“Learning a language enriches the curriculum. It provides excitement, enjoyment and challenge for children and teachers, helping to create enthusiastic learners and to develop positive attitudes to language learning throughout life. The natural links between languages and other areas of the curriculum can enhance the overall teaching and learning experience. The skills, knowledge and understanding gained can make a major contribution to the development of children’s oracy and literacy and to their understanding of their own culture/s and those of others.” Framework for Languages (DfES 2005)
Since 2014 the teaching of a Modern Foreign Language to all KS2 children has been a part of the statutory curriculum. At Fressingfield Primary School, we believe strongly in the benefits of learning a modern foreign language: language learning is fun, active, challenging and enjoyable and it leads to wider benefits across the curriculum, such as the development of literacy skills and to a greater understanding of themselves and others.
At Fressingfield Primary School the children learn French throughout Key Stage 2.
LANGUAGE LEARNING STIMULATES CREATIVITY: Children enjoy taking an active part in language lessons. They join in with singing, reciting rhymes and poems and responding to stories. They create sketches and role-play, imitating accurate intonation and pronunciation. They play games, take turns, make things, take the role of the teacher and experiment creatively with language.
LANGUAGE LEARNING SUPPORTS ORACY AND LITERACY: Children spend much of their language lessons speaking, listening and interacting – more than in most other subjects. They take part in role-plays, conversations and question and answer work. They sing songs, perform to an audience and respond to a wide range of aural stimuli. This emphasis on communication, including language learning’s important role in the ‘education of the ear’ underpins children’s capabilities in oracy, which is critical to effective communication as well as a key foundation for literacy.
LANGUAGE LEARNING LEADS TO GAINS ACROSS THE CURRICULUM: Children approach a broad range of learning activities in a new and challenging context; these relate to mother tongue literacy, to mathematics and other subject areas such as geography, music and citizenship. This can lead to deep learning and significant gains in their general understanding as they recycle and reinterpret existing knowledge. Through the conscious development of language learning they are also learning how to learn.
LANGUAGE LEARNING SUPPORTS AND CELEBRATES THE INTERNATIONAL DIMENSION: Although it enjoys much more linguistic diversity than in the past, England remains a place where the motivation to learn another language is affected by the position of English as a widely spoken, world language. This makes it even more important that we give all children the chance to learn a language in order to gain insights into their own lives and those of others around the world. They need the chance to make contact with people in other countries and cultures and to reflect upon their own cultural identities and those of other people.
LANGUAGE LEARNING TEACHES CHILDREN HOW TO LEARN: The techniques used to learn French – engagement, exploration, listening, repeating, singing, rehearsing, speaking, experimenting, pattern-seeking, etc – are the same needed for learning languages other than French in the future. By giving the children the techniques they need to learn a language, we are supporting their language acquisition in the future.
At Fressingfield Primary School the children learn French throughout Key Stage 2. French is taught on a two-year cycle, so that children in Years 3&4 and Years 5&6 don’t repeat the same subjects as a new year group joins their class at the end of the year.
Our Long-term plan has been adapted from the Buckinghamshire S Scheme of Work for French at Key Stage 2. The scheme is comprehensive and robust and ensures for a progression of skills as the children progress through Years 3-6. This scheme is complemented with resources from other areas, including Rigolo.
Children’s progress in French is tracked using the
The pupils are taught 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, and 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 and masculine 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.
English assessment is ongoing to inform teachers with their planning, lesson activities and differentiation. Summative assessment is completed at the end of each unit to inform leaders of the improvements or skills that still need to be embedded. English is monitored throughout all year groups using a variety of strategies such as lesson observations, summative assessment and pupil interviews.