Learning another language (French) at County Bridge gives children the valuable opportunity to develop positive attitudes to, and respect for, languages and cultures other than their own. We aim to foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of both the world around them and their own language through active and highly practical activities. Our children will be able to acquire and develop language skills with a focus on the development of new vocabulary, using and applying what they have learned in a range of contexts with increasing competence and confidence.
The main aim for French at our school is to ensure that children are able to communicate confidently in both spoken and written forms of the language. We acknowledge the influence that Europe continues to have on our lives and, as an increasingly multicultural society, we have a duty to provide our children with an understanding of other cultures and languages which link not only to our County Bridge values, but also to the core British values.
Learning a language is an enriching experience, providing excitement, enjoyment and challenge for all. The skills, knowledge and understanding gained make a major contribution to the development of children’s oracy and literacy allowing them also to make links to the English language.
In line with the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum, French is taught from Year 3 to Year 6. At County Bridge, we have worked alongside a modern languages consultant to ensure that we provide the best possible outcomes for our children through a progressive curriculum that focuses on acquiring knowledge and developing skills. Teaching staff have high expectations of all learners regardless of their
background, gender or need and our challenging curriculum is designed to support our children in achieving their very best.
Within the National Curriculum the aims for MFL are to ensure that all children:
- Understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of
- 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
- 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
Our French curriculum is designed to develop not only our children’s language skills, but also their love of learning a language and their intrigue around cultures and countries other than their own. In Key Stage 2, children have a weekly lesson of French with additional incidental opportunities to develop oracy throughout the week such as when greeting their teacher or answering the register.
Our long term planning document serves as a teaching map, outlining for all teachers what is taught and when it is taught. In lower Key Stage 2, there is a strong focus on developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing of words and sentences. Moving into upper Key Stage 2, children develop these skills even further and begin to join more than one sentence together to form conversations and short paragraphs.
Although it is not essential for every activity to have a written outcome, ‘Prove It’ questions have been designed specifically for our curriculum. They are used to assess children’s understanding of new learning and apply their knowledge and skills at a deeper level at the end of every lesson.
The units studied are supported by vocabulary sheets and word mats, which are shared at the beginning of a unit and children are encouraged to use them to support all new learning. The correct pronunciation of this vocabulary is supported through the use of electronic resources such as sound buttons embedded into Powerpoint slides that show clear progression within a lesson and across each unit of learning.
Children’s learning is assessed regularly within every lesson through the effective use of ‘assessment for learning’ and developmental marking. This is followed at the end of each unit by three focused tasks.
- A reading task
- A writing task
- A cultural knowledge quiz
We measure the impact of our French curriculum through the following methods:
- Observing children speaking and listening in French
- Marking of written work and giving developmental feedback
- Photographic images annotated by the children
- Book scrutinies, where teachers share their books and engage in an open
dialogue of how we can improve the learning for our children
- Learning walks
- End of unit tasks
A progressive planning model also ensures that learning is revisited throughout other topics as they progress through Key Stage 2. Impact is measured with the use of key questioning within the lessons and with ‘Prove It’ questions. This allows the children to show their understanding through either reading or writing in the French language. All of these strategies are aimed at identifying gaps, targeting next steps and informing further planning.