Learning a language enriches the curriculum. It provides excitement, enjoyment and challenge for children and teachers, helping to create enthusiastic learners and to develop positive attitudes to language learning through life. French is taught to all Key Stage 2 classes. The emphasis is on active learning to engage motivation and develop oracy (listening, speaking and spoken interaction) through the use of games, songs and activities.
Curriculum Statement for Languages
At St Laurence Catholic Primary School, we believe that learning a language from a young age encourages diversity, and provides children with a valuable educational, social and cultural experience. Language learning helps to develop children’s self-confidence, as well as their communications skills. We strive to embed speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, with the intent of ensuring children make substantial progress in one language. As a school, we believe that having a rich vocabulary has a positive impact for a child’s learning. Through studying a foreign language, vocabulary and grammatical concepts are supported, whereby children can use what they learn in one language to reinforce what they’ve learned in another. In addition, we believe that learning another language fosters children’s curiosity and offers them a new and broader perspective of the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures and those of others. The National Curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:
• understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources.
• 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 intonation.
• 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 studied. Our Languages curriculum is designed to progressively develop children’s skills and confidence in languages.
In Early Years and Key Stage 1, languages are taught discretely through games, songs and stories. In Years 3 and 4, children are taught through weekly lessons by a specialist French teacher. In Years 5 and 6, children are taught French by their class teacher. Children progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary organised around topics. We follow the French Scheme of work on PurpleMash and IPC French topics to ensure coverage and progression across school. All children throughout the school have regular opportunities to learn about different cultures, including a special International Day.
Children are encouraged and supported to develop their speaking and listening skills through conversational work, role-play, singing activities and games. Real life situations are used to allow children to practise their French in a more practical way. As confidence and skill grows, children will learn to read and write in French. A focus is placed on vocabulary learning, with children being encouraged to make links between French and English, as well as the range of languages that are spoken by the children in our school.
o Interactive resources are used to remind children of key vocabulary.
o Practical activities, songs and games are used to help improve memory and recall.
o Discrete teaching is used inside and outside of the classroom to embed learning in French.
o Visual prompts are used to support children in translating new vocabulary.
o Word mats are available for children to have out on desks to support their learning and revisit previous learning.
o French folders are used to record children’s learning and achievements in French.
How it is assessed: We strive to ensure that each pupil meets their potential in French. Formative assessment takes place in the classroom, with teachers noting how well each child has grasped new concepts. Planning and teaching of French ensure that children are accessing work at age related expectations, with regular opportunities to be challenged through higher-level objectives.
Our French curriculum will ensure that all pupils develop key language learning skills, as set out by the national curriculum, as well as a love of languages and learning about other cultures. As children progress through the school, they become increasingly confident in communicating in French. This confidence often directly increases children’s fluency in English which, for many, is not their first language.