At Moorfield, we recognise the importance of good communication skills and understand how learning new languages has huge benefits. We know that learning another language provides your child with the essential language skills to communicate with the wider world. It also helps them to develop a curiosity about, and a respect for, other people, places and cultures.
Starting in Form Two, all children learn French every week. In addition to this, pupils in Years Four to Six learn Spanish, and in Years Five and Six, children are introduced to British Sign Language. Children at Moorfield enjoy learning languages through games, songs, action poetry and stories. They learn basic vocabulary such as colours, numbers and animals, but also start to form sentences and think about language patterns.
Language lessons are taught by a specialist teacher and provide an excellent grounding for future language learning. Learning French and Spanish broadens the children’s language skills and enables them to draw comparisons across two languages.
BSL is not taught as a separate subject but is used to deliver these foreign languages. We know that learning BSL improves communication generally and benefits communities, being a friendlier society, with more tolerance for people who have physical challenges of all kinds. Learning BSL involves a lot of memorising and has often been proven to improve a person’s long-term memory. For a child who is learning British Sign Language, they are likely to find improved performance in other academic areas.
“Every year in September, we celebrate the European Day of Languages. However, at Moorfield, we also celebrate other non-European languages, including BSL, spoken by families in our school community. Moorfield values all cultural and language diversity in our community and our children learn languages all year round: French from Year 2, Spanish and French from Year 4, and French, Spanish and British Sign Language from Year 5. It’s all about communication!” Mrs Lynn Hewitt, Head of Languages.