Modern foreign languages

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart."

Nelson Mandela.”


Spanish is spoken in 20 countries in the world and according to 2022 statistics, there are 1.45 billion people who speak English, 1.12 billion people that speak Mandarin, 602 million speak Hindi, 548 million people who speak Spanish and 274 million who speak French. The children at Stanley Primary School, who do have holidays abroad, regularly holiday in Spain as opposed to France. In addition, Spanish is taught more than French in the feeder secondary schools. These are the reasons why we have chosen to teach Spanish in our school.


At Stanley Primary School, we teach Spanish regularly and consistently. Spanish is taught by a member of staff with a bachelor’s degree in primary education, is a linguist, has a TEFL qualification, Latin A’level the roots of the Spanish language, a French qualification and therefore the knowledge of how languages should be effectively taught The member of staff  has lived in Spain for 4 years and therefore has a high standard of Spanish and  has undergone extensive additional training in MFL pedagogy in Oviedo, Valencia, Madrid and recently Malaga. Lessons, are on a weekly rotation and in Key stage 1 last for 35 minutes to 45 minutes in length. In Key Stage Two, the lesson duration ranges from 40 to 50 minutes.

At Stanley we follow Rachel Hawkes Scheme of work that has been amended by the specialist teacher. We also subscribe to Languages Angels to support non-specialist teachers that sometimes cover lessons. The scheme covers reading, writing, speaking and listening and building in opportunities for children to revisit knowledge at varying degrees of complexity at a variety of points throughout the six years of study. Lessons are intended to be active and highly focused, with children working as a whole class, in small groups, or in mixed-ability pairs to complete tasks at their individual level. Work is differentiated in a variety of ways to accommodate children in the same class who are all at different stages of their language-learning journeys. Activities consist of games, stories, songs, phonics, grammar and sentence-building activities, rhymes, role-play and dictionary work, to name but a few.

Our ‘International Week’ offers children opportunities to focus on particular aspects of the culture of Spain and the Spanish-speaking world and use their language in a real-life context.

In addition to the study of Spanish, children have access to extra-curricular clubs in French and Latin which enables them to develop their fluency in other languages and draw linguistic comparisons to deepen their understanding of Spanish.


  • Ensure that each child in Key Stage Two has the opportunity to study Spanish as a foreign language over six years, fostering their interest in the culture of Spain and the Hispanic world.
  • Teach vocabulary and linguistic structures informed by the National Curriculum and the skills expressed therein: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing (as well as Cultural Understanding).
  • Enable children to ask and answer a range of questions about themselves, which would allow them to confidently address a Spanish speaker and exchange simple, personal information.
  • Create opportunities for children to manipulate language for their own purposes, drawing on their knowledge of increasingly complex sentence structures.
  • Teach children the basics of phonics in Spanish to allow them to spell in a phonetically plausible way and read and speak with increased confidence and improved pronunciation.
  • Enable children to draw comparisons between Spanish and English vocabulary, using their knowledge of cognates and near-cognates to decode unfamiliar texts of increasing complexity.
  • Encourage children to draw comparisons between Spanish and English grammar, syntax and sentence structure, both as a tool for developing their understanding of the Spanish language and their understanding of English.
  • Give children opportunities to make, and learn from, mistakes in the target language, thereby building resilience.
  • Develop children’s understanding of Spanish as a global language, and the reasons why it is spoken in countries other than Spain.
  • Enable children to understand their place in the wider world and the concept of interdependence.

We understand that feedback in linked to progress and has to be timely to make an impact. In class feedback is used to support teacher’s workload, ensure it is as immediate and timely and specific as possible, and leaves the teacher time to focus on individual identified needs. In Spanish, immediate feedback is provided to pupils to support them in developing their skills and knowledge within each lesson.  

Additionally, Year 3 pupils work with the pupils from Spanish pupils at CC Santa Cruz primary school in Guadalajara in Madrid, our partner school. The children send them annual Christmas cards and this project supports the geography work based on Guadalajara. This project is conducted in collaboration with CC Santa Cruz Guadalajara outside Madrid in Spain. The aim of the project is to develop their writing and reading skills as well as become aware of how children around the world learn different languages as part of a multicultural and multilingual world.



All pupils in Key Stage One and Two at Stanley Primary School have the right to learn an additional language, the study of which liberates children from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. MFL lessons give children opportunities to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both verbally and in writing. They also provide opportunities to read age-appropriate literature and learn songs in the target language. Ultimately, MFL lessons at Stanley Primary School aim to provide a firm foundation for further language-learning, equipping children with the skills that they need in order to become life-long language learners, both for the pleasure that can be derived from doing so, and for the practical purpose of equipping pupils to study and work in other countries. Formative and summative assessment are used during Spanish lessons to ensure progress over time.

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