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Curriculum – Modern Foreign Languages

Languages are a foundation subject in the National Curriculum.  Our school uses the national curriculum objectives as a basis for planning foreign languages, alongside the Chris Quigley Essentials curriculum to foster raised expectations and planned opportunities for language mastery.

Year 1 learning introduces basic classroom instructions and greetings.  Children learn to ask and answer questions on their name, age, siblings and birthday.  They also learn the months of the year, days of the week and numbers to 100.  This learning is repeated in Year 2, where children are challenged to converse with each other.  New topics for Year 2 include learning phrases to describe the weather and vocabulary for colours.

In year 3, children revisit their learning of numbers, greetings, age and colours and begin to use these in written French.  They learn about school instructions, how to describe the contents of their school bags and then the names of parts of the body and how to describe their faces and hair.  This learning involves using masculine and feminine forms of verbs and learning to use the verbs to be and to have.  Year 4 learning includes communicating phrases to describe personality, family members, places in towns, giving and receiving directions and to discuss the weather.  Children become increasingly proficient at using a bilingual dictionary and consider adjective agreement.

Year 5 learning includes communicating the time and detailing daily routines.  Children discuss clothing and adjective agreement is revisited.  Bilingual dictionaries are used and there is discussion of reflexive verbs.  Children discuss their preference in school subjects using learning of -er verbs in the present tense.  In year 6, phrases for discussing weather are revisited. Communication of different nationalities includes considering the gender of different countries and revisiting the verb to be.  This learning is compared in discussions of where we live and contrasting types of location.  Children also compare different types of houses and describe the inside of houses, including furniture, using prepositions.

Skills and learning are revisited from Years 1 to 6.  This ensures children deepen their understanding of core learning as they practise and develop their fluency when speaking and then recording and accessing written information in an additional language. There are planned opportunities to develop an understanding of the culture of countries where French is spoken.

All children are encouraged to communicate to the best of their abilities.  They have the chance to develop their own skills at their own level and are encouraged to strive towards greater fluency and understanding of French language and culture.

Teaching and Learning

French lessons are taught fortnightly throughout Years 3 to 6.  Teaching is from the same subject specialist across KS2.  This continuity in instruction enables consistency in long and medium term planning.  Lesson sequences are built and developed on known prior learning.

In Key Stages 1 and 2, spoken French is explicitly modelled and rehearsed.  A variety of resources are used to ensure engagement in spoken tasks. Children are encouraged to practise their pronunciation through singing, paired and group work.  Games, songs, speaking activities, reading and writing activities and listening for the gist are common activities.  Writing progresses from French words in Year 3 to composing sentences in Year 6 with word mats available to support those less confident.