"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart." Nelson Mandela
At Laughton J&I, we believe that studying a Modern Foreign Language is a vital part of our children’s education. It is a lifelong skill which can help to develop young people into well-rounded, culturally aware global citizens. Through the teaching of French, we aim to foster children’s curiosity and in turn, deepen their understanding of the world around them. We believe that through learning about cultures different from their own, we can teach children respect; a value very important to our school ethos. Through high quality language teaching, we aim to provide children with the knowledge, transferable skills and confidence to express themselves in many situations. All pupils will be expected to achieve their full potential by encouraging high expectations and excellent standards in their foreign language learning - the ultimate aim being that pupils will feel willing and able to continue studying languages beyond Key Stage 2.
We currently follow the Language Angels scheme, an online resource which provides clear guidance and support for both staff and pupils. All children, across the whole school, access Quality First Teaching of French in order to adequately prepare them for KS3.
In Foundation Stage, the children have an introduction to French Culture as part of their work learning about other countries. In Year 1 they learn simple songs and rhymes, continuing in Year 2 to learning regular classroom routines in French.
As the children move into Key Stage 2 they begin their formal French lessons, learning, through systematic teaching of phonics and language patterns, the pronunciation and spelling patterns necessary to underpin their language learning.
The four key language learning skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing are taught and all necessary grammar is covered in an age-appropriate way across the primary phase. This will enable pupils to use and apply their learning in a variety of contexts, laying down solid foundations for future language learning and also helping the children improve overall attainment in other subject areas. In addition, the children are taught how to look up and research language they are unsure of and they develop a bank of reference materials to help them with their spoken and written tasks going forward. This bank of reference materials will develop into a reference library to help pupils recall and build on previous knowledge throughout their primary school language learning journey.
The national curriculum for French and our progression of skills within each milestone aims to ensure that all pupils are able:
To develop an interest in learning other languages.
To introduce young children to another language in a way that is enjoyable and stimulating.
To encourage children’s confidence and creative skills.
To stimulate and encourage children’s curiosity about language.
To read fluently and understand the main points and some of the detail in short written texts.
To write imaginatively short texts on familiar topics and use knowledge of grammar to enhance or change the meaning of phrases.
To speak confidently: understand the main points in spoken language, give short talks and take part in conversations.
To understand a different culture and help children develop their awareness of cultural differences in countries other than our own.
As well as each subsequent lesson within a unit being progressive, the teaching type organisation of Language Angels units also directs, drives and guarantees progressive learning and challenge. Units increase in level of challenge, stretch and linguistic and grammatical complexity as pupils move from Early Learning units through Intermediate units and into the most challenging Progressive units. Units in each subsequent level of the teaching type categories require more knowledge and application of skills than the previous teaching type. Activities contain progressively more text (both in English and French) and lessons will have more content as the children become more confident and ambitious with the language.
Early Learning units will start at basic noun and article level and will teach pupils how to formulate short phrases. By the time pupils reach Progressive units they will be exposed to much longer text and will be encouraged to formulate their own, more personalised responses based on a much wider bank of vocabulary, linguistic structures and grammatical knowledge. They will be able to create longer pieces of spoken and written language and are encouraged to use a variety of conjunctions, adverbs, adjectives, opinions and justifications.
Pupils will continuously build on their previous knowledge as they progress in their foreign language learning journey through the primary phase. Previous language will be recycled, revised, recalled and consolidated whenever possible and appropriate.
Pupils have the confidence to use French beyond the classroom in real life situations and have a curiosity to want to continue their studies in their next phase of learning.