Huan ying!
Primary School MFL – Spanish at Woodheys

Spanish speakers for a global future – Woodheys Primary School

 “We all approach each task with the words of our school motto in mind, ‘Together everyone achieves more’ … our whole ethos … is to educate children to be pro-active Global Citizens of the future”. The words of Laura Daniels, Head of Woodheys Primary School in Trafford.

Helping to meet that ethos is a Spanish teacher from la Academia, Melody Valois. She has been supporting the school with Spanish lessons for several years, in line with the Primary Modern Foreign Language (MFL) Strategy.

The children were consulted about which language to learn and Spanish was the clear winner. In the short term it means they can translate for their parents when they’re on holiday in Spain. In the long term, it means they’ll have a real head start in our global economy: Spanish is the second-most-spoken language globally—beating English into third place—and one of only six official languages of the United Nations.

For la Academia and for Melody, it’s not just about the language; it’s also about Spanish culture. The children have investigated the art of Joan Miró, Spanish surrealist; taken part in Spanish dancing; learned about their counterparts in Spanish schools and built pen-pal and Skype friendships abroad.

The teachers are involved too—three of them visited the primary school San Juan Bautista – La Salle in Cantabria, Spain. This visit was part of the Comenius project funded by the British Council and the European Union. And it was la Academia’s Melody who co-ordinated the writing of the bid for this project.

When she’s not teaching, Melody has made Mexican biscuits for the school’s Christmas Fair, taken the children to see her own Spanish dancing troupe, put Spanish signs up and contributed to the school’s website. Oh—and she runs KS1 and KS2 Spanish after-school clubs too. It’s no wonder that Laura Daniels calls Melody “Part of our community.”

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