Children learn core vocabulary as well as the culture and traditions of France. The lessons orientate heavily around speaking and listening with plenty of practise of the French language. Children participate in interactive activities such as games, songs, videos, role play and written French.
French is our language of choice as France is our closest neighbour. We currently have two French speakers in the school staff team, which allows us to maximise those skills. We also have a number of French speaking families within the school community, again allowing us to use the parent skills/interaction to support the learning journey of the children. We believe that once you have learnt the foundations of one language, you can easily transfer those skills to another.
To teach French at St John’s, we currently use the Lightbulb Language programme of study, which is geared towards the aims of the national curriculum. Teaching a language from scratch to the majority of children in Year 3, means that most children are starting from the same point. Teaching is mainly delivered through speaking and listening in Year 3, with a lot of repetition of subjects, through a spiral curriculum. We keep revisiting previous learning, moving on to develop new skills on top of those. In Years 4, 5 and 6, written recordings are made in the children’s books. One or two pieces of work is expected in the books per half term for Year 3. Every other week, the children in Year 4 and upwards, are expected to record written work in their books. Although the formal teaching of French does not start until Key Stage 2, we do begin to expose children in Key Stage 1 to French as early as Reception, through basic songs, rhymes and simple phrases.
French is taught in a number of fun and engaging ways to the children. A number of interactive games are used, drama and role play is key, even art session, which include labelling opportunities are brought into the delivery of French. The children are exposed to books written in the French language, with opportunities for hands on activities across the Key Stage.
Cross curricular links to French are made where possible. There have been many links made through DT and cookery, with Key Stage classes having French food tasting sessions, a French picnic, all to support the learning of French in the curriculum. An introduction in to the curriculum this year has been the addition of a school journey to France. Here the Year 6 pupils get the opportunity to develop their intercultural skills, visit another company and practise their skills with speaking and listening French.
Our aim is to have most children being able to use basic French phases by the end of Key Stage2, with some who can excel in the language, both written and verbally. We wish to foster a love of languages, and encourage the children to believe that they can achieve. We hope to encourage the children that through understanding the foundations of one language, this opens up the possibility to exploring others language, and in turn the rest of the world. As every child starts, at the same level, this allows progress to be made at different times and in different ways, so achievement for all is possible. Through the opportunities of constant praise and encouragement, we find that the children, who may not necessarily be academic in core subjects, can excel in French.
MFL Curriculum Map Jan 2022