 
  • In the audience were teachers who have already used these activities within their own language lessons and taken the activities and shaped them creratively to fit in with their own primary curriculum.
  • I have shared this activity with colleagues at CPD over many years , as it is a useful device to encourage us all to think of ways to explore ways to demonstrate languages as a vehicle of communication and to look at how we can deliver languages as parts of other subjects too. 
  • Within the Primary Languages Network since 2011 we have continued to develop lots of  physical language learning and explored drama and performance.These are now written in to the new Ready Made French,Spanish and German SOW.
  • Last year Dan shared the activity as an example of primary language learning at a national conference I attended with colleagues down South.
  • Two weeks ago ,Dan was my puppet, for a similar activity shared at CPD with teachers in Havering.
  • ....and then this week Dan and Joanne gave the best performance of the activity I have ever seen!
  • I know that amongst the audience there will be colleagues who will now go off and explore how they can use this with their classes for the first time. i observed colleagues sharing thier own experience of these activities with other teachers.They may not be experts in languages but they will use their knowledge and expertise of the primary learning environment to make primary language learning and exploring the world around us memorable and effective!
  • To help the schools in our network, we have used their membership funds to develop materials that mean they can have a go and try out activities for themselves.
  • Just this year we have generated C'est Emilie and Es Irene videos to help non-specialist primary school teachers to run confidently with thse ideas.Emilie has used this activity in lessons before and was the first video and helped our new colleague Irene to understand how these language instructions lead to a dramatic class physical performance back with the class teacher .Here is C'est Emilie and "les marionettes" language instructions video. It's on our open to all PLN Youtube Channel which everyone can access.


So yes maybe it was a small and perhaps insignificant occurence at the conference but it brought so much learning and teachers' time , expertise and schools' support together. Think about where this began, how this has developed, what skills and expertise we have hidden out there, how we can bring this together, why we need to make sure everyone is engaged be they linguists or not and how we move forward in PRIMARY language learning. 

The answer lies I think in bringing us all together again,networking ,sharing and asking the powers that be to empower us to do so.Out in the world of primary education and probably now back in secondary education are colleagues who can bring so much to the table Plus there is a whole new generation of teachers who bring fresh new approaches to this experience. Bring us altogether to create this PRIMARY effective language learning.! .

What do we need to achieve this?Time, money,collaborative work and support are required!


July coordinator's checklist

So we are nearly at the end of the academic year. Hopefully it has been a succesful year in language learning at your school and you are beginning to get organised for next year and the challenges ahead.

Make sure you take a look at our NEW Ready Made French and Spanish SOW on the VLE .I think it will be a much easier way to organise year by year learning.Content and lesson plans remain the same but we have now added a section where we have collated all the specific year group planning and tracking. We have added additional non-specialist language support sound files and power points , a brand new learning feature for children using podcasts to practise listening skills, native speaker clips now have transcripts and guides on ways to use the clips as language learning tools and also more creatively too. Each half term has blog posts, snapshot of lesson observations, examples of real in class work and outcomes, creative alternatives and visual display resources.There is a training video of the Ready Made webinar on the VLE plus a 2 sided paper guide to the new features.You will have received this by email too if you are a network coordinator..Both of these CPD resources are located on the right hand side of hime page of the VLE too.

This month's checklist is as follows:

