Modern Foreign Languages – Italian

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela

Intent- Vision and Aims

“A different language is a different vision of life.” Federico Fellini.

The intention of the Italian curriculum at St Robert Southwell Catholic Primary School is that children are taught to develop an interest in learning other languages in a way that is enjoyable and stimulating. We encourage children’s confidence, we strive to stimulate and encourage children’s curiosity about language. We want our pupils to be enthusiastic, engaged and challenged and to develop their ability to use and understand another language. With actively plan links to develop their awareness of cultural differences in other countries, we make every effort to embed the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing necessary to enable children to use and apply their Italian learning in a variety of contexts and lay the foundations for future language learning. All pupils in the school study Italian and in their lessons, our pupils will gain systematic knowledge of key vocabulary and structures, grammar and phonics of the new language and a better understanding of how these are used by Italian speakers.


“Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.” Flora Lewis.

 Our MFL curriculum is designed to progressively develop children skills in languages, through regular taught lessons. Children progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary organised around topics.

At St Robert Southwell we have a very successful collaboration with the Education Department of the Italian General Consulate of Italy in London. They provide a fully qualified native-speaking Italian teacher to deliver high quality Italian lessons to the children from Reception to Year 6.

Ms. Tiziana Sirignese teaches the Italian language through songs, games, and videos so that pupils learn to speak in an emotionally involving, fun, and playful environment. The children love learning Italian which, in turn, helps them with their own language by identifying roots to common words and recalling how language is taught.

Children in Reception and Key Stage One enjoy exploring the Italian language and learning important basic skills in their lessons. Teaching fosters a love of languages through songs and games which continues into Key Stage Two, where the children develop their written and spoken skills in Italian.

During Key Stage Two children have the opportunity to make focused and substantial progress in Italian, including being able to communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing. This learning provides an important foundation for their future language learning in Secondary education. Displays are used to remind children of key vocabulary. In the classroom whether possible instructions are given in Italian to expose children to the language as much as possible, visual prompts are used to support children in translating new vocabulary. Word mats are available for children to have out on desks to support their learning and recap previous learning.

Home Learning

Here are some suggestions for ways you can help your child:

  • Take your child to a museum

Italy has produced some of the most talented artists, such as Leonardo Da Vinci (1265-1321) and Michelangelo (1475-1564). Check your local museum’s schedule to see when it is featuring an Italian-inspired exhibition and bring your child along. The admission for children is typically free.

  • Celebrate Italian holidays