“Language learning in schools is on the decline and those Britons who have not mastered another language can miss out both commercially and culturally.” The number of pupils taking French, German or Spanish A-Level in 2022 was only 19,820; however, Nick Gibb, the newly reappointed schools minister, is leading an initiative to revive language learning in schools. But should this drive begin with primary schools?”
The benefits of learning a second language from an early age are immense. Research shows that language learning can boost critical thinking and listening skills, as well as the ability to multi-task. The cognitive benefits of learning a language can also have a direct impact on a child’s academic achievement. Most importantly, the experience of language learning introduces children to a world in ways they might otherwise not experience.
At Avon House, language learning is embedded in the curriculum, right from the start, with our youngest pupils in Foundation 1. All pupils from Foundation 1 – Year 6 receive weekly Spanish lessons. From Year 3, our pupils are introduced to French and receive a weekly French lesson. Our tailored curriculum is stimulating and interactive and it provides pupils with the opportunity to practise all four key skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Our pupils will leave Year 6 with the competence to make a coherent transition to language learning in secondary school and beyond. Pupils in Year 5 also have the opportunity to go on a foreign residential which is both vital for language immersion and for developing cultural sensitivity.
We are proud that we have pupils from a variety of cultures and backgrounds, and we value and respect all the languages and faiths within our diverse community. We recognise that the acquisition of multiple languages enhances both brain power and life experiences. To celebrate this, we name a ‘Language of the Month’ where pupils may learn some key words/phrases, as well as some interesting facts about the chosen language. We believe it is important for all pupils to be given the access and knowledge, not only to learn a new language, but also to gain an understanding of other countries and cultures.