"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
throughout life. The natural links between languages and other areas of the
curriculum can enhance the overall teaching and learning experience. The
skills, knowledge and understanding gained can make a major contribution to
the development of children’s oracy and literacy and to their understanding of
their own culture/s and those of others.”
The Key Stage 2 Framework for Languages (DfES 2005), Part Two, page 4.
In an increasingly multicultural society we believe it is essential that children are exposed to cultures and languages that are different to their own, as early on in their development as possible. Our whole school approach to French ensures that children of all ages have the opportunity to study a foreign language – French – as well as develop an understanding and interest in different cultures and the world around them.
The aims and objectives of learning a modern foreign language in primary school are:
to foster an interest in learning languages;
to introduce young children to another language in a way that is enjoyable and fun;
to enable children to feel a sense of enjoyment, pride and achievement;
to make young 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, exploring their own cultural identity and those of others;
to develop their speaking and listening skills;
to lay the foundations for future study;
to develop teachers confidence and competence to teach French effectively.
Our specialist French teacher, Miss Smith takes some classes for French. In others class teachers are responsible for the delivery of French lessons. Staff have the opportunity to attend training related to the specific units of work that they teach, as well as in-service training and access to North Tyneside’s MFL School Improvement Officer.
French is our chosen modern foreign language and is taught throughout the school.
In Foundation Stage and KS1 we teach French through songs, rhymes, and classroom instructions. More recently the staff in KS1 have started using the NorthTyneside ‘French Through Story’ resources, aimed at getting the children speaking and writing in whole sentences from the beginning, it aims to teach the children to:
- ask and answer questions;
use correct pronunciation and intonation;
learn French vocabulary;
understand basic grammar;
work in pairs, small groups and whole classes to communicate in French;
look at life in other cultures;
begin writing French words and Phrase Languages other than French are also used within individual classrooms and children have the option of attending a lunchtime French club and other children had the opportunity to attend an after school French club.
We believe a whole school approach to French is essential, although not a statutory requirement in F.S and KS1, children are exposed to French in both Nursery and Reception via a cross curricular approach, taking part in songs, games and activities. KS1 staff deliver lessons using the ‘French Through Story’ scheme of work, which caters for all learning styles through its practical, hands on approach to French..
School will plan for no less than 60 minutes per week of dedicated language time, which might be divided into relatively short sessions; for example:
One 15 minute session per day
Three 20 minute sessions per week
Two 30 minute sessions
In addition to this dedicated time, teachers are encouraged to introduce further practice during the course of the week to reinforce what children have learned (for example, when carrying out class routines).
In KS2 Teachers deliver lessons following the updated North Tyneside Units of work:
Year 3: Units 1, 2 and 3
Year 4: Units 4, 5 and 6
We use a variety of techniques, incorporating all learning styles, to get the children actively involved in their learning: these include games, role-play and songs. Across the key stages teachers also use puppets to model and demonstrate new vocabulary. Teachers also use Makaton and mime to accompany vocabulary, which both reinforces meaning for the children as well as acting as a visual prompt. We seek to build children’s confidence by providing them with ample opportunities to develop and demonstrate their French skills whenever possible.
Traditionally the formal written recording of French began in KS2, but with the recent introduction of ‘French Through Story’ into KS1, the children are now producing written work in Year 2.
Native speakers are actively encouraged to visit classrooms in order to expose the children to more than one voice in the foreign language.
Primary Language teaching at Southridge aims to be fully inclusive. We teach French to all children, whatever their ability, providing suitable learning opportunities for each child to achieve and progress at their own level. Language learning activities are planned in such a way as to encourage the full and active participation of all pupils.
We assess the children in a variety of ways to ensure that they are achieving and progressing at an appropriate level. During each lesson teachers make assessments that will inform the planning of their next lesson. In KS2 both self and teacher assessment are utilised.