Modern Languages

At Berkhampstead all children from Kindergarten onwards learn to speak French. Our very youngest children love their lessons, they pick up the language naturally and have great fun with French songs, rhymes and games. Spanish is added from Year 5, with an emphasis on speaking and enjoyment.

Languages Matter

In today’s English-speaking world it is all too easy to ignore other languages - but so important not to. The ability to communicate with those from other countries is vitally important for our children and also develops their overall communication skills.

Languages are fun!

Learning at Berkhampstead makes them so. Games and repetition, role play and songs mean that language is acquired easily. Grammar, written and oral skills are covered through modules that carry the children along as their language knowledge snowballs in lessons week by week.

A glimpse of the culture and the language of another country is gained on our special Language Days, which vary from year to year.

Language Days

Mandarin Day was a lovely chance to meet native speakers, to handle artefacts and to ask questions. Our children are keen to experiment and have fun - learning along the way. Through songs and video clips, games and chat, they were immersed in the language. A Chinese-themed lunch made the day complete.

Swedish Day was another such success, with a native Swedish speaker visiting to inspire and teach key words and phrases. The traditional Swedish cookies went down well all round!

British Sign Language Day was a lovely chance to meet Reg, who is deaf, and his two interpreters. Our children were soon responding to his humour and to his signed questions, learning the alphabet and even communicating with each other through gesture, facial expression and signed language. Enthusiasm for, and understanding of, life for the deaf community was greatly enhanced.

Restaurant Visit

L’Artisan restaurant in Cheltenham, welcomes French speakers and, having practised key phrases as part of their French lessons at school, off went Year 4. They ordered ‘crepes’, ‘limonade’ and ‘chocolat chaud’ and each table clinked cups or glasses to the cry of ‘Santé!’ The staff answered the children’s questions which included ‘Avez-vous un chat ou un chien’, ‘Préfèrez-vous l’Angleterre ou la France?’ and ‘Aimez-vous habiter à Cheltenham?’ The French language came to life on this memorable visit.

The Tour of Europe

This has proved an enormously popular addition to the Summer Term. Pupils ‘visit’ a range of countries, without even leaving school and have a real taste of life, language, culture and food in Spain, Italy, Russia and Germany to name but a few. A small amount of Welsh and Gaelic has been thrown into the mix for a real challenge!

Enhance the learning!

Fun with French & Spanish - at home and school. There are some super websites around which will support and add to what children cover in school. Really engaging and great for learning, the BBC Spanish website involves mystery and intrigue and children use lots of Spanish to solve the crime!

Do encourage your child to try some of these:

Languages On Line

Primary French - BBC

A Green Mouse - French and Spanish

Primary Spanish - BBC

Spanish Y5 and Y6

and finally…

Linguascope - a wonderful resource for children to practise listening to play games and to acquire lots of language on the way. For login details see the Parent Portal.