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French

‘A different language is a different vision of life.’ 

 

 Frederico Fellini

Intent

At Lime Walk, we believe that studying a language in primary school provides children with skills that are essential for modern life. As well as giving children the opportunity to learn a second language and an increasingly important skill in our globalised society, it also helps to promote and develop a broader intercultural understanding.

By studying the French language, children will be exposed to wonders of French culture and position in the world.

We have chosen French as the Modern Foreign Language to teach as it is one of the languages used in our community. We aim to celebrate different heritages of our children; many of whom speak a different language.

Our aim, which is at the heart of the programme of study for KS2, is to develop an enthusiastic and positive attitude to other languages and language learning. We hope to encourage a life-long learning of languages among our pupils in order to enhance their understanding of the world and their future economic well-being. We believe that this will aid our pupils to have high aspirations for their future careers as being able to speak a foreign language can be very beneficial and will provide many opportunities.

The study of a second language also supports children’s literacy and oracy in school, by raising awareness of aspects of their own language(s), thereby enriching their understanding of both. Our main objective in the teaching of a modern foreign language at primary school is to promote the early development of linguistic competence to enhance their communication skills.

We believe that to accomplish this, we should help the children to do all of the following:

  • familiarise themselves with the sounds and written form of a modern foreign language;
  • begin to understand a new language, and communicate in it;
  • make comparisons between languages;
  • develop a positive attitude towards the learning of foreign languages in general;
  • use their knowledge of the foreign language with growing confidence, both to understand what they hear and read, and to express themselves in different ways;
  • acquire, through all of the above, a sound basis for further study at Key Stage 3 and beyond.

We tailor our curriculum to meet the needs of pupils at Lime Walk Primary School through units that relate to the lives of our community.  This includes learning about healthy lifestyles, families, pets and homes.

Implementation

Lime Walk Primary School has a dedicated MFL leader with responsibility for the management of teaching of French across Years 3 to 6. A Scheme of Learning (Language Angels) is in place for French in Years 3 to 6 to ensure a balanced and well-distributed coverage of the attainment targets set out in the programme of study for KS2 and to ensure continuity and progression in language learning across the key stage. It is clearly set out on the MFL long term plan.

All classes have access to a very high-quality foreign languages curriculum using the Language Angels scheme of work and resources. This progressively develops pupils’ skills in foreign languages through regularly taught and well-planned weekly lessons in KS2, which are taught by a higher level teaching assistant who is a subject specialist.

Pupils progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary, language skills and grammatical knowledge organised around age-appropriate topics and themes.  As pupils move through Key Stage 2 building blocks of language develop into more complex, fluent and authentic language.

The planning of different levels of challenge and which units to teach at each stage of the academic year are addressed dynamically and reviewed in detail annually as units are updated and added to the scheme. Lessons offering appropriate levels of challenge and stretch are taught at all times to ensure pupils learn effectively, continuously building their knowledge of and enthusiasm for the language they are learning.

Language Angels is categorised by ‘Teaching Types’ to make it easier for teachers to choose units that will offer the appropriate level of challenge and stretch for the classes they are teaching.

  • Early Language units are entry level units and are most appropriate for Year 3 pupils or pupils with little or no previous foreign language learning.
  • Intermediate units increase the level of challenge by increasing the amount and complexity (including foreign language grammar concepts) of the foreign language presented to pupils. Intermediate units are suitable for Year 4-5 pupils or pupils with embedded basic knowledge of the foreign language.
  • Progressive and Creative Curriculum units are the most challenging units and are suitable for Year 6 pupils or pupils with a good understanding of the basics of the language they are learning.

Grouping units into these Teaching Type categories ensures that the language taught is appropriate to the level of the class and introduced when the children are ready. Children are taught how to listen and read longer pieces of text gradually in the foreign language and they will have ample opportunities to speak, listen to, read and write the language being taught with and without scaffolds, frames and varying levels of support.

Pupil learning and progression s assessed at regular intervals in-line with school policy. Teachers aim to assess each language skill (speaking, listening, reading and writing) at the end of each unit to provide reference points against which learning and progression in each skill can be demonstrated.

Impact

Our French curriculum aims to ensure all pupils develop key language learning skills, as set out by the national curriculum, as well as a love of languages and an appreciation for other cultures. By the time pupils leave Lime Walk Primary School, they will have acquired basic skills in the 4 key strands of language learning – speaking, listening, reading and writing and will have acquired a solid foundation upon which to pursue further language study.

Early Learning units start at basic noun and article level and teach pupils how to formulate short phrases. By the time pupils reach Progressive units they are exposed to much longer text and are encouraged to formulate their own, more personalised responses based on a much wider bank of vocabulary, linguistic structures and grammatical knowledge. They will be able to create longer pieces of spoken and written language and are encouraged to use a variety of conjunctions, adverbs, adjectives, opinions and justifications.

Children are expected to make good or better than good progress in their foreign language learning and their individual progress is tracked and reported to pupils and parents / carers in line with school policy.

‘L’avenir est entre les mains de ceux qui explorant’

Jacques Yves Cousteau

The future is in the hands of those who explore

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