“What do they know of England, who only England know?”

Rudyard Kipling

“To learn another language is to have one more window from which to look at the world.”

Chinese Proverb 

Subject Leader for Modern Foreign Languages (French): TBC

MFL Curriculum Driver

Languages became a statutory element of the KS2 National Curriculum in England in September 2014, bringing the English curriculum more in line with neighbouring European countries where languages are routinely taught from the age of 6 or 7. 

The National Curriculum programme of study stipulates that schools should “enable pupils to make substantial progress in one language”.

At Abbeyfields we provide teaching of French, in line with other first schools in Morpeth, and in preparation for children moving on to local middle schools at Year 5. We also use Makaton sign language throughout the school, in greetings, to accompany songs, and particularly when we have a child with a speech or learning difficulty, to encourage inclusivity and to encourage communication with classmates. 

How is the content of the MFL curriculum chosen?

We use the Language Angels scheme which is used in other partnerships and schools, and match units of study from the scheme to build on prior knowledge and to prepare for what will be learnt in Year 5. 

How do we ensure progression of knowledge and skills?

From 2021 we are teaching flexibly with staff selecting units in consultation with the subject leader, because French was not taught during the pandemic and is not being taught in Key Stage 1 currently due to Covid recovery requirements. We have planned progression in knowledge and skills based on the guidance of the Language Angels scheme and in collaboration with other local schools.

Once re- established we will use Language Angels assessments to monitor progress and ensure children are on track. 

How do we teach Modern Foreign Languages (French) at Abbeyfields?

In Key Stage 1, French is experienced through songs and games. French is active and fun and the children are keen to participate through repetition and replication. We will reintroduce French teaching to KS1 in September 2022, using identified units from the Y3 (Early Language) curriculum from Language Angels. This will entail at least one 30 mins lesson in each half term, with at least weekly reinforcement of the vocabulary and themes introduced. 

French is taught weekly for one 45 minutes session in KS2, following the Language Angels scheme. Lessons are mainly oral and practical, with games and activities to give sufficient repetition whilst maintaining interest. There are also short revision opportunities throughout the school week, such as using greetings, a quick number game or singing songs, which will enable pupils to progress successfully. 

Key Stage 2 focuses on oracy, literacy and intercultural understanding. Y3 children use units from Language Angels Early Language and Year 4 use units from the Intermediate Language stage, with reference to the units from the same stage that are already established at Newminster Middle School, where the vast majority of our pupils will transfer.  Children will ask and answer topic related questions and are always encouraged to take part in conversational French. They will build on vocabulary previously learned and complete some written work to give them a good foundation for further study in Year 5. 

French is not taught in the Early Years Foundation Stage, although there will be occasional multi-cultural experiences, particularly focusing on any languages spoken within the pupils’ families, and the classes will take part in any whole school multi-cultural awareness events (see wider opportunities section.)

Due to Covid disruption and the Recovery Curriculum, French has not been taught during 2020-21 so current KS2 pupils are just beginning formal learning and it will take at least one full year using the Language Angels resources to meet the intentions described above. 

What is the long term plan for French teaching and learning?

Our long term plan for French maps out the coverage of the discrete teaching and learning opportunities for the children. Subject matter is chosen to be useful, to encourage speaking and listening, and to build on previous learning. We look for cross curricular links but are careful to avoid confusion with children’s learning in English, for example we learn names for animals or numbers in French in Key Stage 1 when these are well established in English, and when we introduce written work we are mindful of the different phonic rules that apply to written French. 

Within each discrete block of French, class teachers carefully plan the specific outcomes for their year group, based upon age appropriate knowledge and skills, as well as the needs of the cohort.

Our teaching and learning opportunities ensure all children are introduced to and reminded of key vocabulary. Questioning and assessments of skills are used to check their understanding and prior knowledge, before new concepts or skills are introduced.

Modelling is used by class teachers to clarify expectations, children are then given plentiful opportunities to consolidate, build upon and apply basic skills in order to retain the learning and build confidence. 

Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Y1 Greetings

Les Salutations 

Colours

Les Couleurs

Numbers 1-10

Les Nombres

Animals

Les Animaux

Y2 Greetings continued

Les Salutations 2

Les Animaux 2 

Numbers 0-20

Les Nombres 0-20

Colours, Seasons

Les couleurs et les saisons 

Y3 Fruit

Les Fruits

VegetablesLes Legumes  I can…

Je peux… 

Transport

Les Transports

Ice cream

Les Glaces

Seasons

Les Saisons 2

Y4 What’s the date

Quelle est la date au jourd’hui?

