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HfL launches a quality mark for primary languages

Primary Languages Quality MarkThese are exciting times for language learning in our schools.  The new Programmes of Study for KS2 and KS3 have paved the way for an unprecedented ‘seven-year continuum’ in the teaching of languages and the entitlement to a foreign language in Key Stage 2 has been ‘live’ since September 2014.  Primary schools [in England and Wales] are expected to provide foreign language teaching to every year group in KS2 and to ensure that teaching focuses on substantial progress in one language.  The new Programme of Study for Key Stage 2 sets out the new national requirements for the curriculum in primary languages.

Hertfordshire has a long history of collaboration between the primary and secondary phases through its Strategic Learning Networks for MFL, where much work has been done around transition and how to ensure continuity and progression in language learning in our schools.  With the publication of the new Programmes of Study for KS2, it was clear that schools wanted more support in shaping their language curriculum and so Herts for Learning has devised the Primary Languages Quality Mark™.

The Primary Languages Quality Mark™ (PLQM) is designed to help primary schools audit, embed and evaluate their foreign language provision through a series of incremental stages that have been developed with the new curriculum for primary languages in mind.  It will guide schools towards best practice and help them meet the new national requirements as set out in the Programme of Study for KS2.  The current OFSTED Subject-Specific Criteria for Languages have also been taken into account in the level descriptors for the Quality Mark. 

You can download an overview of the framework by using the following link:

Schools can apply for the Quality Mark at either Bronze, Silver or Gold level by submitting an evidence-based portfolio.  The assessment process does not require long written statements or excessive form-filling; the Quality Mark is awarded for the work that teachers and pupils engage in as part of the primary languages curriculum and does not require any other input other than the gathering of evidence and the submission of the portfolio.

Participating schools can purchase the Quality Mark Support Pack at a cost of £350 (which includes assessment) and submit the portfolio when ready.  We are pleased to announce that our adjudicating panel includes the well-known Primary Languages Consultant, Catherine Cheater.

The appeals adjudicator is Liz Black ,currently a PGCE tutor, freelance author and consultant. She has been a member of the Association for Language Learning for many years and is on the National Executive Council and the Primary Special Interest Group. She writes a blog ’ Teaching Languages Today’ and is a very well respected national figure who delivers training for primary and secondary teachers and is well known for her creative teaching ideas.

Liz states... The Primary Languages Quality Mark is impressive and should really help schools".

If you are interested in participating, please contact resources@hertsforlearning.co.uk.

For further information on the Primary Languages Quality Mark, please contact Jackie Rayment, MFL Adviser: jackie.rayment@hertsforlearning.co.uk.