'One language sets you in the corridor of life. Two languages open every door along the way.' Frank Smith
'A different language is a different vision of life.' Federico Fellini
French Statement of Curriculum Intent
Bonjour! bienvenue au coeur du bois (Hello! welcome to Heartwood)
At Heartwood CE VC Primary School, we want to promote a love of learning languages and a fascination for how language works. We teach MFL in Key Stage 2 as the entitlement set out in the National Curriculum 2014. We also intend to provide rich and engaging extra-curricular learning in MFL that may include EYFS and Key Stage 1. Our focus language is French because Swaffham is twinned with the town of Couhe in France and as a Swaffham school we believe it is important to share a role in fostering the friendships and understanding of twinned towns.
We use the programme Rigalo to effectively teach French.
Modern Foreign Languages is passionately led by Ali Raybould who teaches French across KS2. Ali's teaching specialism is in MFL.
Reading and Writing
Our intent is for all children to leave Heartwood with a good understanding of how to read words in French with accurate pronunciation. This is implemented through formal and explicit teaching through a deliberate and systematic approach to French phonics, vocabulary, and grammar. All teachers, even if they are not teaching the main language lesson, ensure that French is used where appropriate throughout the school day, providing further opportunities for language development and consolidation. Whenever we teach a group of words or a list of vocabulary, we focus pupils’ attention on the sound-spelling link, so that pupils become increasingly confident at decoding as they move through Key Stage 2. In teaching grapheme-phoneme correspondence, we focus on both individual letters (particularly those with accents that affect pronunciation) and on common graphemes (e.g oi – noir, au revoir, bon soir, trois). These are introduced gradually across four years of study with teaching identifying common sounds across
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.
All children in Key Stage 2 are expected to be given opportunities to learn how to:
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:
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.
French, through the Rigolo programme, is taught using a range of strategies to support children with SEND. These include adopting a multisensory approach, engaging kinaesthetic as well as visual and auditory learning styles; presenting subject matter in a structured and explicit manner; dividing lessons into digestible “bite-size chunks” with slower learning steps; providing opportunities for “over-learning” key points through a variety of follow-up activities; deploying memory strategies to assist vocabulary and grammar retention; making allowances for shorter concentration spans; showing sensitivity when eliciting student responses; encouraging metacognitive – “learning how to learn” – strategies and thinking skills to promote student autonomy; and dispensing praise and rewards to maintain motivation and self-esteem.