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MFL – National Curriculum Aims

Purpose of study

Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.


The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
  • speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
  • can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
  • discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied

Attainment targets

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.

Subject content

Key stage 2: Foreign language

Teaching may be of any modern or ancient foreign language and should focus on enabling pupils to make substantial progress in one language. The teaching should provide an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and should lay the foundations for further foreign language teaching at key stage 3. It should enable pupils to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing, focused on familiar and routine matters, using their knowledge of phonology, grammatical structures and vocabulary.

The focus of study in modern languages will be on practical communication. If an ancient language is chosen, the focus will be to provide a linguistic foundation for reading comprehension and an appreciation of classical civilisation. Pupils studying ancient languages may take part in simple oral exchanges, while discussion of what they read will be conducted in English. A linguistic foundation in ancient languages may support the study of modern languages at key stage 3.

Pupils should be taught to:

  • listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
  • explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
  • engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help
  • speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures
  • develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases
  • present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences
  • read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
  • appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language
  • broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
  • write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly
  • describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
  • understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English



At Coleridge, we aim for a high-quality Modern Foreign languages’ curriculum which should inspire a curiosity and intrigue about the world and other cultures. We believe that learning a foreign language is an important and useful tool in being a member of a multi-cultural society, as well as helping to provide our pupils with an opening to other cultures. Our aim is to offer a broad curriculum which inspires and motivates our children to develop an interest and curiosity about foreign languages, thus offering the opportunity to explore and develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them. We want to children to develop a love for learning a second language which will continue on into secondary school and beyond, giving them the confidence to travel the world, communicate with new people and experience different cultures.



In ensuring a high standard of teaching and learning of a Modern Foreign Language at Coleridge, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout Key Stage 2. Spanish is taught half-termly in all KS2 classes and an emphasis is placed on gaining ‘real-life’ experiences such as through a Spanish day, which includes trying traditional Spanish cuisine, listening to Spanish music and learning about the traditions and Spanish culture. Modern foreign language sessions at Coleridge combine speaking, listening, writing and reading through a variety of different teaching styles which include practical activities, songs, videos, using iPads and activities on the IWB.


The impact and measure of this is to ensure that children at Coleridge are equipped the knowledge of another language and other cultures, which will enable them to be ready for the curriculum in the next phase of their education and for life as an adult in the wider world.

We want the children to have thoroughly enjoyed learning Spanish, therefore encouraging them to undertake new life experiences now and in the future.


Cultural Capital

The National Curriculum defines learning languages as ‘an integral part of the curriculum’. It also states that the ‘learning a language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures’. As well as this, it argues that learning languages helps to equip pupils with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life as well as encouraging pupils to appreciate and celebrate difference.

At Coleridge, we introduce children to a variety different cultures and traditions, not only through our Religious Education curriculum, but also through our Modern Foreign Languages curriculum. Through teaching Spanish in our MFL curriculum, we expose the children to the Spanish culture and its different traditions, allowing children to make comparisons to their own cultures. Within our locality, this consists of a wide range of cultures with a variety of different traditions. The teaching of Spanish traditions and cultures allows for open conversations about the many different cultures within our community, as the children make comparisons with their own culture and that of their peers. Through the MFL curriculum, we make links to other areas within the curriculum such as Maths and Geography, ensuring that learning is embedded. Across school, a Spanish day is held at the end of the academic year which allows children to have access to a variety of traditions from the Spanish culture such as typical Spanish cuisines, music and games, thus building a love for learning a language and also an enjoyment of learning about different cultures in preparation for continued language learning at secondary school.

At Coleridge, our principle aim is to ensure that our modern foreign languages curriculum focuses on developing children’s knowledge, skills and understanding of a foreign language.

We believe that learning a language will help our children in their development of oral and literary skills. It also advances an understanding of their own culture as well as an understanding of other cultures. This is something that we believe to be important, particularly in the culturally diverse environment in which our school is located.

The aims of our MFL curriculum are to;

  • Cultivate an interest in learning another language
  • To understand that language has a structure and that different languages are structured in different ways.
  • To develop speaking and listening skills.
  • To understand and respond to spoken and written language.
  • To increase confidence, fluency and accuracy of pronunciation when speaking in a foreign language.
  • To learn about different countries and their people, creating an awareness and respect of other cultures.

