KS1 Primary Languages

Yesterday we met for our regular associate teacher CPD twilight.We spent an amount of time discussing KS1 language learning. Amongst us are 4 teachers working with KS1 from nursery upwards and a former EYFS teacher. Here are some brief notes from our discussions which we hope may help others too as you establish effective and fun learning with KS1.

  1. Routine and regular activities work well
  2. Always start with a song.
  3. Repeat famillar songs and actions.Add a simple surprise e.g a new action, missing out  a word, standing up to sing ....
  4. Have a brilliant stickers and reward system and really "big it up".So Sally has her very ,very speical Spanish tin and her very ,very special French tin with colours and flags and a map and a picture from the country on the outside. Inside are her very very special stickers to give out to someone who has been extra special in an activity. Jayne loves her pirates' gold coins and the class treasure chest to keep the gold coins (circles of yellow card), as the class gains more and more reward treasure.
  5. Praise ,praise .praise!
  6. Enjoy and repeat familar games - hide and seek,Simon says, hot and cold, thumbs up and thumbs down, whispers, statues,  circle games
  7.  Have a friendly target language puppet and bit by bit get to know more about the puppet. Give the puppet a personality "Happy today!" or "Shy today! " or wants to "Sing today!  etcetra.
  8. Find story books with interesting pictures, simple one line per page target language stories with repeated phrases that the children can join in with .Read again and again over a series of lessons
  9. Establish the setting for the learning.So for example discuss the farm in English first before you look at farm animals.Count in English first or find the coours in the room in English before you count up or introduce colours in French etc
  10. Create your own class songs to familiar refrains.
  11. For group games if possible allocate a TA to a group.
  12. Keep language learning short- 10-15 minutes for YR (20 miunutes maximum.)
  13. If you teach for longer than this with YR add in a video such as Pocoyo and the lovely stories you can find in French and spanish on the internet are an absolute boon. 
  14. Find out what the class thematic focus is - so Sally suggested that if the class is thinking about pirates, then create a scenario where the children are the pirates and you are the captain of the ship .Play your games, count your numbers , sing your songs and expect the children to do and act as the captain of the ship expects ...because they are the pirates! 
  15. Base your learning with nursery YR and Y1 on "education of the ear." Potentially expect Y2 to be able to read or identify some words with you.
  16. Add a a surprise book in the target language to the class library and change this every half term .Some children will just enjoy looking at the target language writing.
  17. Think culture and celebrate special events from Autumn,Halloween,Bonfire Night,Sankt Martinstag, St Nicholas, Christmas,Epiphany, Carnival ,Mothers Day ,Easter etcetra etcetra...............
  18. Teach the class playground games and practise and revisit and add more and remind the children to play the games at play time with their friends.
  19. Finally what about taking snap shots of songs and gamesd and playing these back for the children at the end of a lesson later in the year , so they can remind themselves of what they have been learning.