Languages, Literacy and Communication are fundamental aspects of human communication and are therefore an essential part of the whole curriculum. At Brynllywarch Hall School we aim to provide a wide range of literacy opportunities to enable learners of all abilities to develop their language skills and enable them to become lifelong learners. Learning contexts will include opportunities to communicate in English, Welsh and other languages using our local area and developing a sense of cynefin.
Learning experiences help our pupils to develop the skills needed to communicate confidently through reading, writing and oracy, in a range of contexts. This should enable pupils to develop the life skills needed to become capable, informed citizens, able to express themselves for different purposes and audiences.
The ‘four purposes’ are an integral part of the Languages, Literacy and Communication curriculum, as pupils develop as ambitious capable learners, enterprising, creative contributors, ethical, informed citizens and healthy, confident individuals.
The four ‘what matters’ statements are addressed holistically in relation to one another, and learners play an active part in directing their own learning experiences to increase levels of engagement and achievement.
Statements of what matters:
Languages connect us with people, places and communities. This Area is designed to equip learners, as citizens of a bilingual Wales in a multilingual world, with the ability to use Welsh, English and other languages in a plurilingual context. Meaningful language learning experiences go hand in hand with learning about one’s own cultural identity as well as the cultural identities of others. Engagement with this Area can therefore foster in learners’ pride, in their sense of identity and belonging to Wales as well as the world.
By raising an awareness of the diversity of languages from a young age, the aim is to enable learners to recognise similarities between languages and to embrace the differences between them. Learning and experience in this Area can support learners to develop an understanding of the origins, evolution and features of a range of languages. This provides them with opportunities to develop their creativity, as well as a set of skills such as mediation, adaptability and empathy.
This Area provides learners with literary experiences that can engage them as listeners, viewers, readers, narrators and creators. These experiences support them to appreciate a creator’s craft as well as develop their own creative skills. They should be encouraged to experience and respond to a variety of diverse literature that gives them insight into the culture, people and history of Wales as well as the wider world. Through this, as their understanding of their own and other people’s experiences, beliefs and cultures is enhanced, learners can develop their ability to demonstrate empathy. This in turn can contribute to their emotional and mental well-being. In all, the literary experiences offered aim to spark learners’ imagination and creativity and help to build a lifelong love of literature.
Principles of progression
The descriptions of learning provide a clear progression pathway focusing on:
As they move along the continuum of learning, learners will build on basic linguistic skills to develop a capability that enables them to overcome a range of communicative challenges successfully. These include, for example:
asking increasingly sophisticated questions
finding information independently
making evaluative and critical judgements about the ideas and viewpoints and the means of communication in what they hear, read, and view
using language effectively to convey their own ideas and viewpoints on various topics.
They will develop the language skills necessary to discuss and evaluate their learning in languages.
Progression in this Area is represented as a coherent continuum. The learner grows holistically in their understanding and purposeful use of languages, literacy and communication when listening and reading, when speaking and writing and when interacting and mediating in a wide range of contexts.
Learners develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of linguistic concepts that support the more conscious and self-aware development of skills to communicate effectively through speech, writing, gestures, images or other media.
They also progress in their breadth and depth of conceptual knowledge by encountering ideas in languages and literature, initially in more personal and local contexts and moving as they progress to connect with more complex communications in a multilingual world. Learners thus acquire a gradually more nuanced understanding of different viewpoints and increasing command of the skills needed to interpret, evaluate, articulate and respond to differing perspectives.
Progression in this Area is a continuum of increasingly complex engagement with ideas and communicative purposes and of development of language awareness. These are demonstrated in:
Drawing on a learner’s whole linguistic repertoire – however uneven that may be – enables them to progress in all languages. Understanding linguistic concepts in the language of instruction, for example, can be applied to learning a new language, which facilitates progression in that language as well as improving understanding of the way in which their own languages work. While learners may be at different points of progression in different languages, a focus on plurilingualism allows them to call upon their knowledge of a number of languages to make sense of a spoken or written text, whatever their command of that language, and to increasingly understand and learn from the relationships between different languages.
Progression in the refinement and sophistication of skills moves from literal and simple communicative purpose to more abstract, inferred or implied and nuanced levels of meaning with more complex purposes. Oral language precedes and underpins pre-literacy skills. Learners gradually develop greater awareness of language and more sophistication in using this awareness to achieve intended purposes in interpreting and producing communications in speech or writing or through other means.
For younger learners the acquisition of language follows the same sequence as for older learners, although the speed at which it does so can vary considerably. As learners experience, engage with, understand and apply increasingly complex ideas and language awareness, accuracy and fluency in using communication skills grow.
Progression in this Area is also seen in the production of language. As learners become more accomplished, they can adapt and manipulate language to communicate effectively to a range of different audiences. This allows learners to form and develop strong relationships and the confidence to use their voice in society.
Second language learners may use formulaic language with few mistakes initially and, as they progress and when being more ambitious and spontaneous in their use of language, they may appear to make more mistakes. This intrinsic part of successful language learning leads to becoming more fluent and accurate language users. Second language or bilingual learners may not necessarily show the same pattern of linguistic progression as first language learners.
Progression in this Area has a significant inter-relationship with the learning in all other areas. The learner moves forward along the progression continuum partly through exposure to rich challenges and resources offered by other Areas. The thinking needed to understand and to communicate all learning is closely related to that which enables learners to develop receptive, interpretive and expressive language skills. They progress in the languages, literacy and communication set out in this Area alongside the development of disciplinary literacy in the other curriculum Areas.
The ability to transfer existing knowledge and skills into new contexts is an integral part of progression in this Area. This includes the social and cultural aspects of language. As learners develop an understanding of additional languages, patterns of language use are identified, adapted and applied in new contexts. Modes of communication are adapted for different audiences, and to different disciplinary contexts. Skills in learners’ first and second languages enable learning in subsequent languages. As learners progress, they will be able to make links within and between ways of communicating, making good choices about effective methods of communication.
They also allow us to identify the next steps needed for the learner to continue making progress.