Habitats

Les Habitats

Weather

Quel temps fait-il?

Clothes

Les Vetements

My Home

Chez moi

Red Riding Hood

Petite Chaperon Rouge 

Which skills and knowledge are taught in each Year group?

Year 1
Skills and understanding

Listen and respond to simple instructions

Answer with a single word 

Name objects in pictures

Copy words to label a picture

Vocabulary

bonjour salut je m’appelle ca va ca va bein ca va mal comme ci comme ca au revoir

un deux trois quatre cinq six sept huit neuf dix

rouge jaune noire gris orange bleu violet marron blanc vert 

les animaux un lion un oiseau un lapin un cheval un mouton un cochon un canard un singe une souris une vache je suis 

Cultural knowledge

Identify France as a country where French is spoken, and find France on a map of Europe.

Values and attitudes

Be interested in learning another language

Join in enthusiastically with songs and action games

Listen and respond by speaking  in the foreign language

 

Year 2
Skills and understanding

Listen and respond to instructions.

Answer with a single word or short phrase.

Read and understand single words and short phrases.

Choose the right word to complete a phrase.

Copy single words and short phrases correctly.

Vocabulary

as Y1 plus

a plus tard 

zero onze douze treize quatorze quinze seize dix-sept dix-huit dix-neuf vingt

seasons

Cultural knowledge

Understand that Paris is the capital of France and recognise the French tricolore, the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. 

Listen to a fiction story set in Paris (in English)

Values and attitudes

Ask questions about the foreign language, country or culture

 

Year 3
Skills and understanding

Listen and respond to longer instructions.

Write single words correctly

Respond to familiar questions.

Vocabulary

fruits and vegetables

additional seasons vocabulary

I can (verbs)

transport 

ice cream

Cultural knowledge

Name the European neighbours of France and label them on a map.

Talk about difference in culture such as typical French foods and celebrating birthdays.

Values and attitudes

Show an interest in information about the country and cultural differences eg find out about a typical school day for French children.

 

Year 4
Skills and understanding

Listen to a short familiar story giving the main points.

Write words and short phrases.

Cultural knowledge

Find Paris and 6 other cities on a map of France.

Find the River Seine and the Alps / Pyrenees on a map. 

Christmas traditions.

Vocabulary

days months numbers to 31

weather, clothes, home 

habitats, world regions, animals, needs

Values and attitudes

Build up a repertoire of songs and games to be played in the foreign language

How do we know that our children are making progress?

Ongoing development of the children’s knowledge and skills are observed by the class teacher. Misconceptions are addressed and next steps carefully planned. Language Angels assessments will be used to track progress.  

Our curriculum drivers are central to our curriculum. How do we promote reading, vocabulary acquisition, holistic education and diversity?

  • Children have access to high quality texts (fact and fiction) about famous French people, factual books, culture, beliefs etc
  • Children are taught subject specific French vocabulary
  • Children discuss their ideas using subject specific vocabulary when describing and evaluating their work and the work of others
  • Children work collaboratively and develop in confidence as their skills improve
  • Children make their own choices
  • French promotes engagement in learning, improving concentration skills through a carefully planned scheme (Language Angels)
  • Children are creative, independent, as well as demonstrate a sense of pride in their work.
  • Children recognise how to sensitively respond to others when offering evaluations of their work
  • Children value and celebrate diversity in French
  • All children are provided with equal access to the French curriculum. We aim to provide suitable learning opportunities regardless of gender, ethnicity or home background
  • Children learn about and are taught to challenge stereotypes connected to gender, wealth, disability and cultural background. They are educated that differences should be celebrated and are not a barrier to achievement.
  • Through the French curriculum, children are enabled to discover how events, and key figures have shaped our understanding of the world and contributed to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation and the wider world.
  • Through wider opportunities such as themed days and weeks (see below).

What wider opportunities are provided for our children?

We hold occasional whole school assemblies and whole school events to celebrate learning French, for example every year group will sing a French song and the subject leader will tell a story with picture prompts during an annual assembly (when whole school assemblies are permitted.) Year groups have incorporated French speaking in their assemblies or performances for parents, for example reading a weather forecast in French. Key Stage 2 children have participated in European awareness days with other schools and we have held whole school multicultural days with visits and visitors, language experiences, crafts and food tasting.