Through our specialised Language and Culture curriculum at St John’s Meads CEP, we intend for children to develop a positive attitude and sense of curiosity towards the school’s and the world’s rich linguistic and cultural diversity. We believe that this is an essential cornerstone to upholding the values of respect and acceptance of difference, which ties in with our school vision of “loving one another, as God loves us”. Parents, carers and other family members regularly come in to classes to share their languages and cultures, thereby enriching our curriculum in a way that is accessible and relevant to pupils.
We go beyond national curriculum expectations by explicitly teaching Language and Culture throughout the whole school, including EYFS and KS1. Children are taught Spanish through discrete weekly lessons, including meaningful and memorable opportunities to practice listening, speaking – and reading and writing in KS2. We intend for all children to enjoy exploring Spanish through activities that promote communication, vocabulary building and an understanding of grammar. Pupils in EYFS and KS1 learn to communicate on a basic level in Spanish, building confidence and a willingness to engage with learning further languages. Pupils in KS2 are taught the knowledge and skills to express their ideas and thoughts in Spanish, and respond to written and spoken Spanish. Pupils are provided with opportunities to showcase their Spanish learning through assemblies, performances and services.
Mrs Cork, our specialist in MFL (Modern Foreign Languages), teaches all classes in key stage 1 and 2 once a week. Mrs Cork was brought up bilingual (English and French) and learnt Spanish and Dutch whilst at school in The Netherlands. She is also able to have simple conversations in Albanian. She is an avid traveller, fascinated by and passionate about the world’s rich and diverse cultures and languages. She harnesses these interests, along with her knowledge of the children at St John’s Meads, to celebrate the diversity within our community. Her lessons focus on Spanish culture and language, but are also used to invite family members into school to teach us and help raise awareness of the many other languages and cultures represented by the children within our classes.
In key stage 1, pupils focus on speaking and listening through music, songs and games. In key stage 2, pupils continue to develop their speaking and listening skills and gradually develop skills in reading and writing in Spanish. All pupils at St John’s Meads are encouraged to be good ‘language detectives’ who are unafraid to have a go at speaking a foreign language and to use their knowledge of English and other languages to help them learn new words. Each year, children learn about the culture and traditions of Spain and Spanish speaking countries, culminating in a day dedicated to the whole school exploration of Spanish and Hispanic cultures.
Thank you God for this day; Thank you God for this day; Thank you God for this day; For this day