“A different language is a different vision of life.” Federico Fellini.
At Southfield Junior School the intention of our modern foreign languages curriculum is to ignite a life-long love of learning about other languages and cultures. We believe that learning a foreign language is a necessary part of being a member of a multi-cultural society and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster children's curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. Our teaching of French enables children to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. Through our teaching of French, we also aim to build the children’s ‘cultural capital’ so that they are aware of similarities and differences between cultures. It is our intention to ensure that by the end of our children’s primary education, they have acquired an understanding of both spoken and written French, confidence to speak in French with others and know how important other languages can be in their future.
At Southfield Junior School, our modern foreign language curriculum has been designed to progressively develop skills in French. We currently use the Rising Stars ‘New Primary French’ units to aid the delivery of our lessons; each unit builds on previous learning and ensures progression throughout the year and across year groups. Our long-term plan for French sets out units which are to be taught throughout the year and ensures that the requirements of the National Curriculum are fully met.
All children in KS2 are taught three units of French a year; all of which are organised around a specific topic. The topics covered include (but are not limited to) greetings, school life, healthy eating, sports and the world around us. During these lessons, children learn key vocabulary and are encouraged and supported to develop their speaking and listening skills through conversational work, singing activities and games. In addition to this, we aim to build confidence in reading and writing. As the children progress through the curriculum they have opportunities to record their work through pictures, captions and sentences.
Through our programme of study, 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 and respond to those of others; seek clarification and 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 to a range of audiences
- read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
- appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language
- broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
- write phrases from memory and adapt these to create new sentences to express ideas clearly
- describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
- understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from, or are similar to, English.
By the end of their modern foreign languages journey at Southfield Junior School, the children will have enhanced awareness and understanding of French as a language both spoken and written. This will provide them with the ability to communicate more widely using two different languages. Our children will have a greater understanding of the French language and how this has influenced and shaped different cultures and other languages.
Our French curriculum will have developed our pupils’ vocabulary in a different language as well as expand on their own vocabulary by making links. Our children’s abilities to read, write and speak French as an additional language will also be developed as a result of our teaching programme.
Summative assessments are used to determine the children’s understanding and inform teacher’s planning to ensure further differentiated support is available for pupils. The impact of our modern foreign languages curriculum is also sought directly from the pupils as questionnaires are used to gather pupils’ voice on this subject and together with summative assessment, action can be taken to further develop this curriculum.