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Modern foreign languages


At St Thomas, we use the Language Angels scheme of work and resources to ensure we offer a relevant, broad, vibrant and ambitious foreign languages curriculum that will inspire and excite our pupils using a wide variety of topics and themes. All pupils are expected to achieve their full potential by encouraging high expectations and excellent standards in their foreign language learning - the ultimate aim being that pupils will feel willing and able to continue studying languages beyond Key Stage 2.

The four key language learning skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) are taught, and all necessary grammar are covered in an age-appropriate way across the primary phase. This enables pupils to use and apply their learning in a variety of contexts, laying down solid foundations for future language learning and also helping the children improve their overall attainment in other subject areas.

Our goal is that all pupils will develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages, finding them enjoyable and stimulating. Learning a second language will also offer pupils the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them with a better awareness of self, others and cultural differences. The intention is that they will be working towards becoming life-long language learners.

Content is continuously updated and reviewed annually, creating a dynamic programme of study that is clearly outlined in both long-term and short-term planning. This ensures that the foreign language knowledge of our pupils progresses within each academic year and is extended year upon year throughout the primary phase and, in so doing, will always be relevant and in line with meeting or exceeding national DfE requirements.


All classes have access to a very high-quality foreign languages curriculum using the Language Angels scheme of work and resources. This progressively develops pupil's skills in foreign languages through regularly taught and well-planned weekly lessons in Key Stage 2, which are delivered by class teachers and trained support staff.

Children progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary, language skills and grammatical knowledge organised around age-appropriate topics and themes, from the building blocks of language into more complex, fluent and authentic language.

The planning of different levels of challenge (as demonstrated in the various Language Angels Teaching Type categories) and which units to teach at each stage of the academic year is addressed dynamically and is reviewed in detail annually, as units are updated and added to the scheme. Lessons offering appropriate levels of challenge will be taught at all times to ensure pupils learn effectively, continuously building their knowledge of and enthusiasm for the language(s) they are learning.

Units, where possible and appropriate, will be linked to class topics and cross-curricular themes. Children will build on previous knowledge gradually as their foreign language lessons continue to recycle, revise and consolidate previously learnt language whilst building on all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Knowledge and awareness of required and appropriate grammar concepts are taught throughout all units at all levels of challenge. Teachers are provided with a Progression Map and Grammar Grid  to ensure all children are progressing their foreign language learning skills and are taught the appropriate grammar at the right time in their foreign language learning journey. Grammar rules and patterns are taught by level of challenge.

Within each lesson, teachers are expected to follow a structure that matches with our approach to other subjects within our school:

  • Retrieval and review
  • Explain and introduce new information, including modelling
  • Attempt at speaking, writing, and/or listening activities as a class
  • Independent application of grammar/vocabulary learnt
  • Grammar instruction if not already covered in lesson
  • Exit task for teacher assessment or lesson retention

Impact and Assessment

As well as each subsequent lesson within a unit being progressive, the teaching type organisation of Language Angels units also directs, drives and guarantees progressive learning and challenge. Units increase in level of challenge, stretch, linguistic and grammatical complexity as pupils move from Early Learning units through Intermediate units and into the most challenging Progressive units. Units in each subsequent level of the teaching type category require more knowledge and application of skills than the previous teaching type. Activities contain progressively more text (both in English and Spanish) and lessons will have more content as the children become more confident and ambitious with the language.

Pupils continuously build on their previous knowledge as they progress in their foreign language learning journey through the primary phase. Previous language will be recycled, revised, recalled and consolidated whenever possible and appropriate.

The opportunity to assess pupil learning and progression in the key language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) and against the 12 DfE Languages Programme of Study for Key Stage 2 attainment targets is provided at the end of each 6-week teaching unit. This information will be recorded and will be monitored by the Foreign Language Subject Leader, who can use this data to ensure teaching is targeted and appropriate for each pupil, class and year group as well as to give feedback on progress to SLT and stakeholders. Teachers will be able to record and analyse this data easily using our school's tracking system for wider curriculum subjects. Pupils will also be offered self-assessment grids to ensure they are also aware of their own progress, which they can keep as a record of their progress.