Modern Foreign Languages
At St Thomas’, we deliver an ambitious, and enriching foreign language curriculum which enables our pupils to develop practical communication skills. Through the exploration of a range of languages, and our focus language of French, pupils are exposed to wider cultures and are prepared for further study of languages in Key Stage 3.
Pupils’ French pronunciation is at the heart of our studies; we prioritise oral rehearsal and recall before applying this knowledge in our reading and writing.
Our curriculum builds upon prior knowledge in a careful sequence, both within and between year groups to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum, and to create meaningful links with other subject areas, such as ‘World War II’ and ‘Planets’. Linked to our whole school Intent Statement, we place a strong focus on reading across the French curriculum, with opportunities for children to explore a range of authentic texts from traditional tales to recipes.
How are Modern Foreign Languages taught at St Thomas'?
- Structure of lesson:
Children will take part in a short, independent task where they will be required to retrieve previously gained knowledge. The children may have acquired this knowledge in a previous lesson, unit of work or even a previous year group. This task is designed to strengthen our pupils’ memories of key knowledge, enabling them to permanently remember and make progress across the curriculum.
The teacher will introduce the children to the new language aurally before they see the written form. We do this to encourage accurate pronunciation of the French they are learning without any confusion arising from pupils trying to pronounce the French vocabulary phonetically.
Teachers will use the ‘Language Angels’ slides to expose pupils to authentic French pronunciation, alongside an image. Pupils will rehearse this in chorus several times then on the next click of the mouse the written form of the word will appear on the screen for pupils to aurally rehearse again.
Children will work with a partner to communicate in French at least once in the lesson.
The children will work independently on a task where they apply knowledge of new vocabulary or phrases (with the support of word banks where appropriate). This can range from matching vocabulary to images, to writing full sentences.
Children will read a range of French texts, from Goldilocks to information texts! Pupils will be exposed to a range of texts, developing the ability to comprehend longer passages of text, within cross curricular contexts such as History.
- Books – All lessons are to include a date (in French [without capitalisation] and English) and learning objective. Pupils will complete an independent task to apply their new knowledge.
- Assessment – Assessment of French should be continuously used to inform teaching. Retrieval tasks should be used to address gaps in pupils’ knowledge. Teachers should assess children on the objective after every lesson (a tick against each goal if a child has achieved). If a child has achieved a Step for Depth, teacher should mark with two ticks. At the end of each unit, pupils will complete a Language Angels assessment to aid teacher judgement on whether pupils have met the age related expectations.
- Vocabulary Poster- New vocabulary and phrases should be added to the poster after the aural rehearsal stage. These should be referred to in lessons and pupils should use them to aid learning. They should be kept up in the classroom for the duration of the year, and can be taken up to the next classroom for reference.
- Online Platform- All pupils will have access to the online platform provided by Language Angels. Each class will have a shared username and password with access to games linked to the class’ current unit of work. This can be accessed in school, or out of school. Whilst is not compulsory for all pupils to access this at home, a link to this website should be included on all class webpages, under the sub-page ‘Home Learning’.
- French ambassadors- A child from each class will be assigned the role as French ambassador for the year. They will lead short whole class activities throughout the year to revise core vocabulary taught in previous year groups to ensure retention.
What do we expect to achieve through our Modern Foreign Languages curriculum?
By the end of KS1, our pupils will know (through speaking and listening) the following in French:
- numbers to 10
- the primary colours
- the days of the week
- the months of the year
- basic greetings (salutations)
- at least 5 animals
Pupils will also be able to:
- locate France on a map, and name some of its cities
- name some other French speaking countries
- describe some French traditions (Christmas Y1)
By the end of KS2, our pupils will:
- Understand numbers 1-100 and be able to use them in context (e.g. the date, age, prices)
- Use adjectives (e.g. colour or size etc.) and conjunctions (e.g. “after”, “also”, “and”, “later on”, “finally” etc.) to make sentences more descriptive and fluent.
- Understand and use transactional language (e.g. in a café role play “I would like”, “how much” etc.)
- Understand and apply core areas of grammar, including:
- nouns (masculine and feminine)
- articles (definite and indefinite)
- the negative form
- Be able to read or listen to longer passages of French text and answer more detailed questions (orally or in writing) about the passage they have read.
- Study cross-curricular topics (e.g. habitats, planets or Romans) and use their subject knowledge to allow themselves to be challenged by longer passages of unknown text or vocabulary in French.
- Understand, express and be able to justify opinions orally and in writing (e.g. school subjects they like and don’t like, leisure activities they like, foods they don’t like etc.)