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Heartwood CE VC Primary and Nursery School
Learn to Love – Love to Learn!
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French/ Francais

We have a passion for teaching French at Heartwood is because Swaffham is twinned with the town of Couhé in France 🇫🇷  and as a Swaffham school we feel like it’s important we share a role in fostering the friendships and understanding of twinned towns. 

French is taught discretely from Year 3- 6 but we introduce early elements through songs, books and media in the EYFS and KS1 stages. 

French is taught across KS2 by a teacher who has a specialism in Modern Foreign Languages and French.

The 2014 Primary National Curriculum once again made learning a foreign language compulsory at Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6). Schools are free to choose whether to teach an ancient or a modern language; it is much more about language learning skills than the particular language on offer. Your child could therefore learn French, Spanish, Mandarin, German, Arabic or even Latin — the choices are endless! However, once your child begins secondary school the teaching of a modern foreign language is compulsory. 

By studying a foreign language, children are given the opportunity not only to learn about other cultures but, more importantly, to communicate with others too. It is also a thoroughly enjoyable subject to learn, with less emphasis on the written word and more on practical tasks, such as drama, story-telling, role-play, speaking and listening.

 

Key Stage 2

All children in Key Stage 2 are expected to be given opportunities to learn how to:

  • communicate orally
  • share their ideas and feelings using speech
  • compare their use of English grammar and spelling to another language
  • express some ideas in writing

The curriculum no longer sets out topics or units of work to cover; instead it outlines what children should be taught under more general headings. Some of these include:

  • Listening to a language and joining in to learn everyday words and phrases
  • Learning how to have conversations in another language to share ideas and opinions as well as being able to ask and answer questions
  • Reading texts and stories in another language, carrying out basic comprehension tasks
  • Learning songs, poems, rhymes and stories in another language to help with vocabulary but also with cultural understanding
  • Writing some words and phrases from memory as well as describing people and places with basic sentences

Each school is free to teach this content however it chooses but most will choose a range of everyday and routine topics such as numbers, colours, greetings, family, animals, school, travel, or other similar subjects that seem appropriate. Year 3 can often be the first time a child will learn a foreign language and in this year group they might just use speech and limited written tasks to learn the basics. As they move up from Year 3 children will see much more of the written language and build on their early skills, allowing them to speak, write and listen with much more skill.

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