Modern Foreign Languages
All pupils in Year 2 and Key Stage Two at Milton Mount Primary School have the right to learn an additional language, the study of which liberates children from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. MFL lessons give children opportunities to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both verbally and in writing. They also provide the opportunity to read and listen to age-appropriate literature and learn songs in the target language. Ultimately, MFL lessons aim to provide a firm foundation for further language learning, equipping children with the skills that they need in order to become life-long language learners, both for the pleasure which can be derived from doing so, and for the practical purpose of equipping pupils for their futures. We teach a curriculum that enables our pupils to become effective users of language and to show an understanding of and respect for different cultures. Through the teaching of high quality French lessons, we aim to:
- Ensure that each child in year 2 and Key Stage 2 has the opportunity to study French as a foreign language over 5 years, fostering their interest in the culture of France and the Francophone world.
- Teach vocabulary and linguistic structures expressed therein: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing (as well as some Cultural Understanding).
- Enable children to ask and answer a range of questions about themselves, which would allow them to address a French speaker with confidence.
- Create opportunities for children to manipulate language for their own purposes, drawing on their knowledge of increasingly complex sentence structures.
- Teach children the basics of phonics in French to increasingly allow them to read French with increased confidence and improve pronunciation.
- Enable children to draw comparisons between French and English vocabulary, using their knowledge of cognates and near-cognates to decode unfamiliar language.
- Encourage children to draw comparisons between French and English grammar, syntax and sentence structure, both as a tool for developing their understanding of the French language and their understanding of English.
- Give children opportunities to make and learn from mistakes in the target language, thereby building resilience
The overall intent is for French to be fun and engaging.
French is taught by a member of staff with a degree in French and German who has undergone extensive specialist training in MFL pedagogy. ‘Sticky Starters’ are used to support the children in making links to what they have learnt last week, last term, last year and beyond. Lessons, of 50-60 minutes in length, happen as follows:
Weekly over 4 half terms throughout the year. There are therefore four blocks of learning.
Weekly over 2 half terms throughout the year. There are therefore two blocks of learning.
Years 5 & 6
4 weeks in every half term throughout the year. There are three blocks of MFL learning per year group.
The current programme of study has been developed by the French specialist and ensures coverage of speaking, listening, reading and writing. The programme also builds opportunities for children to revisit knowledge at varying degrees of complexity and at a variety of points throughout their 5 years of study. Lessons are planned in such a way as to be active and highly focused with children working as a whole class, in small groups, in pairs and individually to complete the tasks set. Work is differentiated in a variety of ways to accommodate children in the same class who are all at different stages of their language-learning journeys. Activities consist of games, stories, songs, phonics, grammar and phrase/sentence-building activities, rhymes, role-play and dictionary work, to name the most common.
Both formative and summative assessments are used during French lessons to ensure progress over time. Data gathered is recorded weekly and is used to identify gaps in knowledge in order to inform the planning of future lessons and units.
The aim of the MFL curriculum, and its teaching and learning, is for the children to develop the following skills:
- Respect for other cultures and countries
- Being motivated to speak another language.
- Willingness to play with language
The aim is that all children will leave Milton Mount prepared for the next stage of their language learning journey, equipped with the language learning strategies and knowledge about language that will give them a good foundation upon which to build.