‘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).
The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources; speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communication what they want to say; can write at varying length for different audiences and purposes, and discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied
At Scotton Lingerfield Primary School our curriculum for Languages is carefully designed to embrace our whole-school values. Through learning about France and the French language, we are developing well-rounded individuals who are curious about life in a different country. This natural curiosity, combined with our pupils’ own hard work is harnessed and forms a solid foundation for the development of our understanding of the world around us. In turn, our respect for other cultures deepens and our recognition of our responsibility to the environmental health of the world begins to grow.
French teaching formally begins in Year 3 and continues to Year 6, through deliberate practice which leads to mastery and a secure commitment to our long-term memory. The curriculum is balanced and sequenced appropriately in order to develop the attributes and qualities needed to understand and participate confidently in French. Sequencing ensures we reach the appropriate end of key stage expectations.
Our high expectations drive us to introduce Languages at the earliest opportunity and our youngest pupils are exposed to a variety of world languages, as we find out and wonder about the world around us. We begin to learn that there are other countries in the world and they have different customs and languages. We enjoy responding to the register in a variety of languages, alongside French. This foundational knowledge opens our minds and provides a good basis for language learning. In Years 1 and 2, language is used to respond to the register and also the speaking of numbers, for instance, in countdown moments.
At Scotton Lingerfield Primary School we have adopted the Language Angels scheme of work, which enables us to ensure a comprehensive and quality French curriculum. The program progressively develops pupils’ skills through regularly taught and well-planned weekly lessons, supporting us to achieve effective teaching and learning of French for all children.
The three ‘pillars’ of language learning (phonics, grammar and vocabulary) are all woven into the scheme and, as pupils progress through the units and teaching types, previous language is recycled, revisited and consolidated. Any new language is introduced gradually and becomes more complex and sophisticated as pupils move from Early Language to Intermediate to Progressive units. Pupils follow a programme that has ‘language learning steppingstones’ built into the resources. Phonics, vocabulary and grammar are taught gradually and recycled constantly. As they move through the various units and teaching types, the quantity of phonics, vocabulary and grammar increases.
There are four sequential and progressive phonics lessons incorporated into our long-term planning. These four lessons build up pupils’ phonetic knowledge, moving from the phoneme on its own, to seeing it in high-frequency words and then finally incorporated in context in a longer piece of text. Each year group has a particular group of phonemes to focus on. These are constantly revisited and revised in the subsequent lessons, including the end-of unit revision lesson. This knowledge will help pupils pronounce more accurately, read more accurately, understand more of what they read and also spell more accurately – developing significant phoneme-grapheme links.
The four strands of French, listening, speaking, reading and writing are covered with a greater emphasis on listening and speaking in the earlier years. The skills of reading and writing become more prevalent as children progress through our school.
French is taught weekly throughout Key Stage 2 and woven naturally throughout the school day with French countdowns and greetings. We teach the children to know and understand how to:
A variety of teaching and learning techniques are used to encourage the children to have an active engagement in our French lessons: these include games, role-play and songs. Mime is a valuable tool to accompany new vocabulary in French, as this serves to demonstrate the meaning without the need for translation. Lessons are enjoyable, as we realise that this contributes to the development of a positive attitude in the children. Confidence is built through continual praise for contributions made.
Throughout their time at Scotton Lingerfield Primary School, 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.
Children will make good or better progress from their starting points, achieving the aims of the National Curriculum. When our children leave Y6, they will have developed the fluency and automaticity which gives them the confidence for language learning at KS3 and beyond.
Assessment and monitoring
At the beginning of each unit, children complete a pre unit task to ascertain their understanding and allow gaps in learning to be identified. This enables the teacher to provide additional support and challenge throughout the unit for individual children.
Following each unit, children complete the pre-unit assessment at spaced intervals. These recalls allow children to recall previously learnt knowledge. Children are supported in addressing these gaps throughout these sessions.
Regular recalls support assessment of children. Results are added to tracking grids, which support end of year judgements.
The subject leader monitors the subject through: