Purpose of study
Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing.
It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language.
Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.
The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
- Speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and 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.
New Horizons Seaside Primary follows the CGP Salut! Scheme of Work for delivering the French Curriculum.
At New Horizons Seaside Primary, it is our intent that children develop a love for learning French through lessons that are enjoyable, supportive and stimulating.
We aim for all our children to develop the confidence to be able to actively participate in language lessons, to never be afraid of trying or of ‘getting it wrong’.
We want our children to be able to apply their knowledge of French in practical situations and to experience the satisfaction of knowing they can make themselves understood in a foreign language.
We also aim to foster children’s curiosity and deepen their understanding of countries other than the UK; we see this as particularly important in the post-Brexit era.
French is introduced in Key Stage 1 through the display of basic vocabulary around the classroom, using French greetings to answer the register, collective simple counting and using simple classroom instructions to address the class.
In weekly French lessons in Key Stage 2, we follow the CGP Salut! scheme of work. This ensures that our MFL curriculum meets the requirements of the National Curriculum and progressively develops key skills in French as children move up the school. Children are encouraged and supported to develop their speaking and listening skills through a range of interactive activities, such as conversational work, role play, singing, games and stories. These practical approaches are to help improve memory and recall.
As confidence and ability grows, children record their work in French books that move up the school with them, through pictures, phrases and sentences. Strategies to support written work include key vocabulary displayed around the classroom, regular use of flashcards and word mats available on tables.
Assessment criteria is used, in line with National Curriculum requirements, to enable teachers to assess the progress of children in their language learning. As well as providing verbal feedback, children’s work is marked after every lesson with follow up questions to extend their understanding.
Leaders monitor the quality and impact of the French curriculum through team planning and teaching, book looks and staff discussions. In addition, pupil voice is considered to assess the impact on learning and to ensure children feel positive about languages.
As a school, we are always open to having native French speakers come in to visit, participate in or lead aspects of lessons, as we fully understand the motivational benefit of this to our children.
At New Horizons Seaside Primary, we have high expectations of the teaching and learning of French. Children are supported and challenged as appropriate to meet age-related expectations across Key Stage 2.
The further impact of our French curriculum is that our children leave our school understanding the importance of learning a foreign language and how this can benefit them in the future. They are positive about learning a foreign language at secondary school. They have experienced success in language learning and have developed the key basic skills, confidence and motivation to enable them to further build on their knowledge of French or learn a new foreign language from scratch.