Our chosen language is French. This is taught by a specialist French teacher to the whole of Key Stage 2.
Our overall intent is that pupils when they leave Y6 they will have a secure grounding in the 3 pillars of good linguistic education: phonics (and sound-letter correspondences), vocabulary and grammar. Languages are an integral part of the curriculum as they open the mind to other cultures, build cultural capital and liberate from insularity. To be successful in language learning, children need to experience success, have sound knowledge of the French language’s phonetic code, have a secure grasp of the building blocks which enables manipulation of language and being clear about how to make progress. Working memory limitations means that overloading learners with content will negatively affect the quality of learning: less can be more. An effective French curriculum includes distributed practice (practising rehearsal of knowledge in short chunks regularly and often) is more effective than massed practice (doing lots of rehearsal in one go). Our spiral curriculum revisits the 3 pillars throughout the 4 years. Retrieval practice supports long-term memory development. This approach is regularly adopted through our use of Building Learning Power and Bloom’s Taxonomy. Explicit teaching works best with novice learners. Concepts are presented clearly to pupils and explicit links are made to children’s knowledge of grammar in English which is secure. This supports our pupils through making links between the two languages.
Our golden threads are: Vocabulary, Grammar, Knowledge about France, Power (linked to History) and the countries within the UK (linked to Geography)
We only teach French in Key Stage 2. Our pupils enter the 4 year rolling programme at different points; it is important that children have the opportunity to revisit learning in order to help it become ‘sticky knowledge’, to further develop skills when using this knowledge and purposefully recap on learning. Each level has key phonics, vocabulary and grammar and through our spiral curriculum, this knowledge is revisited and built up on each year. This approach ensures our curriculum fulfils the distinct needs of our learners, it also supports children in being able to remember more because revisiting learning helps it transfer to the long-term memory. In order to do this effectively, we use the Bloom’s rainbow steps to success to ensure children can use knowledge in a variety of higher order ways appropriate to their stage of learning. This way of working is successful for our mixed-aged classes.
For Modern Foreign Languages, we follow The Primary French Project scheme of learning. The documents below show the progressive key learning that takes place in this subject across Key Stage 2.
The 2014 National Curriculum for Modern Foreign Languages aims to ensure that all children:
- Understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources.
- Are able to speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and that they are continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation.
- Can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt.
- Discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.
At Aiskew, Leeming Bar CE Primary School we have adopted French as our modern foreign language because two members of staff speak French confidently. We believe that our own enthusiasm for language learning is infectious, coupled with the number of pupils who already speak two languages due to being EAL, ensures that the pupils at this school are confident learning French and are equipped with basic language learning skills and a love of languages. A high quality languages education should foster children’s curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. Through our Building Learning Power approach (BLP), children are taught how to make links which is a key component of our language approach e.g. through encouraging children to make links through spotting cognates. In addition, children have a solid understanding of a wide range of grammatical features in English and are then able to make links with grammatical structures in French. We teach children to distil information. Pupils are taught to read and listen for the key information rather than the expectation that they understand every word. Children are taught to notice; they are encouraged to look for cognates to support their understanding. Imitation is a key component, especially when learning to pronounce vocabulary accurately and with authentic accents. Children are also taught to imitate when writing sentences.
At Aiskew, Leeming Bar CE Primary School, we are committed to ensuring that competence in another language enables children to interpret, create and exchange meaning within and across cultures. It also helps children develop skills that will open further opportunities later in life. The teaching of French in KS2 provides an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and lays the foundations for further foreign language teaching at KS3 and beyond. We hope our pupils enjoy speaking a foreign language and have the confidence and skills to become skilful linguists in later life.
At Aiskew, Leeming Bar CE Primary School, we teach French using the Primary French Project. The scheme of work has strong links between French and English literacy linguistic progression throughout KS2. It also promotes the use of IT to enhance the children’s foreign language learning which is one of school’s drivers. Not only does it teach children about the French language in a structured and progressive way, it introduces pupils to French culture, society and its geography. It also complements our KS2 Geography scheme of work – not only are children able to describe key human and physical features in GB and around the world, they are able to do this in French. This allows children to revisit previous learning following a spiral curriculum which supports our learners best in a mixed aged class.
Children are introduced to French from Y3. In line with the vast majority of our teaching, French is taught as a block which consists of 6 lessons so that children are immersed in the new vocabulary. However there is the understanding that unless vocabulary is being used regularly, it will be forgotten therefore registration time is used to revisit and revise previously learnt vocabulary.
Children are given knowledge organisers at the start of each topic which are stuck into children’s French books for reference. As well as practising reading, speaking and listening, pupils are encouraged to complete a writing task in most lessons in order to ensure that they are competent in all areas of French language. The writing tasks are structured around our Bloom’s Taxonomy rainbow steps to success so that we can differentiate within our mixed aged classes.
In each module, children learn a finger rhyme, a song and a story. Grammar is taught explicitly and links are drawn between the English and French language. The technical vocabulary used is in line with the vocabulary for Grammar in the English National Curriculum Appendix 2.
Our MFL curriculum ensures that children develop their knowledge of where different languages, including the range of home languages spoken by the families of the school, as well as French, are spoken in the world. We ensure that languages are celebrated throughout the school community whilst providing a context for language learning and develop the children’s understanding of different cultures such as through European Day of Languages. Our pupils have a very positive attitude and a ‘can do’ mindset to language learning. Although many of our pupils have not travelled to France, they have a sound understanding of French culture and society. Children have adopted a love for learning languages and they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to be confident linguists and have firm foundations which can then be built upon.
Teaching and Learning
We ensure that through adopting the Primary French Project pupils learn (as outlined in the National Curriculum 2014 for MFL) to:
- Listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding.
- Explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words.
- Engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help.
- Speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures.
- Develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases.
- Present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences.
- Read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing.
- Appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language.
- Broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary.
- Write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly.
- Describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing.
- Understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.
Here is our long term plan for French.