Merton Bank Primary School

'Never less than our best'

Merton Bank Primary School, Roper Street, St Helens, Merseyside, WA9 1EJ


Modern Foreign Languages 

Caring          Respect          Courage          Resilience          Empathy

MFL Subject Leader Mrs Clay

Pupil Voice

"We were learning about minibeasts and we used pictures and sang songs and kept on saying the words and that helped me remember the names" Elliot Y2

"I feel excited in Spanish lessons because it’s super fun and you know you're going to learn new words and if you’re ever going to go to Spain you have learned the words that you will need to talk to people – that’s useful” Maria Y5

"I used to only be able to say words but now I can say sentences like 'me gusta matematicas" Lexi y6


At Merton Bank Primary School we teach Spanish as our foreign language. We want children to discover that learning a foreign language links them to the wider world and provides an opening to other cultures. We aim to foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world.  We support them to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. We hope that our language teaching will provide the foundation for learning further languages, ultimately equipping children to travel, study and work in other countries.

We provide targeted support for children learning English as an additional language and we value the other languages spoken by children in our school including Arabic, Mandarin and Tamil. We also celebrate other languages throughout the year, particularly on European Day of Languages in September. 

We use the Primary Languages Network to support our languages learning in school and for our home learning. Click on the link below to access their YouTube channel to find more information:


Teaching and Learning

Our teaching of the Spanish langauge provides an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and lays the foundations for further foreign language teaching at key stage 3. We enable pupils to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in Spanish through listening, speech, reading and writing, focused on familiar and routine matters, using their knowledge of phonology, grammatical structures and vocabulary. Our language learning curriculum promotes the importance of developing language skills in English and other languages and celebrates the languages spoken by children and families within our school community and the wider world. Currently, the wider languages in our school community include: Portuguese, Kurdish, Polish, Turkish, Italian, Pashto/Pakhto, Romanian, Arabic and Chinese. 


We teach pupils 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


Language teaching and learning is delivered by the class teacher and class based staff with ongoing support from the Subject Leader where necessary.  Online support for non-specialists in available through the Primary Language Network resources including native speaker audio and video resources.  In KS2, children have about 30 minutes per week of language learning however at times throughout the year, language learning may be taught in a longer block of lessons where more appropriate. In KS1, teachers introduce basic vocabulary and songs often linked to classroom routines, learning themes and challenges in other curriculum areas.

Assessing languages at Merton Bank 

Feedback about learning Spanish is usually given verbally by teachers, teaching assistants and sometimes by peers. Written work in books is marked to correct spelling and grammar errors and also provide some next steps where appropriate. Assessments are made each half term by class teachers and monitored by the subject leader.

Core Concepts

When learning any modern foreign language there are key core skills and knowledge that we want the pupils to learn and use as they develop their knowledge and understanding. These core skills and knowledge facts form the basis of our language curriculum enabling our pupils to build confidence with languages and to develop an interest in the languages of the world. 

Home Learning

The Primary Languages Network that we use for our work in school has produced a scheme to support the languages work that is being completed at home. Click on the links on the document below to see activities for Year 3 (Stage 1), Year 4 (Stage 2), Year 5 (Stage 3) and Year 6 (Stage 4).