MFL - Spanish

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The Federation of St Mary’s Catholic Schools are a secure, friendly and faith-centred community where we seek to realise the full potential of all our family through the living love of Christ. All our work with children and their families, staff, governors, parishioners and the wider community is influenced by our core values which are: Compassion, Respect and Resilience.

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The purpose of our Arches Curriculum is to ensure that our children are successful in life and learning. The ‘Nine Arches’ Sankey Viaduct in Newton-le-Willows has been the inspiration for our curriculum.  The viaduct was built by George Stephenson between 1828 and 1830 and the bridge, built to let trains cross above the Sankey Canal, has international significance as the world’s earliest major railway viaduct still in use.

The ‘Nine Arches’ signifies excellence in engineering that is still successful.  Our curriculum is designed to show our children that our ambitious curriculum will offer them rewards for the future. As a school, our curriculum sets high expectations for each and every child, meaning that we are relentless in our commitment to overcoming barriers faced by our pupils and to developing children to be resilient and self-motivated in their pursuit of learning.

With Christ at the heart and encompassing our Mission Statement, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” we provide a high-quality education within a creative, stimulating, encouraging and mutually supportive environment where children are enabled to develop the skills they require to become successful in modern foreign languages (Spanish). 

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Our language curriculum is ambitious and challenges our children to speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity.

It challenges them communicate through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation.

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Through the ‘resilience’ curriculum driver, we promote optimism and determination in our Spanish lessons. Through fun, meaningful lessons, the children feel confident and safe to explore a new language. We provide the necessary tools of vocabulary, grammar, audience and purpose within a positive environment to ensure that pupils have an excellent attitude to all language learning.

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As a Catholic school we place Christ at the centre of all that we do. We integrate Gospel values and the teachings of the Catholic Church into every aspect of learning and teaching in our Spanish teaching. We believe that learning a different language opens up the world to our children and equips the children with the ability to study or work in other countries, whilst developing their roles as citizens of the world.

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At St Mary’s, we understand that happiness is linked to personal growth, health and development. We ensure our children are happy, healthy individuals. Languages are delivered in a positive atmosphere where children are encouraged to ‘have a go’. Mindfulness sessions are also delivered through the resources provided by Primary Languages Network. As global citizens our children show tolerance and respect for other cultures and embrace EAL pupils by learning new languages through them. With ‘wellbeing’ as a curriculum driver, we give children the confidence to thrive in a diverse, global society and be respectful citizens with British and Christian Values at the core.

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            Through the ‘excellence’ curriculum driver we want our children to relish all that being a linguist can bring. We ensure that our children experience challenges in all disciplines of languages, within the four strands of MFL: listening, speaking, reading and writing with grammar and phonics interwoven throughout.

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Learning languages at St Marys provides our children with opportunities to communicate in a different way.



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Being a linguist means that disciplinary and substantive knowledge complement each other harmoniously. Language disciplines and skills such as using a bilingual dictionary, translation strategies, pronunciation, intonation and awareness of gender and adjectival agreement are high profile within our MFL (Spanish) curriculum.

Our MFL (Spanish) curriculum very much intertwines with literacy in that we look at the etymology of words as they occur and pick out words of Spanish origin to work on in guided reading lessons.


All of our children will have consistent access to a broad, balanced and high-quality language curriculum which will: 

  • Inspire pupils with a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives
  • Enable children to understand and respond to spoken and written language with fluency and confidence 
  • Inspire pupils to develop a love of languages and to expand their horizons to another county, culture and people
  • Enable pupils to grow into curious, confident and reflective language learners and to provide them with a foundation that will equip them for further language studies. 

To support our teaching of MFL (Spanish), we have chosen to use a scheme from Primary Languages Network, from this resource we have selected a series of units of work to enable pupils to meet the End of Stage Attainment targets outlined in the National Curriculum. 

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A comprehensive set of progression documents are available from Primary Languages Network.  These are all accessed by staff through PLN (and are not published here due to copyright reasons).

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VALUED - We value vocabulary in Spanish and it underpins everything we do. 
IDENTFIED - Spanish vocabulary is identified by the MFL subject leader and is explicitly planned for.
TAUGHT - Vocabulary is explicitly taught in every lesson. Our knowledge organisers are used as a teaching tool for key Spanish vocabulary and the MFL medium term plans include additional vocabulary to be taught.
APPLIED - Once vocabulary is taught, it is applied. Children apply their vocabulary in their speaking and listening, writing and assessment outcomes in computing.
LEARNED - Vocabulary is revisited and relearned. Vocabulary sticks in the children’s long-term memory. Lesson by lesson, year by year, children revisit and relearn key computing vocabulary.



Both our staff and children are enthusiastic about languages. Through ongoing CPD, we strive to ensure our teachers have expert knowledge of the Spanish they teach. Our pedagogy is firmly based upon our curriculum intent of embedding concepts into long-term memory so that they are able to be recalled, to ensure substantive and disciplinary knowledge and skills can be applied fluently.

Our ‘St Mary’s Quality First Teaching’ model ensures that lessons are effectively sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and towards defined end points.

We firmly believe that all children should have full access, including those with additional needs, to our Modern Foreign Language curriculum therefore lessons are scaffolded where appropriate in order to meet the needs of all our children.

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We understand that we may not see the true impact of our MFL curriculum on our children as our languages curriculum is just the beginning of a lifetime of learning.

Our well-constructed and well-taught MFL curriculum leads to great outcomes. Our results are a reflection of what our children have learnt. At St. Mary’s, our philosophy is that broad and balanced leads to great outcomes and meeting end points at the end of each key stage. National assessments are useful indicators of the outcomes our children achieve.

We ensure all groups of children are given the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. We strive to ensure that our children are equipped with the skills (through a growth mindset approach) to fluently be able to retrieve key facts and vocabulary from their semantic memory.

The quality of our children’s work, at every stage, is of a high standard. All learning is built towards an end point and at each stage of their education, we prepare our children for the next stage.

We ensure that any reading done in Spanish is planned to a stage appropriate level and fluency. Reading is the beating heart of all that we do at St. Mary’s and we feel that the gift of learning a foreign language impacts the understanding of all areas of English language positively.

The impact of St. Mary’s primary languages curriculum is measured through the following:

  • Assessment at the end of each unit of work
  • Vocabulary and knowledge are assessed at the end of each lesson and at the end of each sequence
  • Pupil voice
  • Progress evident in children’s books and record of experiences
  • Seeking views of parents where appropriate


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