At Horniman School all children learn Spanish as a modern foreign language.
This is taught by Lottie Davies, our specialist Spanish teacher. All classes from Reception to Year 6 have weekly Spanish lessons.
In the summer term we have a Spanish week, in which children learn about and celebrate Spanish culture. They learn about the food, music, dance, geography and history of Spain and Spanish speaking countries.
Spanish learning is presented to the children in such a way that they want to learn Spanish because it is engaging, fun and rewarding.
We start from the principle that language is for communication so the children are taught Spanish that they can use in conversation. From day one, the children learn to communicate something relevant to them. “Yo tengo chocolate” (I have chocolate) is a favourite starting point for many reasons:
It can used playfully.
Children learn to structure a simple sentence which we can go on to use as a framework for variations.
Using easily identifiable words such as ‘chocolate’ inspires confidence in children; they sense that they will sometimes be able to understand Spanish words without any help at all.
The children readily relate to chocolate.
In KS1 we use games, songs, stories and simple role-play for learning. As Spanish spelling is so phonetic, we occasionally have 5 minute writing and reading challenges which the children really enjoy.
In KS2 we use a combination of songs, drama games, improvisation and role-play where, in years 5 and 6, the children can develop their own scripted dialogue. In these scenarios the children enjoy performing in Spanish to an audience. KS2 children also have Spanish exercise books for written work.