At Nelmes Primary School, our intent for Languages is to teach an engaging and progressive French curriculum to enable our learners to be well prepared for further language learning throughout their life (whether of French or other languages). Our aim is that our pupils enjoy their experiences of learning a new language and discovering other cultures. We want pupils to develop their foreign language skills within a creative and rich context and in line with the programmes of study of the Primary National Curriculum.
The aim of our French curriculum is to:
- Foster a positive attitude to languages as an interesting, useful and engaging part of the curriculum.
- Allow pupils to communicate verbally and in written form in another language with increasing confidence and competence.
- Encourage resilience and the desire and confidence to “have a go” and not be afraid of making mistakes; we are all learning together
- Begin to develop an understanding of French Phonics and the sound-spelling link, progressing to using phonic knowledge to read aloud increasingly accurately and confidently
- Provide opportunities to memorise and recall vocabulary.
- Develop the ability to use context to deduce meaning and to look for cognates and other links (including mother tongue) to deduce meaning
- Develop sentence structure with an understanding of basic grammatical features (e.g. verb conjugations, position of adjectives)
- Enhance Dictionary skills (cross-curricular with English) both to find word meanings and to experiment with expressing ideas using new vocabulary.
- Ability to adapt a model of known language to create something new and often personal
French is taught throughout Key Stage 2, and a clearly timetabled allocation ensures proper coverage of the French curriculum. Teachers are also encouraged to use opportunities during the week to consolidate and revisit learning and, where possible, draw on cross curricular links.
Class teachers are supported through the choice of a Scheme of Work (Language Angels) which offers authentic audio-visual resources and written materials which do not require delivery by a subject specialist. The Languages subject leader (a languages graduate) provides guidance to teachers whenever needed.
We hold an annual French Day to promote the love of learning a foreign language. On this day, the whole school (including KS1) meets for a celebratory assembly, comes off timetable and participates in a range of artistic, linguistic and cultural activities put together by the Languages subject leader.
All KS2 classes follow the Language Angels scheme of work, which has been tailored for Nelmes Primary School, to provide a gradual building up of vocabulary and sentence structure. This ensures progression across the year groups and coverage of a variety of topics. All children are included in French lessons and are encouraged to share any links they notice with other languages they may already speak.
Lessons are delivered using a variety of colourful and humorous audio-visual aids, songs, games and opportunities to interact with peers, engage in role play, read and begin to write in French. The humorous style of the Language Angels resources promotes pupil engagement. Authentic French mother-tongue soundtracks model good pronunciation and support non-specialist teachers. Across the four years of language learning, the scheme provides phonics lessons to reinforce the correct pronunciation and spelling of graphemes. Songs and games (accessible from home as well) enable children to develop vocabulary and sentence structure in a fun and memorable way.
Vocabulary and structures are built up gradually and in small steps throughout the topic/unit, beginning at word level, then building up to sentences once the initial vocabulary is embedded. Written work opportunities are provided for every lesson. Language and skills from previous units are revisited in subsequent units to reinforce memorisation.
Topics covered within the scheme are relevant and appropriate to the pupils, usually linking to daily life along with some cross-curricular topics. These topics allow children to access the skills and structures required in their year group.
In addition, the Languages subject leader provides additional resources to allow teachers to link language learning activities to cultural and seasonal events at certain dates or times of year.
Teachers assess their pupils’ achievements in the areas of speaking and listening, reading and writing.
Progress and language development are evident in the pupil’s French folders and books as they progress through the year and key stage. Children are enthusiastic and enjoy learning a new language and their confidence levels improve as language acquisition increases.