Modern Foreign Languages
At Thorney Close Primary School, we are proud of our rich and ambitious French curriculum. Our curriculum is designed to ensure that all children develop competence and confidence in communicating in French through both understanding and producing language by the end of their primary journey.
We believe every child is entitled to develop a strong foundational understanding of how to learn another language, so they are empowered to learn any language they may choose in the future. Our approach to teaching French is underpinned by an understanding that learning one language opens the doors to learning others. By learning languages, we encourage children to broaden their horizons and appreciate the fact that they are global citizens. We seek to empower our children for their future where living, working or travelling abroad may require the confidence and skill to communicate in another language.
We celebrate the fact that some of our children already speak more than one language. Throughout our curriculum, we have a strong focus on effective communication and a culture of loving language.
In our French curriculum, we encourage children to appreciate the opportunities that speaking more than one language will provide them to hear from and be heard by people from a range of backgrounds across the globe.
How we Plan and Teach MFL
Pupils begin learning French in Year 3, with early exposure to the language through songs and rhymes. There is a particular emphasis in developing children’s phonic awareness so they can confidently and accurately pronounce words in an increasingly accurate accent. Pupils in Key Stage Two have a weekly French lesson throughout the year. All lessons develop three key cornerstones of language development: phonics, vocabulary and grammar.
We use Lightbulb Languages to support our teaching and the children’s learning. Learning is broken into small steps, modelled explicitly, practised deliberately and reviewed regularly and intentionally. Carefully selected high-frequency vocabulary is taught explicitly and revisited systematically over time to ensure automatic and fluent recall from long-term memory. Children learn grammatical structures, patterns and rules in a logically organised sequence. An emphasis is placed on reusable structures that children can learn to adapt and extend. An emphasis in understanding and identifying word classes is prioritised in vocabulary and grammar instruction.
By the end of Key Stage Two, our children take the opportunities to have conversations, to read a range of texts and to generate language for a range of purposes based on their knowledge of phonics, vocabulary and grammar.
How we Evaluate Learning in MFL
Teachers regularly assesses children’s progress in French through listening to children’s spoken communication and evaluating their application of phonic knowledge, vocabulary and grammatical structures in a range of contexts. Children’s writing is also evaluated as a form of assessment of their application of phonics for spelling, precise use of vocabulary and manipulation of grammar. At the end of a unit of learning, children’s progress is assessed against the unit objectives and next steps are planned for. Children are also involved in peer and self-assessment opportunities against specific criteria and are taught to reflect on their learning to draw out areas of strength and next steps.