In St. Clare’s Catholic Primary School, languages are a fundamental part of our community identity. There are many different languages spoken in the school community and these languages are celebrated throughout the year and displayed in the classrooms and corridors alongside French.
The four key language learning skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing will be taught and all necessary grammar will be 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.
The intent is that all pupils will develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages, finding them enjoyable and stimulating. Learning a second language will also offer pupils the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them with a better awareness of self, others and cultural differences. The intention is that they will build their language skills in preparation for Key Stage 3 as well as becoming life-long language learners.
Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for languages; providing a broad and balanced curriculum that provides excitement, enjoyment and challenge for children, helping to create enthusiastic learner and to develop positive attitudes to language learning throughout life.
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.
The National Curriculum states that pupils should be 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 word
· 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 phrase
· Present ideas and information orally to a range of audience
· 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 clearly
· 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
To meet the aims of the National Curriculum for languages, the Children in Key Stage 2 have access to a very high-quality foreign languages curriculum using the Language Angels scheme of work and resources. This progressively develops pupil skills in foreign languages through regularly taught and well-planned 30 minute lessons taught in blocks of 6 weeks each term. Learning is accomplished through games, songs, repetition of key vocabulary and differentiated independent activities. The children in Key Stage 1 access French through songs, responding to the register and counting. They also participate in whole school French celebrations at Christmas and on Bastille Day in July.
Throughout Key Stage 2, children progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary, language skills and grammatical knowledge organised around age-appropriate topics and themes – building blocks of language into more complex, fluent and authentic language.
Units, where possible and appropriate, are linked to class topics and cross curricular themes. Children will build on previous knowledge gradually as their foreign language lessons continue to recycle, revise and consolidate previously learnt language whilst building on all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Knowledge and awareness of required and appropriate grammar concepts is taught throughout all units at all levels of challenge.
Grammar is integrated and taught discreetly throughout all appropriate units. Teachers can also use the specific Grammar Explained units to ensure pupils are exposed to all of the appropriate grammar so they are able to create their own accurate and personalised responses to complex authentic foreign language questions by the end of the primary phase.
Teachers assess the children at the end of each unit of work in the four areas of speaking, listening, reading and writing. These assessments are then fed into future planning to ensure that all children are supported and challenged.
The impact of our French curriculum is measured through a range of different strategies.
- End of unit assessments at the end of each topic – in the four key areas of language learning (speaking, listening, reading and writing)
- Lesson observations
- Learning walks
- Pupil voice
The ultimate impact and measure of the French curriculum at St. Clare’s is to embed a love of languages and other cultures that will lay the foundations for further language learning at Key Stage 3, and for life as an adult in the wider world.