Modern Foreign Languages

‘To strive for excellence in learning and all that we do’



At Great Dunmow Primary, our aims of teaching MFL are for children to:

  • Learn in a positive and relaxed environment in order to encourage all children to participate to the best of their ability;
  • Experience a range of activities, including songs, rhymes and games, which provide a stimulating and varied approach to language learning;
  • Be given opportunities to listen to the teacher, to books, songs and rhymes, to each other and to native speakers;
  • Develop phonic knowledge about the language;
  • Begin to recognise and read words that they have already encountered in the development of their oracy skills;
  • Write simple words and phrases using a model and, with increased competence, write more complex sentences on a range of topics, some from memory;
  • Develop the ability to recognise rules or patterns in a new language and relate it to their existing understanding of their own language(s);
  • Gain an understanding of another culture and learn to look at things from another person’s perspective. Show an awareness of the similarities and differences between peoples and appreciate the diversity created by speaking different languages and the existence of different cultures;
  • Experience a spiral curriculum to ensure language, grammar and phonics are embedded whilst also learning about (often highly memorable) cultural aspects of the Hispanic world;
  • Be knowledgeable about current affairs and experience a curriculum that reflects current student interest, such as the recent addition of a module on Encanto.
  • Use their knowledge about the way language works and apply their knowledge and investigative skills when learning a new language.


A subject specialist teacher teaches all Spanish lessons in our school. Children in Year 1 have a 35-minute lesson, in Year 2 the lesson is 45 minutes and in Years 3-6 the lesson is 60 minutes. Spanish may also be included in whole school occasions e.g. class assemblies, European Day of Languages events and music concerts.

Children enjoy taking an active part in language lessons as the majority of lessons take a multi-sensory and kinesthetic approach. Our pupils spend much of their time in language lessons speaking, listening and interacting. They take part in role-plays, conversations and question and answer work, sing songs, play games, perform to an audience and respond to a wide range of aural stimuli. This emphasis on communication, underpins the children’s capabilities in oracy, which is critical to effective communication as well as a key foundation for literacy. Gaining confidence in using a bilingual dictionary also enables them to become more independent learners and offers them a useful, transferable life skill regardless of which languages they go on to study in later life.

We aim for a balance of whole class, group and independent learning and a mixture of all four skills (listening, reading, writing, speaking).

The main focus is enabling the pupils to communicate real messages for real purpose by using authentic language and authentic stimuli such as menus, ordering ice creams and understanding weather forecasts. Where possible, the topics covered link with other areas of the national curriculum to support learning.  All aspects of the scheme of work allow for progression, regarding phonics, vocabulary and grammar. 


At Great Dunmow Primary School, we believe that the learning of a modern foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils.

Our outcomes will create enthusiastic, independent and resilient learners. Through memorable lessons, children will develop a life-long positive attitude to language learning. Children will develop both linguistic and cultural competence and their knowledge of Spanish will also enable them to gain a new perspective on their own language.

Students in Years 2-6 will have Spanish exercise books and Year 1 have a class scrapbook.