Beginning with languages blog 4

Across our network we work with schools who are all at different stages of setting up and delivering primary language learning and each year we welcome new schools who want to set off on their own individual school's language learning journey.

This year these specific 

"Beginning with languages "

 blogs will try to offer "bite size chunks" of indirect help and support to schools, who are doing exactly that .... just setting off and implementing  a language learning curriculum 


Take a look back at"beginning with languages" blogs 






Your checklists so far have been:

Sept - Oct ,(first half term) Checklist

  • It's all about establishing a whole school support system for all your staff
  • It's about small steps and simple language learning
  • It's about children and staff beginning to enjoy language learning

Mid October (end of the first half term), an additional new checklist bullet point!

  • So how are you all getting on? How do you know that primary languages are being implemented in all the classes and are the teachers and children having fun in their learning? 

November (moving in to the second half term of language learning),we added a couple of new challenges to your checklist!

  • How successfully have you been able to build in "revisiting" opportunities to build the children and staff's confidence with the language you introduced last half term? 
  • Are you introducing,revisiting and re-using familiar games with familiar and unfamiliar language for example (e.g Bingo or Splat or maybe a game of Quiz Quiz Swap?)
  • Have you encouraged all staff to practise key language using sound files and songs?
  • Can all staff and children practise and learn a Christmas song or carol in the target language? (In beginning with languages blog three you can find links to You ~tube clips of a Christmas songl in French, Spanish and German

And now your December checklist bullet points(to review a term's progress and prepare for next term) are:

  • Encourage all your staff to try out a simple listening and speaking Christmas activity based on a Christmas wishes song 

Ring out those bells tonight

 (learning a simple Christmas wishes song and listening for key phrases to a familiar refrain of London's Burning)

Extend this activity to a listening,speaking,reading and phonics activity with your more confident staff!Follow the suggested activities in 

Ding Dong Bell Phonics

 using the same Christmas wishes song as in the activity above,but breaking down the words in to sound s and their letter combinations

Using the Christmas wishes in these songs ,you have the basis for simple Christmas cards from the children to friends and family .Now the children are listening,speaking,reading and writing familiar language!

  • Ask staff to see the links between activities we may use in KS1 when encouraging children to read and KS2 beginners language learning.

And forward planning.....

Next term as a school you need to plan to celebrate the cultural events in the target language country .Start with your first week back and Epiphany. 

Provide staff with the facts about Epiphany and the celebrations that will take place in early January  across Europe and particularly in France and Spain. Epiphany.

Let your children be Kings for the day!

The link here on the 

mama lisa blog

 will provide your staff with the French facts and information and a song to sing with their classes in the week of Epiphany 

The link here on the 

mama lisa blog

 will provide your staff with the Spanish facts and information and a song to sing with their classes in the week of Epiphany

Continuing to make progress

  • In Spring  first half term consolidate prior learning and build upon knowledge.Share the activities below with staff and ask them to select and use the activities to revisit prior learning: 

Listening sticks

 (numbers and colours)

Open and reveal for corners

 ( days/months/colours and numbers)

Sunflower song and maths


Totem pole prompt sticks

 (personal information questions)

  • Now you can build in a new language content focus linked to a DfE POS learning objective "broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words ...." . Let's begin to look at nouns! 
  1. Select your content focus (for example animals I like and don't like) and create simple opportunities for children to explore nouns. 
  2. Ask the children to become language detectives and to become noun collectors.
  3. Encourage each member of staff to think of creative ways to collect nouns with the children and to begin to explore the ways that nouns can have different sounds and written words to represent the word "the" or "a" in the target language.
  4. Some of the idea here will help school to do this :noun collectors nets and treasure boxes

5. To support staff to understand more about nouns in a target language and the use of "the"  and "a" , share this blog post with them and put aside some time in a staff or key stage meeting to discuss what they have read and understood.

Starting to understand nouns