French Curriculum Vision
‘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.’ (National Curriculum)
Purpose and Intent
We believe that learning languages opens children’s minds and opens children’s hearts. Through learning languages children become open to new experiences, to new ways of seeing the world and to expressing themselves.
Within the scope of the primary curriculum, by far the most significant thing language learning can accomplish for children is to lay the foundations for future language learning and enable them to embrace the challenge and joy of communicating and expressing themselves in a foreign language.
We hope that, by enabling children to make substantial progress in learning French, our children acquire the confidence and bravery to enjoy learning languages – French or otherwise – in greater depth as they get older.
Additionally, we hope that learning French will teach our children to embrace and enjoy other cultures and see the adventure possible for them in the world.
Implementation and Realisation
French is studied every week in Key Stage Two (from Year 3 to Year 6). The emphasis in every lesson is on enjoyment and play in speaking and listening and vocabulary building, although lessons progressively include more reading and writing. Children learn words and phrases through games and songs as well as through texts, films, animations, and crucially, repetition, repetition, repetition. Through repetition, children recall and apply previously learned language with greater confidence and fluency.
Each French lesson is focused on a learning objective drawn from the National Curriculum but sits within a learning sequence designed to give context and meaning, as well as opportunities for practice and repetition. Learning sequences are organised progressively, so that subject matter and vocabulary develop in complexity as the children progress through each year and through Key Stage Two.
Children read appropriate texts and record some of their learning in writing. Teachers support the children to make use of appropriate supportive resources, such as dictionaries and stories, as well as online videos and Google Translate. Children progressively build their competence to step on from understanding and using words and phrases, to understanding, constructing and articulating sentences of their own.
Impact and Evaluation
Children’s progress in each lesson is assessed informally and children are supported within lessons to access tricky material, or to stretch and apply learning they are acquiring more quickly. Children produce written outcomes at various points in each year which are assessed against the learning objectives.
Children’s recorded outcomes are reviewed by teachers working together in year groups in order to continually improve planning and implementation. The curriculum leader will review children’s recorded outcomes alongside speaking with children about their French learning, so that a whole-school view of learning ensures good progression year on year through Key Stage Two.
As well as developing greater confidence and proficiency in French, children’s cultural awareness – of the differences and similarities between their own and another culture – grows over time. We aim for the impact on our children’s lives to be, eventually, profound – for them to develop the positive attitudes to encountering difference and difficulty that they will need in order to enjoy learning foreign languages in the future.
‘You live a new life for every language you speak.’ (Czech proverb)