This term, the Modern Foreign Languages Department has been very busy and successful!
We began the term with successful qualification for the semi-finals of the Junior Language Challenge. Eighteen linguists from Year 5 did independent learning online to take part in round one over the summer term of 2018, perfecting their French or Spanish, and three of our children in year 6 Ritik Jose, Alessandra Belli and Simon Cheung qualified to learn Kymer, the language of Cambodia, over the summer holiday. Ten Year 5 children also accepted the opportunity to celebrate European Languages Day at a workshop at Solihull School, where they learned Polish and performed two songs and a dialogue in front of an audience of parents and other school children. They were complimented on their listening skills and their aural perception by the Polish native speaker who taught them.
Our youngest linguists in EYFS setting have been learning Spanish this term, and alongside learning their greetings and family members, the children in reception celebrated el Día de Hispanidad, Spain’s National Day, with Miss Contreras. They found out how to celebrate in Spanish style with flags and the national anthem, and also learned about Christopher Columbus whose memory is also honoured. The younger children were joined by year 4 who also investigated this important day and discussed its significance for the spread of the Spanish language throughout the Americas.
Children in year 2 finished their French unit about families by watching an episode of Peppa Pig in the target language and spotting the words that they could understand in the story. They have been able to produce a description of their own family in French too, which is very promising at such a young age!
Meanwhile, children in year 5 have been using ICT to create some portraits and then using their language skills to describe the people’s physical appearance and personality. They had fun creating the characters and then typing up their work including using accented letters correctly.
In year 3, the pupils extended their knowledge of nouns and the gender of words and sentence patterns by taking part in a project to write a poem in French to mark National Poetry Day. The theme this year was ‘Change’ and our poems were about autumn trees. I have been thrilled to see them engage so well with the project! This will lead the children into a series of lessons about bilingual dictionaries in the next half term. The momentum towards using languages independently builds from a young age at Hallfield!
Head of Modern Languages