  • Make sure that school has received and processed the network invoice for next academic year as your current VLE access may be due to close down at the end of June.
  • If school works with an associate teacher then make sure the SLA has been agreed and signed and that you discuss with the associate teacher your plans for next year and focus on activities you may like to do at the start of next year to celebrate language learning or to Celebrate European Day of Languages 
  • Take a look in the MFL coordinators tools folder in Subject Plannng on the VLE and access the "Documentation for your School" website file.You may find in here materials that you wish to add to the information on the MFL curriculum on your school website and indeed in school policy files.
  • Have a look in MFL coordinators tools too, at the Governors' presentation file- just in case you need to report to governors.
  • In MFL coordinators tools you will also find a reporting to parents' file too,which may be of use right now as you write your reports.
  • If you haven't explored your Userfiles on the VLE then now may be a good time.You can create folders for year groups in to which staff can upload from their desktops or clipboard from  the VLE pictures,sound files and examples of work or materials they would like to use.
  • Check out the My Learning APP which once you download this to your tablets or phones will allow you to take pictures of successful display , activities etc and load straight up in to these secure userfiles. Feel free to email us for support if you need help to do this.
  • Take a look in Seasonal Specials Summer 2 folder at   the "End of the Year"French and Spanish video clips and activity sheets- could be a great way to put together a leavers' Y6 performance or a class assembly.
  • Share with the children ways to keep and store their language knowledge until next year.Take a look at these two blog posts: "Storing memories until next year" and "Full circle spinners".
  • Get ready for the first month back after Summer.Plan your European Day of Languages  (26 September) celebrations around the materials and resources in Seasonal Specials  Autumn 1 folder in the European Day of Languages file. Or explore a whole school celebration day by using our ideas in the "Celebrations " folder in the cross curricular area of the VLE.  
  • Take a look at the blog posts to prepare for the first week back too: "That first ever language lesson" , "First week back network coordinators' checklist" , "Staff on board in September
  • ....And finally have a fabulous summer holdiay, relax ,unwind and see you  back here in September!

World explorers.

Languages are a "Window on the World" just as art can be a "Window on the World" too.

At the end of the school year let's explore the language learning that has taken place with our young learners ,linking Art and language. Let's become "world explorers"

Paul Klee's art and the clip below is the perfect vehicle for us to do this and to encouaage the children to be imaginative and also practise the language learning skills of recall, memory , reading recognition .In the clip take a look and you will see monsters , people, houses, villages, towns,objects, shapes, colours, animals, nature .......... 

Ways to be "World Explorers"

Focus on language and structures that you have been practising with the children throughout the year -so for example with our Year 6 we may focus on everyday objects, house and home, sports , people, foods and nouns, adjectives and common verbs such as to be and to have.With our Year 4 we may focus on physcial descriptions, jungle animals,town and buildings  in towns etcetra,

  1. Give children a batch of cards with nouns written on them in the target languages.Nouns that identify objects in the paintings they will see in the Paul Klee clip.Play a short part of the video clip.Can the children find the noun card that matches an items they see in the paintings as the video scrolls through?
  2. Ask the children to read a series of three simple sentences- noun verb (to be or to have) and an item as a noun with an adjective. Each sentence should describe something the children will see in the video clip  in three of the paintings.Ask the children to order the sentences on their desks from top to bottom, in theorder they have seen the descriptions.Pause a short part of the clip and can the children tell you where they think they have the seen the items described in the sentences? Go back to the specifc painting and take a look.
  3. Pause the video on a brand new painting and ask the children to write a sentence - noun, adjective and verb to describe something they think they can see in a picture.Listen to some of their creative ideas.
  4. Give each child a blank piece of paper and ask them to draw a window on a imaginary world.This means in the style of Paul Klee they should draw a picture and  add an item or object in the picture for which they then add a target language sentence.

World Music Day 21 June triaramas

To find ways to celebrate la fete de la musique en France on 21 June I took a look at this French government website "Fete de la musique 2017" and found an article about crazy venues used by famous musicians to perform their music. I have selected 10 of the crazy venues that I think would be acceptable to share with our UKS2 children.The site can be changed to Spanish too - so you can try this activity in Spanish with children aswell.Take a look here!


Les Beatles sur un toit de Londres (1969) (Beatles sobre un tejado de Londres (1969))

Jean-Michel Jarre à la Tour Eiffel (1998) (Jean-Michel Jarre a la Torre Eiffel (1998))

Katie Melua à 300 mètres en dessous du niveau de la mer 2006 (Katie Melua a 300 metros debajo del nivel del mar (2006)9

Arcade Fire dans un ascenseur (2007) (Soportal Fire en un ascensor (2007))

David Guetta dans un avion (2007) (David Guetta en un avión (2007))

Andrew Bird dans une grotte (2013) (Andrew Bird en una cueva (2013))

Metallica en Antarctique (2013) (Metallica en el Océano Antárctico (2013))

Chris Hadfield dans l’espace (2013) (Chris Hadfield en el espacio (2013))

Grateful Dead dans l’ombre du Sphinx (1978) (Grateful Dead en la sombra de la Esfinge (1978))

I think that with some of our UKS2 children the music and the venues could inspire them to create their own "triaramas" of an event. What would a concert under the sea feel and look like? What would it be like to play music inside a pyramid? We have made triaramas before and here is an example of our carnival triarama: 


How to create the musical event triaramas?

