Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world. We are therefore delighted to be running an additional, optional Spanish Bilingual Stream in Reception.
Alongside the traditional, high quality provision for English Reception pupils, we are excited to have an additional, optional Spanish Bilingual Stream class.
How it Works
Mornings in the Spanish Bilingual Stream consist of the same high quality curriculum in English as the English Stream class, and afternoons involve lessons in Spanish based on the Early Years Foundation Stage or National Curriculum, delivered by a qualified teacher with in-depth Spanish fluency.
Our current host of specialist teachers in music and sport provide further enrichment to the children’s learning.
Benefits of a Bilingual Education
The Spanish Bilingual Stream will appeal to those interested in the numerous benefits of exposure to a foreign language as it:
- Advances children academically (Kulka, 2019)
- Brings cognitive advantages (Kim, 2019)
- Encourages a global outlook and open-mindedness (The University of Sheffield, 2021)
- Enhances communication skills (Liberman et al., 2017)
- Is fun to learn and speak another language!
Por la mañana la sección bilingüe sigue el mismo currículo inglés de la sección inglesa. Por la tarde la clase se da en español, basada en el currículo nacional inglés e impartida por un profesor o profesora que habla español con fluidez.
Los alumnos siguen beneficiando de clases de música y deporte con profesores especializados.
Ventajas de una enseñanza bilingüe
La sección bilingüe atraerá a los que reconocen los numerosos beneficios de familiaridad con un idioma extranjero:
- Adelanta a los niños académicamente (Kulka, 2019)
- Aporta ventajas cognitivas (Kim, 2019)
- Fomenta una perspectiva global y una mentalidad abierta (La Universidad de Sheffield, 2021)
- Facilita aptitud en comunicación (Liberman et al., 2017)
- Es divertido aprender y hablar otro idioma
Frequently Asked Questions
Which curriculum is followed by the Spanish Bilingual Stream?
The Bilingual Stream follows the Early Years Foundation Stage and English National Curriculum.
Are you offering a bilingual option to other year groups, besides the Reception class?
The Spanish Bilingual Stream begins in Reception and will build up until around Year 2.
Further up the school, children will continue to receive the excellent Roche School education towards the 11+ transition to secondary school.
What is the class timetable like?
The Bilingual Stream timetable holds morning lessons (Maths and Literacy) in English. Afternoons involve lessons in Spanish, where applicable, based on the Early Years Foundation Stage or National Curriculum, as well as lessons from our host of English-speaking specialist teachers in music and sport, who continue to provide further enrichment to the children’s learning.
Will my child learn both English and Spanish to the same level?
We are eager to expose pupils to Spanish because of the numerous benefits of doing so, but we also recognise that parts of the timetable should be delivered in English to support the children’s progress. For this reason, Maths, Literacy and phonics are taught in English. Afternoon lessons are conducted in Spanish where applicable to familiarise the children with the language as far as possible. The emphasis is on speaking in and listening to Spanish.
What are the language requirements for pupils?
We have no language requirements for pupils. We recognise that all children have unique backgrounds and that they may not have had access to Spanish previously. Initially, the focus will be on simple communication with gesture, song and pictures, and on classroom vocabulary, although as part of our good practice, we will regularly assess the children’s Spanish levels to meet their needs.
What if my child is from a Spanish-speaking family?
As part of our good practice, we differentiate provision and assess the children’s Spanish levels to meet their needs. Spanish-speaking teachers and assistants in the stream are integral to supporting the children’s development.
Will there be links with the English stream class?
Both the English and Spanish Bilingual Stream Reception children will benefit from this new initiative as children in each will be able to access the Spanish provision to varying degrees. Children will also continue to mingle with those in their year group when they are set in core subjects and in playtimes.
How can I support my child with Spanish?
Whilst we certainly do not expect parents and carers to speak Spanish, any support they can give the children by exposing them to Spanish can be a major contributing factor to the children’s success. Watching Spanish films, reading Spanish books, organising playdates with Spanish peers, or having a Spanish nanny could enhance the child’s familiarity with and confidence in Spanish.
Bilingual Education Alliance
We are delighted to be a member of the Bilingual Education Alliance (BEA), an alliance of leaders of bilingual schools as well as academics, policy makers, parents and others who share our vision of supporting and promoting the growing movement of bilingual schools in England.
Parents also have access to BEA resources and events. Please visit the website for more details and to join the mailing list.
Kim, J. W. (2019). Bilingualism: Start early, and earn all your benefits! Available at: https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2019/bilingualism-start-early-and-earn-all-your-benefits/ (Accessed: 10 November 2021).
Kulka, B. (2019). 'The cognitive benefits of learning a language' in two minutes. Available at: https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/blog/cognitive-benefits-learning-language-two-minutes/ (Accessed: 5 November 2021).
Liberman, Z., Woodward, A. L., Keysar, B., Kinzler, K. (2017). Exposure to multiple languages enhances communication skills in infancy. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27002779/ (Accessed: 10 November 2021).
The University of Sheffield. (2021). Benefits of language study. Available at: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/languages/lfa/benefits (Accessed: 5 November 2021).