Modern Foreign Languages
At Stewart Headlam Primary School, we believe that the learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils. Learning a modern foreign language is vital to becoming a global citizen, as it helps the learner to appreciate the language, culture, religion and people of another country; appreciating their similarities and differences. Furthermore, it helps pupils to develop their communication skills including key skills of speaking and listening and extending their knowledge of how language works.
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 communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
- can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
- discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.
At Stewart Headlam Primary School, children have weekly lessons in French throughout Key Stage 2, using the resources and units of work from Twinkl’s PlanIt French, in addition to other resources. 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 autonomy.
In line with the National Curriculum for MFL, pupils at Stewart Headlam are taught to:
- 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 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 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 similar to English.
In year 3, children learn all about France as part of a geography topic which ties into the start of French for the year group. Children in EYFS and KS1 start to develop an understanding of other languages through our Music Express scheme of work as they learn simple songs in French through the music curriculum.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Observing children speaking and listening in another language.
- Marking of written work.
- Images and videos of children completing speaking and listening activities.
- Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Moderation staff meetings where pupil’s work is scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
- Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum to parents.
- Learning walks.
It is intended that when children leave Stewart Headlam, they will have a natural curiosity and confidence to explore, other countries, cultures and languages, accepting that, in a multi-lingual society it is a valuable skill to be able to communicate effectively with others in another language. They will be engaged and prepared to continue language learning at Secondary School.
For more information please see our French overview.