The ability to understand, speak, read and write in a language other than English, to whatever level, is an essential skill for life. It is a life skill which can enhance the children’s future prospects and promote social mobility. Learning a new language is a challenge in itself! It is a challenge not only to acquire and recall new vocabulary, but also to understand new grammatical structures and concepts. We strongly believe that learning a foreign language is not just about learning the actual language; therefore, children learn to respect the different cultural events, celebrations and festivities in the Spanish speaking world. These include an appreciation of the Mexican ‘Day of Dead’ – a celebration of life, Christmas and Easter celebrations as well as the numerous festivals during the year such as ‘La Tomatina’ (Tomato throwing) and ‘San Fermín’ (bull-running in the street). As much of our classroom work is oral based, the children also have to show great respect for each other, developing strong listening and pair-work skills as well as developing greater self-confidence. Children learn how to express their opinions on a range of different topics such as food preferences and sports and as they progress through KS2 these opinions develop so they can give reasons for their opinions. Children leave Woodthorpe with well-developed transferable language learning skills ready for KS3 MFL whatever foreign language that may be.
At Woodthorpe, our Key Stage 2 children receive 45 minutes per week of Spanish lessons delivered by a specialist MFL teacher. Pupils are given opportunities in class and beyond to perform in Spanish. The annual Spanish Christmas carol performance has become a favourite Woodthorpe tradition with each year group learning from memory a Spanish Christmas song and performing it to the rest of school. The children have commented how they feel this performance has helped them grow in confidence. In Year 5, all pupils attend a French Café day at York High School to create their own French café in a day and learn transactional phrases in French which they then use to serve parents and other pupils. This is an opportunity to experience a different yet similar language to Spanish. Pupils also learn to appreciate the different languages spoken throughout the world through our annual European Day of Languages celebration lessons every September. Finally, 2024 sees the first opportunity for a visit to Barcelona to experience the language and culture first-hand – an exciting new opportunity which we hope to extend in the future.
#WPSYY2 were kept extremely busy during their day at Ripon Museum and showed great perseverance, whilst working in the laundry room and washing all of the Victorian clothes. #WPSYHistory #Woodthorpecharacter
Year 2 had a wonderful day last week at Ripon Museum. We started our day, in the Victorian school room and showed great determination during our handwriting lesson. #WPSYY2 #WPSYHistory #Woodthorpecharacter
To finish off our science topic ‘seasonal changes’, Year 1 proudly presented their own weather forecast! We used our prior knowledge of measuring the temperature and stating the different types of weather. ☀️ 💨 🌧️ #WPSYY1 #WPSYScience #Woodthorpecharacter
Would we have liked to go to school in the past? #WPSYY2 enjoyed finding out about Victorian classrooms; chanting times tables, practising our reading and writing on slate instead of paper. We were very respectful to the school mistress! #WPSYHistory #woodthorpecharacter