We currently focus on Spanish at Chiddingstone School and we are proud of the progress children make with Spanish during their time here. They start in Reception class singing songs and playing games and by the time they reach Year 5, their confidence and knowledge is such that they can act, sing and speak some basic Spanish. We consolidate the children's learning in Year 5 and Year 6 with residential trips to Spain.
In Year 5, the children visit Barcelona, where we have a flourishing link with a Catalan school, Escuela Jesús, María i Josep. We spend a day at the school, often coinciding with their special Literary celebration and competition, "Jocs Florals", and include some of our own poems and stories. We are really proud of the children as they always rise to the rather daunting challenge of acting, singing and presenting to the Spanish school. Last year the play was, ‘Henry VIII and All Those Wives’, a very funny rendition of Tudor history. In addition, we visit exciting venues like The Picasso Museum, Parc Guell and the Sagrada Familia, practising Spanish in the restaurant and "La Boqueríá" market, as well as souvenir shopping, of course! Every year the children have the opportunity to keep in contact with some of their new friends by e-mail, after the visit. The following year, a group of children from the Spanish school make a return visit to Chiddingstone and stay with our Year 6 host families.
The finale to all the Spanish lessons at Chiddingstone is the Year 6 visit to Seville. The children prepare for this fantastic trip by learning about the history of Seville and the New World. They research the major sites that they will visit and design tourist information leaflets for each of the venues. They then take it in turns to act as guides for the group, giving lots of interesting information on the Alcázar Palace, Christopher Columbus' tomb in the Cathedral, the Bullring and the Plaza de Espana, amongst others. We are also lucky enough to visit the Dancing Horses of Andalucía in Jerez, followed by a visit to the beach in Cádiz for fun (and a re-enactment of the Spanish Armada if we have time!). We even have the chance to learn Flamenco at the only Flamenco Museum in the world, before watching a spectacular show. There is plenty of opportunity for the children to practice their Spanish, ordering dinner in the restaurant, shopping for a picnic lunch by the river and, of course, buying ice creams and presents!
Since January 2016, we have been very fortunate to have a native Spanish teacher working with us at the school. The language plays an important part in the life of the school, often linking in with the Creative Curriculum topics. We have different events and celebrations throughout the academic year. We start with Year 4 children running a very successful Spanish café to which parents and carers are invited – the children serve traditional tapas such as bocadillos, te and madalenas y bebidas. Our Harvest, Christmas and Easter services have a Spanish influence with Spanish songs and prayers. All of this ensures that from Reception to Year 6, Spanish becomes an integral part of life at Chiddingstone School.