‘the extent to which the school’s curriculum sets out the knowledge and skills that pupils will gain at each key stage’ [Ofsted EIF 2022]
The French curriculum at Gifford Primary School teaches the objectives of the National Curriculum for MFL (Modern Foreign Languages). At Gifford Primary School, we use the Language Angels scheme of work and resources to ensure we offer a relevant, broad, vibrant and ambitious foreign languages curriculum that will inspire and excite our pupils using a wide variety of topics and themes.
French is taught in Years 3-6. The curriculum is structured so that in Lower KS2 (Years 3 & 4), children acquire basic skills and understanding of French with a strong emphasis placed on speaking and listening skills. Pupils in Years 3 & 4 learn to read and write words and simple sentences. The skills of speaking and listening continue to have priority in Upper KS2 (Years 5 & 6) and are embedded and further developed, alongside the skills of reading and writing, as pupils progress gradually to more complex language concepts and greater learner autonomy.
Pupils are taught to reproduce the sounds of the language accurately, so that they are able to understand and express themselves clearly in spoken French and to read and write in French.
Pupils learn vocabulary that enables them to introduce and describe themselves and things that are familiar to them. Progression in grammar is from phrases and simple sentences to longer, complex sentences, with pupils gradually learning to build sentences for themselves.
Pupils develop the skills to identify key information by listening to a variety of speakers and through a range of activities and material, including games, songs and rhymes. Reading and writing skills are taught within each lesson. Pupils learn to read a variety of texts, including personal messages, poems and stories.
Through the French curriculum at Gifford, pupils learn about French-speaking countries and cultures around the world and their contribution and diversity are celebrated. The intent is that all pupils will develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages, finding them enjoyable and stimulating. Learning a second language will also offer pupils the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them with a better awareness of self, others and cultural differences. The intention is that they will be working towards becoming life-long language learners.
‘the way that the curriculum is developed or adopted by the school is taught and assessed in order to support pupils to build their knowledge and to apply that knowledge as skills’ [Ofsted EIF 2022]
Weekly French lessons are taught by a specialist teacher to pupils in KS2.
Lessons always begin by revising previously-learned material in order to embed in long-term memory. The sounds of the language are also regularly revised individually and in context.
Key vocabulary that children will need to make sense of what they hear and read is highlighted. Pictures and objects are used to support children’s understanding. Knowledge organisers and vocabulary sheets are a key pupil resource, outlining key language that pupils are expected to learn by the end of the unit. Children will progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary, language skills and grammatical knowledge organised around age-appropriate topics and themes - building blocks of language into more complex, fluent and authentic language.
Pupils are taught the meaning and pronunciation of new language and when and where to use it. Focused practice of the new language ensures pupils are able to use it confidently before incorporating it into language structures they have already learnt. Further practice opportunities, such as pair talk, role play presentations, reading and writing ensure that pupils fully understand new language, have embedded it in long-term memory and are able to recall it.
The planning of different levels of challenge and which units to teach at each stage of the academic year will be reviewed annually as units are updated and added to the scheme. Lessons offering appropriate levels of challenge and stretch will be taught at all times to ensure pupils learn effectively, continuously building their knowledge of and enthusiasm for the language they are learning. Early Language units are entry level units and are most appropriate for Year 3 pupils or pupils with little or no previous foreign language learning. Intermediate units increase the level of challenge by increasing the amount and complexity of French presented to pupils. Intermediate units are suitable for Year 4 and Year 5 pupils or pupils with embedded basic knowledge of French. Progressive and Creative Curriculum units are the most challenging units and are suitable for Year 6 pupils or pupils with a good understanding of the basics of the language they are learning.
As pupils progress through KS2, French is used increasingly as a medium of instruction within lessons. Pupils also hear and read longer and more complex texts.
Lessons emphasise the value of knowledge of other languages and the transferable skills pupils will develop, including problem-solving and sound discrimination. Multilingual pupils are encouraged to draw on their knowledge of other languages and the skills they use in acquiring new knowledge. The value of knowledge of other languages is emphasised.
Competence in French is assessed through observation of children listening and speaking in class and through marking written work. Summative assessment is carried out at the end of each unit. Pupils are assessed through speaking, listening, reading and writing activities. Assessment data is used to identify gaps in knowledge and skills and to inform future planning.
‘the outcomes that pupils achieve as a result of the education they have received’ [Ofsted EIF 2022]
Units increase in level of challenge, stretch and linguistic and grammatical complexity as pupils move from Early Learning units through Intermediate units and into the most challenging Progressive units. Units in each subsequent level of the teaching type categories require more knowledge and application of skills than the previous teaching type. Activities contain progressively more text (both in English and the foreign language being studied) and lessons will have more content as the children become more confident and ambitious with the foreign language they are learning.
The opportunity to assess pupil learning and progression in the key language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) and against the 12 DfE Languages Programme of Study for Key Stage 2 attainment targets is provided at the end of each teaching unit. This information will be monitored by the MFL Subject Leader who can use this data to ensure teaching is targeted and appropriate for each pupil, class and year group as well as to feedback on progress to SLT and stakeholders. Pupils will complete self-assessment grids to ensure they are also aware of their own progress which they keep as a record of their progress.
The MFL subject leaders and members of the leadership team monitor outcomes of the teaching of French through lesson observation, book scrutiny, pupil conferencing and pupils’ written work.
Children are expected to make good or better than good progress in their French learning and their individual progress is tracked.
By the end of KS2 pupils are able to engage in simple conversations: asking and answering questions about themes related to themselves and activities familiar to them. They are confident in understanding, and giving instructions. Pupils can introduce themselves and others and describe familiar places.
Pupils are able to read and understand simple texts that are read to them and to read and understand simple texts they have read for themselves.
Children show increasing independence, identifying gaps in their knowledge and using resources to address gaps themselves.
Pupils are able to identify French-speaking countries around the world and describe aspects of the culture.
KS2 Parents - French learning
To support your child in learning French both at school and at home, your child now has access to online songs and games linked to the topics they are learning this year. The songs and games will help support their pronunciation and develop their vocabulary in a fun and engaging way.
Children in Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 have been shown how to access the website, given their username and password and had the opportunity to try out a few games.
Children will need to visit the Language Angels website, ensure they go to pupil login and use the username and password provided at school to access the online songs and games.