‘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.’ – (National Curriculum in England: languages programme of study)
Learning a language enriches the curriculum helping to create enthusiastic learners and to develop positive attitudes to language learning throughout life. The skills, knowledge and understanding gained should contribute to the development of children’s oracy and literacy and to their understanding of their own culture and those of others.
At Lord Blyton Primary, we feel that the earlier a child is exposed to a foreign language, the faster the language in question is acquired. We believe that the early acquisition of French from Year 3 will facilitate the learning of other foreign languages later in life. We aim to prepare children for the KS3 language curriculum to enable them to transfer confidently and successfully. Also, many studies have shown that language learning has a positive impact on achievement in other subjects as well as helping to improve thinking skills and memory abilities.
We teach French across Key Stage 2. The school uses the North Tyneside Scheme of Work to support the teaching and learning of French. This provides clear progression for the development of speaking and listening and vocabulary acquisition. There are resources to support the teaching and learning opportunities for pupils. Teachers are currently supported by the local authority’s MFL Lead, Caroline Smith, and this support is viewed as ongoing CPD.
A variety of the following techniques is used to encourage children to have an active engagement with French:
• Games – in order to develop vocabulary through repetition, reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
• Role-play – these should relate to the situations the children may find themselves in the future.
• Action songs and rhymes – to develop phonetic skills, memory skills and to further vocabulary.
• Reading and writing quality materials.
• Confidence-building – through praise for any contribution they make in the foreign language, however tentative.
SEND children are present in lessons and are supported where necessary. The lesson content features a mix of songs, games and activities which are accessible and enjoyable.
We base the teaching on the 2014 National Curriculum through the North Tyneside Scheme of Work. This provides teachers with clear progression grids and content for teaching and learning.
Through the high quality first teaching of French taking place, we will see the impact of the subject in the following ways:
- Children will be able to communicate with each other in French.
- Children will become aware that a language has a structure, and that the structure differs from one language to another.
- Children will develop their language through development of the four key skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing.
- Children will enrich their language learning by developing an understanding of the French culture.
- Children will learn how language skills can be applied to a range of languages.
- Children will transfer to KS3 effectively and successfully and will be well prepared to continue and develop their language skills.
- Children will become aware that the world is a small place and that language skills can be very useful for travelling and conducting business across a global market.
- Children will be made aware that a recognised qualification in a modern foreign language can facilitate university access to vocational courses which have a foreign language component.