Curriculum Intent for French
At Lostwithiel Primary School, we passionately believe that ‘learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity,’ as stated in the 2014 National Curriculum for Modern Foreign Languages. Cornwall is a geographically isolated county; therefore, it is imperative that a high quality languages education fosters children’s curiosity, deepens their understanding of the wider world and provides an opening and insight into other cultures.
French is our chosen modern foreign language as is reflects the existing connections our community has with France and the expertise base within school. Many of our parent body are members of the Lostwithiel Twinning Association, an organisation that runs successful visits to Pleyber Christ, our twin town in Brittany, France. Our MFL coordinator, Mrs Sarah Kriskovic, is a fluent French speaker and a member of the association. We are hoping to plan a school-based exchange with our Year Six children in the near future. Mr Mike Stead and Miss Jo Allen are very competent French speakers and deliver expert teaching to Key Stage Two pupils.
The aims of the 2014 National Curriculum for Modern Foreign Languages are embedded into our teaching. We ensure that all children:
• Understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources.
• Are able to speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and that they are 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 skills needed to attain these outcomes are taught progressively from Year Three to Year Six. Our French curriculum provides a considered and appropriate balance of the four skills areas (speaking, listening, reading and writing), as well as intercultural understanding. Our expertise helps build solid foundations for further foreign language teaching at Key Stage Three.
French Curriculum Implementation
Children are introduced to French from Year 3 and receive weekly lessons throughout their time in Key Stage 2. This enables the children to develop early language acquisition skills that facilitate their understanding of the patterns of language and how these differ from, or are similar to, English.
Lessons support the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing through:
- Children being encouraged to listen attentively to spoken language and respond, joining in with songs, rhymes and games
- The development of an appreciation of a variety of stories, songs, poems and rhymes in French that are delivered through the curriculum content
- Opportunities to orally rehearse new vocabulary and join to form basic sentences
- Applying skills in a written context, such as describing likes and dislikes, describing where they live and who is in their family.
- The use of bi-lingual dictionaries to find and translate vocabulary
- The use of cross-curricular links in order to revisit, consolidate and make connections with prior learning
There is a strong focus on teaching practical communication, one of the core content requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum. Consequently, some topics are taught in practical, engaging situations where the children are encouraged to speak or write in French during fun role-playing scenarios, such as:
- Ordering food in a café
- Introducing ourselves
- Following cookery, PE or art instructions in French
- Reading a map
- Asking for directions
- Booking hotels and transport
- Describing ourselves
- Performing songs, sketches and plays
- Writing holiday postcards
Looking forward, we are hoping to increase our links with the pupils in Pleyber Christ. We will work with the twinning association to establish a pen pal project, which will hopefully in turn lead to new friendships and an exchange visit.