Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries. (National Curriculum 2014)
Intent of the French Curriculum at Wheatfields Juniors School
Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. Our curriculum fosters pupils’ curiosity and deepens their understanding of the world, developing a passion for languages, tolerance and mutual respect. The teaching enables pupils to express themselves in French and to understand and respond to someone else, both in speech and writing, using their knowledge of phonology, grammatical structures and vocabulary. It provides children opportunities to communicate for practical purposes learn new ways of thinking and provides a foundation for learning further languages, equipping them to study and work in other countries. Our intention is to provide all learners with the confidence to want to engage in lessons, to feel uninhibited while using new sounds and words so that they can communicate verbally, and in writing, with confidence. This should in turn lay the foundation for the desire to learn languages at key stage 3. Progression is built into our curriculum so that, as children work their way through the four-year course, they gradually extend their vocabulary and come to grips with more complex language. A variety of resources and forms of media are used to bring the French language and culture alive in lessons and throughout the school. Maintaining strong links of communication with parents is important to us, which is why the French phrase of the fortnight, the French Club and Language Day events are so key to keeping us connected with our children and their families.
Implementation - What does French look like at Wheatfields Junior School?
- Discrete 50 minute lessons are taught by a specialist language teacher on a rotational basis for each class (two lessons every three weeks).
- Lessons are taught peripatetically. For smaller groups and French Club, a dedicated ‘French Room’ is used where French displays and working walls support learning,
- Children are encouraged and supported to develop their speaking and listening skills through conversational work, singing activities, video clips and games. Children record their work through a combination of pictures, captions and sentences.
- High quality displays and working walls in classrooms are used to remind children of key vocabulary and learning.
- Practical activities, songs and games are used to help improve memory and recall.
- Visual prompts are used to support children in translating new vocabulary.
- Word mats/ Knowledge organisers are used to support learning and recap previous learning.
- To expose children to the language as much as possible and in day-to-day contexts some signs and labels around the classroom and school are in French. Additional incidental French is delivered by class teachers using French as part of daily classroom routines where possible e.g. taking the register, instructional language, using the phrase of the fortnight, referring to French working walls or including French in a class assembly.
- Each year we organise a whole school language enrichment day.
Impact - by the end of Key Stage 2 our children will:
- listen attentively to spoken French and show understanding by joining in and responding
- explore the patterns and sounds of French 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
- use spontaneous phrases within the school community and beyond
- 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 French 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
- recognise where French is spoken in parts of the world outside France