MFL sessions at Coleridge will be taught using a variety of teaching and learning styles. These sessions will include speaking, listening, reading and written activities which will be supported through a variety of resources including iPad and the IWB. These activities will consist of whole class, group and independent learning. A love of learning languages will be encouraged through home learning using written or interactive homework. It is important at Coleridge that we make cross-curricular links where possible therefore we will encourage children to apply their learning in other curriculum areas such as ICT, Maths and Music.

At Coleridge we understand the importance of knowledge organisers and how they can support children’s understanding and learning.

They are also an excellent assessment tool which can help identify gaps in learning and inform planning, teaching and intervention. As we have developed our own curriculum, class teachers have also developed knowledge organisers to work alongside our curriculum. Children will be encouraged to refer to knowledge organisers throughout sessions to help support and enhance their learning.

Knowledge organisers can be a valuable tool for both children, staff and parents. Class teachers are the ones who write the knowledge organiser, to set out their expectations of what pupils should learn about a topic – and to clarify their own thinking around what is important.

School leaders, headteachers and subject leaders then may look at a series of knowledge organisers to check for progression and continuity both within and across curriculum subjects and to ensure standards and expectations for learning are being implemented, and if not, what CPD is required.

Pupils will review, revise and quiz themselves using their knowledge organisers. Knowledge organisers are a really clear and easy to understand way for parents to be more aware of what their children are learning and thus to support them.

Some of the benefits of knowledge organisers

  1. A knowledge organiser makes the teacher think hard about what will be taught.
  2. Knowledge organisers are an endless source of meaningful homework activities.
  3. Knowledge organisers are an excellent tool for inclusion.
  4. Knowledge organisers create opportunities for spaced retrieval practice.
  5. Ahead of a summative assessment at the end of a topic you can inform pupils that some of the questions will refer to previous learning; pupils can then refer to the knowledge organiser to access and practice those topics.
  6. Used appropriately, knowledge organisers can increase retention of facts

At Coleridge, we have several non-negiotiables that need to be included in a knowledge organiser, they are:

  • Key vocabulary (linked to Progression of language)
  • Key places and people
  • Useful diagrams (as required for the topic)
  • Key dates for a subject like history (e.g. when the two World Wars were)
  • Key themes
  • Important quotes
  • Stem sentences for a subject like Science or Maths

We use knowledge organisers throughout school, however, in EYFS they look different to other phases of school due to the away the curriculum is structure. In EYFS, we use a holistic approach to knowledge organisers and have a topic knowledge organiser, whereas, in KS1 and KS2 our knowledge organisers are subject specific.

If you would like any information about our knowledge organisers then please contact us at

Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6
Greetings and responding to greetings Counting and using numbers Counting and using numbers


Expressing likes/dislikes
Giving personal details Talking about the weather Talking about the weather Giving information about an everyday activity – food
Counting and using numbers Describing simple objects Talking about food Expressing opinions
Food Describing people Following and giving simple instructions Basic prepositions of place


Following and giving simple instructions Expressing likes / dislikes Expressing thanks Classroom objects
Expressing thanks Expressing opinions Saying what day or month it is Clothes
Days / months Animals Describing some simple objects – colour, size Common adjectives, e.g. big, small


Describing simple objects Clothes Expressing likes/dislikes Family
Expressing likes / dislikes Colours Giving information about an everyday activity – food Furniture and other household objects
Colours Common adjectives offering Leisure and holidays
Food and drink Family Basic prepositions of place Methods of communication – post, fax
Numbers Leisure and holidays Common adjectives, e.g. big, small Names of occupations
Times Numbers Food and drink Places: shops, cinema, park, beach etc.
Parts of the body Names of sports The home
Ways of travelling Places: shops, cinema, park, beach etc. Ways of travelling
Weather Time, including months and days Weather
Weather Classroom instructions
Letters of the alphabet


Related Documents

MFL Concepts at Coleridge

At Coleridge, pupils are given the opportunity to speak, listen to and read Spanish vocabulary and phrases in every session. Pupils also record in their books in either every session, or every other session. This includes a range of activities such as spelling Spanish words correctly, matching words and pictures, and writing phrases and sentences.

Here is an example of a Year 3 MTP at Coleridge

Research around the Curriculum