Subject Leader: Ms A Ali
At Lowerplace, we appreciate the many languages our learners speak and are exposed to in their social environment. We appreciate our multi-lingual setting and want to challenge our children further through our French curriculum, which promotes curiosity and a thirst for learning. We intend to broaden our children’s horizon and raise their ambition by exploring the potential of speaking more than one language. Through learning French, they could become interpreters, linguists, translators, teachers, or work in the travel industry to name but a few careers.
Learning a foreign language provides an opening to other cultures and a freedom to explore the children's own potential for acquiring a new language. Our high-quality languages education fosters pupil’s curiosity and deepens their understanding of the world. Many children enjoy learning to speak another language, particularly within the safe space provided by a primary classroom. Our teaching ensures that pupils are able to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It also provides opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read texts in the original language. Research shows that the earlier a child is exposed to a second language, the faster the language in question is acquired and that early acquisition facilitates the learning of other languages later in life. Therefore language learning at Lowerplace will provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils with skills needed to study and work in other countries. As a school, we are committed to presenting our children with the multilingual and multicultural world that exists in our school community and in the wider world, and we believe that through learning a language, children will develop the attributes needed for life-long learning.
The curriculum is carefully planned with the intention to ensure that all pupils - including those with SEND – have an opportunity to engage with a challenging curriculum and achieve success. Any gaps in pupils’ knowledge are quickly identified and addressed through retrieval activities to ensure that pupils are supported to meet the ambitious intended end points of the curriculum in French. We have designed the curriculum as a school and therefore the curriculum is unique to our school and meets the needs of our pupils and our context.
The French curriculum is focused upon the development of phonics, vocabulary and grammar of the French language. Pupils focus upon how phonics, vocabulary and grammar combine so that they can understand and produce more complex language outcomes. Listening, speaking, reading and writing provides a coherent vehicle to support new structures introduced into the curriculum ensuring that all aspects of the language develop alongside the growth of vocabulary. French is progressively sequenced to ensure that pupils encounter an increasingly demanding curriculum that broadens and develops pupils’ linguistic knowledge and application.
The implementation of our French curriculum
While many of our children have already had experience of speaking other languages, at Lowerplace all children in KS2 learn French as they will have opportunities to continue learning this language as well as acquiring others when they move on to the next stage of their education at one of the local high schools. With this in mind, we have designed a curriculum that will:
- Foster an interest in learning other languages;
- Introduce children to another language in a way that is enjoyable and fun;
- Stimulate and encourage children’s curiosity about language;
- Expose children to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources;
- Enable children to ask and answer questions, communicating their ideas in discussion;
- Encourage the children to speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, seeking to improve their pronunciation and intonation;
- Provide a range of texts and encourage children to write for a range of different purposes and audiences;
- Increase the children’s understanding of how language works, identifying and applying rules and patterns;
- Ensure that they become familiar with the strategies and skills which are useful for language learning, applying them when learning new language;
- Help children develop their awareness of cultural differences through exploring the lives, beliefs and values of others.
We have organised the curriculum into 3 strands: Speaking, Reading and Writing.
In each of these strands we have indicated how learning will progress over the next year. These strands allow children to develop the skills and knowledge they need to communicate with others in a variety of different forms. Units of work incorporate all of these objectives. They are based around topics that encourage the children to develop their cultural understanding as well as their communication and language skills. These topics ensure progression in vocabulary and sentence structures and lessons include a variety of techniques to encourage children to have an active engagement in language learning. The emphasis is on enjoyment so that children develop a positive attitude towards language learning and grow in confidence.
There are 6 units of work for each year group in KS2, which are identified on the French Curriculum Overview. They have a focus on developing speaking, reading and writing within a topic that engages and enthuses the children. In addition, these units will detail the expectations for children to be achieved by the end of the unit. At the end of each unit, a piece of writing is produced which can be assessed to review the language learning that has taken place.
French is taught weekly to ensure progress and skill development. Children are taught specific skills, concepts and vocabulary in a weekly, dedicated, French lesson of at least 30 minutes. Class teachers are encouraged to use basic French vocabulary across the day and short activities will be introduced to ensure that the content of French sessions is reinforced across the week.
We have our very own personal curriculum designed for the needs of our children. In addition to this, we use the website www.lightbulblanguages.co.uk along with songs and a variety of popular children’s books in French.
Additional opportunities for support & extension:
Links with other subjects are exploited wherever possible. In particular, when discussing French grammar, links are made to the children’s phonics and grammar learning in English, with common resources used to compare and contrast language. Links are also made to Geography for children to explore countries where French is spoken.
All children have equal access to the curriculum as expressed in our Equal Opportunities Policy. We will ensure that French is accessible to all pupils by:
- setting suitable learning objectives
- responding to the variety of learning styles
- overcoming potential barriers of individuals and groups
The impact of French language learning
Learning to read, write and speak French will give our children the command of a European language. Our French curriculum is highly inclusive of all learners and recognises the diversity, individual needs, skills and creativity of all our children. It provides opportunities and experiences for all our children, which enables them to aspire to make a positive contribution to their community and wider society, both now and in the future.