The essence of Lord Blyton is to be the best we can.
This policy aims to outline the provision for Modern Foreign Languages (French) in our school. The policy covers aims and objectives, organization and curriculum, teaching and learning styles for inclusion and assessment.
Aims and Objectives
In our school we teach a foreign language to Key Stage 2 children as part of the normal school curriculum but our Key Stage 1 children are also exposed to French through classroom games and songs. We do this as we believe that:
• many children really enjoy learning to speak another language.
• the earlier a child is exposed to a foreign language, the faster the language in question is acquired.
• it is a good idea to introduce a new language to children when they are at primary school, as they tend to be less self-conscious about speaking aloud at this stage of their development.
• the early acquisition of a foreign language facilitates the learning of other foreign languages later in life.
• learning a foreign language can improve children’s understanding of their own language and reinforce learning in other areas of the curriculum, as well as foster an interest in other cultures.
The aims and objectives of learning a modern foreign language in primary school are:
• to foster an interest in learning other languages;
• to introduce children to another language in a way that is enjoyable and fun;
• to make children aware that language has structure, and that the structure differs from one language to another;
• to help children develop their awareness of cultural differences in other countries;
• to develop their speaking and listening skills;
• to lay the foundations for future study;
• to encourage the development of language-learning skills that can subsequently be applied to the learning of other languages.
A member of staff co-ordinates the teaching of the foreign language. Years 3, 4 and 6 currently receive a lesson each week from the local authority’s French specialist.
The specialist provides suggestions for class teachers wishing to integrate some French vocabulary into daily routines or other subject areas.
French is the modern foreign language that we teach in our school. The curriculum that we follow covers a range of topics from the North Tyneside Scheme of Work which is used by many schools in South Tyneside.
In accordance with the Languages Programme of Study: Key Stage 2, published in September 2013 by the Department for Education, we teach the children to:
• listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
• explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
• engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions: seek help
• speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures
• develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases
• present ideas and information orally
• read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
• appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes
• broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
• adapt phrases to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly
• describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing.
Most children will also learn to write phrases from memory.
We encourage children to:
• notice patterns in the language and similarities or differences between languages and cultures
• develop strategies to interpret meaning and memorize words.
By the end of year 6, the children will understand some basic grammar points.
The French teacher will, if possible, link some lessons or tasks with topics or events being covered in other areas of the curriculum.
Learning and Teaching styles for Inclusion
We use a variety of techniques to encourage all children to have an active engagement in the modern foreign language. These include games, role-play and songs (particularly action songs). We may use puppets and soft toys to demonstrate the foreign language. In order to expose the children to more than one voice in the foreign language, we play recordings of native speakers from CDs or internet based materials. We frequently use mime to accompany new vocabulary in the foreign language, as this serves to demonstrate the foreign language without the need for translation. We also use visual aids to support children for whom English is not their home language. We emphasize the listening and speaking skills over the reading and writing skills. We also use a multi-sensory and kinaesthetic approach to learning and teaching, i.e. we try to introduce a physical element into some of the games, as we believe that this serves to reinforce memory. We make the lessons as entertaining and enjoyable as possible, as we realize that this approach serves to develop a positive attitude in the children to the learning of modern foreign languages. We build all children’s confidence through praise for the contribution they make in the foreign language, however tentative.
Assessment for learning and Recording
We assess the children in order to ensure that they make good progress in this subject. We do this informally during the lessons, when marking written work
and also by regular testing to evaluate what the children have learned.
There are no national key stage tests, but we report on progress at the end of each year. The progress report takes account of the 4 skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing.
We encourage the children to reflect on how they personally learn best. During each lesson, we require the children to evaluate their personal achievement in relation to the lesson’s learning objective.
MFL Provision in our school is managed by the French subject leader.
The subject leader (and other teaching staff, where possible) attends relevant courses.