  • Each triarama will have a pop up band or singer in the middle
  • The backdrop ( the two sides of the triarama ) will be filled by the children with colourful word art reflecting the place and type of music so word art nouns and adjectives or short descriptive sentences using the verb "to be" .
  • The language chosen by the children should share what they feel and  imagine it would be like to play in these crazy venues. Can they create the ambience and atmosphere? They will be able to use prior knowledge of core language and also need to use bilingual dictionaries to do this.






I spotted this craft activity on FB this morning. I think it could help us with our young language learners to practise they skills of listening , reading aloud, reading comprehension and practising memory/retention skills.The activity is about creating simple corner book marks that I am going to call "wordkeepers".

Take a look at the demonstration of the craft activity here. Bookmarks

This could very easily be used to create our "wordkeepers". 

  • First find your text that fits in with the current learning focus- so for us at the moment in Summer 2 it could be a picnic song , an ice cream recipe or weather report, a seaside story or poem or a leavers' assembly poem.
  • Share a selected piece of text with the children. This could be a poem , a rhyme . a  song , a short story , a cartoon , a recipe etcetra.Ask the children to listen to the text.
  • Give each child a paper copy of the text.Ask the children to listen a second time and read along silently in their heads with you.
  • Ask the children to investigate the text on their own, reading out loud "silently" in their heads. Can they spot and identify interesting words that they would like to "keep" and try to use again in their own speaking and writing.This could  be a noun search / an adjective search etcetra or just allowing children to identify all types of words they may like to use again.
  • Ask the children to glue the text into their work books or if the children don''t have books then on to firm piece of card ,which can then be stored in their locker or folders.
  • Share with the children the video clip about how to make a book mark.
  • The children are going to convert this in to their own "wordkeepers" and must think of a face or a character or an object that they will draw or make on the front of their own "wordkeepers"- this should be linked to the theme or story of the text they have investigated. So for instance the video book mark examples are silly faces, a fox's face and an ice cream to match the theme of the texts in the clip.
  • Ask the children to write out a list of their "new words" and to check the meaning if they aren't sure in a bilingual dictionary.
  • Now ask them to create their own word keepers to fit a corner of the page on to which they have glued the text.
  • On the inside back  of the word keeper ask the children to write their new words to keep them safe .They can decide if it suits their memories best to write next to the words the English meaning or to draw a prompt symbol for each target language word they are keeping.
  • You could challenge learners to use their prompts to help them recite the poem/rhyme / song or with more mature learners asking them to try to use their word keepers to retell the story in brief. 

Celebrating progress

Towards ths time of the year , we will be taking stock of what we have practised with our language learners. Here are a couple of simple ways that this can be come a meaningful and attractive teaching and learning activity during the last half term of the academic year.

Storing memories and creating our own beach huts: bright colourful and can act as "piggy bank visuals" to show how we need to collect,collate,categorise and  store prior learning and our new knowledge.

How does your garden grow?  Createa physical paper copy of the learning experience of  children.A visual record of what they have learned, where they are going to do next in language learning and what success they have achieved in target language knowledge and skills  throughout the school year.

Full circle spinner game; creating a game to play alone or with a partner and to take home and play again over Summer - based on personal informatio questions and answers the children have practised and explored during the year 

Transition in a suitcase between year groups: encouraging children to take ownership of storing language, skills and good learning memories ready for next academic year.

Striding out a sentence game: encouraging learners to create their own sentences to reach a "physical goal or prize", which means the learners have to put together strands and pieces of learning to achieve success. An intrinsic sense of purpose and achievement to take on in to next year.