Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. At Brackenbury we aim to help pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in French and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. We provide opportunities for the children to communicate for practical purposes, read in the original language and to learn new ways of thinking. We aim to foster an interest in learning languages which will continue into Secondary School and beyond.
French Implementation and Impact
At Brackenbury the children in Key Stage 1 (KS1) and Key Stage 2 (KS2) have a dedicated weekly French session, where lessons are delivered by a specialist teacher who aspires to instil her passion for languages in all her pupils. In KS1 lessons are 30-45 minutes oral French once a week. These lessons are practical and include songs, games and the use of practical equipment. The children in KS2 have a weekly French session of 45-60 minutes of French. The children use a mixture of oral, written, listening and reading skills, and the lessons are a combination of practical and written activities which consolidate and build on the skills learnt in KS1.
Brackenbury’s French scheme of work is clear and progressive and in line with the National Curriculum for languages, which aims to ensure that all pupils:
-understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic
- speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of
communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking
questions, and 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
At Brackenbury, all the French lessons and resources have been carefully planned by the specialist teacher, who knows the children well and will adapt the lessons as appropriate. The children are constantly given opportunities to consolidate and build on their learning, and are encouraged to challenge themselves. Written work in KS2 is differentiated and there are challenging extension activities in place. The children record in a French book, and they take their vocabulary book with them through KS2 as they build up their vocabulary. Many of the activities in upper KS2 are devised to give the children the skills to support them in KS3 MFL sessions.
French at Brackenbury is taught through a series of topics, which give the children the opportunity to retrieve and revise, acquire new vocabulary and phrases and begin to manipulate language using their existing knowledge. The French the children learn is meaningful and is given a real-life context, for example at the Brackenbury Café in Year 4, where the children serve and order food from each other, sandwich making in Year 5, where the children make and eat the sandwich they have planned and written instructions for, and French food tasting in Year 3, where the children have the opportunity to express their preferences as well as sampling some traditional French foods. The children at Brackenbury understand and value being able to communicate in another language, and understand the breadth of the Francophone world through a half termly discrete session on a French speaking country and they learn about the geography, history and culture.
Our MFL curriculum ensures all pupils develop key language learning skills as well as a love of languages and learning about other cultures. The impact MFL teaching is having on the children’s learning is constantly monitored by the teacher throughout the lessons. A mix of questioning, AFL strategies and observation is used to assess the children’s progress. The MFL teacher also uses pupil voice to find out about the children’s learning and is quick to adopt and implement any whole school strategies that will support and enhance this. The lessons have been developed in a way to allow for plenty of repetition and opportunities to revise previous learning. In KS2 the children have many opportunities for written work, which is used to help inform future lesson planning, and target misconceptions. At the end of every half term the teacher uses her judgement to formally track the children’s progress and see where they are on their learning journey. These assessments, and subsequent analysis, enable the MFL teacher to support and extend the pupils as appropriate.
Progression of skills and knowledge
Modern Foreign Languages National Curriculum
If you would like to know more, please visit Languages National Curriculum