Speaking, listening, reading and writing are the four key skills involved in foreign language learning and the pupils at our school are able to make progress across each of these areas in their weekly French lessons. In March 2011, 12 pupils won the Best Performance award at the Highcliffe Primary Languages Festival for their short performance in French, and during the Spring and Summer terms of 2012, the Year 6 children communicated by letter to children at a French school in Burgundy, each child developing a 'long-distance' friendship with a French pupil. This culminated in the 2 schools creating a Skype link and the children 'meeting each other' for the first time! Some of those children, now at their Upper School, have continued to write to their French friends- a wonderful way to progress in the language.
In November 2012, the children in Year 5 performed a simple fashion show in French, bringing into school 2 or 3 items of clothing and describing them as they 'walked the catwalk'. The children's confidence and the accuracy of their French was very pleasing and they showed an enjoyment of their efforts.
The current group of Year 6 children has been learning Spanish since Year 3. An emphasis is placed upon speaking and listening skills and the learning of the language includes singing songs, reading and writing, and confidently conversing in Spanish with other members of the class. Each year, 12 children are chosen to represent Mudeford Junior School at the Highcliffe Primary Languages Festival and last year our group of children were proud to be presented the award for Best Performance. It is hoped that the children have developed an interest and enjoyment in foreign language learning during their time at this school and will wish to continue Spanish at their new school in September or have the confidence to take up a new language.
A group of 16 children from year 5 have been learning to speak Mandarin Chinese since the beginning of year 4. The lessons take place during the lunch hour on Wednesdays and are taught by Peggy Doble- a local Mandarin Chinese Teacher. The children have learned quickly and accurately and show great enjoyment in their lessons; examples of language learned includes greetings, colours, numbers, questions and responses, and one of their favourite lessons was one in which they learned to sing Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Mandarin Chinese is fast becoming a very useful and important language, especially in business and these children are challenged on a weekly basis to improve their pronunciation and articulation in this language.