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Languages at Firs

Ready For Learning and Ready For Life.

Firs Primary School is committed to ensuring all children are able to access a knowledge-rich, broad and balanced curriculum with teaching and learning being at the heart of the delivery of the curriculum. It aims to be bold, free thinking and rigorous; underpinned by a commitment to the school values, ensuring equity, learner empowerment and encouraging social mobility.  An essential element of our knowledge rich curriculum is the development of a broad and rich vocabulary, and the ambitious and explicit teaching of this.  A renewed focus on speech and language is a key driver of the revised curriculum and this is supported by the Voice21 scheme to develop Oracy in the classroom.

Language – French.

Live:  Children will have the knowledge and understanding to become citizens of the world, appreciating the important role being multilingual plays in communicating with other people.

Love:  Children will develop a love and passion for Language that will last a lifetime. They will have the opportunity to form part of the school choir, the annual concerts and other community concerts.

Learn: Children will ask questions to understand the importance of learning a new language; seek to discover new languages of choice; and find ways to improve their own and others’ spoken and written language skills.

Aims of the Language curriculum:

At Firs children have weekly lessons in French throughout Key Stage 2, using a programme of study in addition to other resources.  Areas covered include: numbers, colours, house and home, in town,  food and drink, the classroom, clothes and hobbies.  It is intended that when children leave Firs Primary, they will have a natural curiosity and confidence to explore, other countries, cultures and languages, accepting that, in a multi-lingual society it is a valuable skill to be able to communicate effectively with others in another language.  They will be engaged and prepared to continue language learning at Secondary School.

Progression in the Language curriculum:

Lower Key Stage 2: the language focus is on acquiring good pronunciation as well as learning useful memorisation strategies so that children can build up the confidence to deliver a short role play in front of an audience.  Pupils are taught a range of ways to memorise whether nouns are masculine, feminine or plural. Physical locations - such as tables - are used to help pupils remember the gender of school items for example whereas parts of the body are introduced by splitting the body in half  and introducing male and female words with the corresponding side.

Upper Key Stage 2: children are taught that definite and indefinite articles as well as word endings provides clues as to genders. As the years progress, pupils build up their vocabulary range and grammatical expertise and are encouraged to write in extended sentences as well as urged to manipulate the language by using a dictionary.

Explicit knowledge in the Language curriculum:

Children are 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 words.
  • 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 phrases.
  • Present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences.
  • 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.

Curriculum organisation of the Language curriculum:

At Firs Primary School, Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 pupils have French taught weekly.  Mimes, quizzes, games, videos, songs, stories and role plays ensure that all learning styles are catered for.  As a result French is an inclusive and engaging subject in our school which is accessible and enjoyable for all.

Reading, writing and talking in the Language curriculum:

Throughout the teaching of Language children are encouraged to 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.  Children will write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clear describe people, places, things and actions orally.

Delivery of the Language curriculum:

At Firs our vision for Teaching and Learning is rooted in high expectations and an unconditional belief that every child can achieve and succeed according to their unique abilities. We believe in challenge, engagement and deep learning (mastery). This is promoted through careful curriculum planning, modelled examples of practice and the use of responsive teaching through planned and purposeful checking for understanding. A positive and stimulating learning environment ensure behaviour for learning is central to our vision, as we strive for a warm and productive classroom climate. We carefully plan assessment to ensure we develop retrieval and schema to build on learning and make connections between subjects.  Finally, we explicitly plan for the delivery of Reading, Talking and Vocabulary in all subjects and this underpins our approach to teaching and learning at Firs.

Firs Foundation of Effective Practice ensures we have a whole school approach to delivering our curriculum vision.  The six Foundations provide staff with a learning model to ensure we deliver lessons based on research evidence, the six Foundations we model our Teaching and Learning on:

Foundation 1: Culture and Climate.

Foundation 2: Checking For Understanding.

Foundation 3: Explaining and Modelling.

Foundation 4: Reading, Talking and Vocabulary.

Foundation 5: Curriculum Planning.

Foundation 6: Retrieval and Schema building. 

In summary the impact of a powerful knowledge Language curriculum at Firs will have the following features:

  • Subject driven.
  • Knowledge-rich.
  • Systematic.
  • Progressive.
  • Think creatively.
  • Children will know more and remember more about MFL.
  • Children will recognise and apply key French vocabulary verbally.
  • Children will be able to write a limited amount in French.
  • Ensure children are Ready For Learning and Ready For Life.