At the heart of our French curriculum is the desire to expose children to authentic French as well as introduce the culture of French-speaking countries and communities. It aims to foster children’s curiosity and help deepen their understanding of the world. Our selected scheme offers regular opportunities to listen to native speakers (via sound files).
Learning is carefully planned and sequenced, ensuring progressive coverage of the skills required by the national curriculum. The sequence of learning also enables children to express their ideas and thoughts in French and provides opportunities to interact and communicate with others both in speech and in writing.
In Lower KS2, children acquire basic skills and understanding of French with a strong emphasis placed on developing their ‘Speaking and Listening’ skills. These will be embedded and further developed in Upper KS2, alongside Reading and Writing, gradually progressing onto more complex language concepts and greater learner independence.
Through the sequence of lessons and topics, we intend to inspire pupils to develop a love of languages and to expand their horizons to other countries, cultures and people. Listed below are the skills that children will develop alongside the knowledge/vocabulary they will acquire as they progress through the scheme’s topics. Teaching styles include the ‘audio/lingual method’ where children are encouraged to respond through oral rehearsal and drills of the vocabulary taught about everyday situations and the exposure to written French where children identify vocabulary and the grammar currently being taught. Children are then encouraged to apply skills and knowledge to writing tasks with blank spaces to fill in, leading to more open-ended writing tasks.
- listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
- explore the patterns and sounds of 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
- 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 vocabulary and develop their ability to understand unfamiliar 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 clear
- 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 like English.
This is done through a weekly French lesson, taught by the class teacher in mixed age classes. Topics taught in years 3 and 4 are subsequently revisited and learning is extended during years 5 and 6.
Using the full range of resources, we will increase the profile of languages across our schools. The learning environment will be consistent with key French vocabulary displayed, spoken and used by all learners. Whole-school and parental engagement will improve through the use of language-specific home learning tasks as well as activities in CCL. We want to ensure that French is loved by teachers and pupils across school, therefore encouraging them to embark on further language studies. Impact can also be measured through key questioning skills built into lessons as well as other formative assessment methods to identify children’s successes as well as next steps in learning.