"One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way." - Frank Smith
At Houghton on the Hill Primary School, our aim is for all children to develop a love and curiosity for learning a foreign language and an appreciation of the culture and geography of France and other French speaking countries. Throughout Key Stage 2 all our pupils will have the opportunity to regularly learn one foreign language and at Houghton on the Hill Primary School we focus on French, as a number of our children go to France on holidays and it is the language that our staff have the most knowledge of. Through looking at the culture of another country, they will discover not only what each country has to offer but also the similarities and differences.
We hope to create enthusiastic learners with positive attitudes to language learning that will stay with them throughout their lives. We encourage children to appreciate that there is a wide and interesting world around them and that communicating in another language can greatly broaden their opportunities in life, both socially and in the workplace.
Modern Foreign Language teaching will enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and understand and respond appropriately, both orally and in writing. Children will be given opportunities to communicate for practical purposes and will leave our school with a clear foundation in learning a foreign language.
In KS2, children are taught in weekly sessions of at least 40 minutes. Class teachers reinforce their learning outside of lessons where possible. Our school follows the Rising Stars languages scheme of work, which is adapted to meet the needs of our own children. This scheme of work is designed to progressively develop children’s grammatical skills and develop a bank of vocabulary and ensures that each year group builds on prior knowledge. For this reason, all of our school started on Stage 1 on the Rising Stars Curriculum in 2020 although this was supplemented with additional content in the upper year groups. In the current year, pupils in Y5 and Y6 are working on the Y5 programme of study.
During the year, children will have opportunities to find out about a French speaking country so that they appreciate that French is a living language. This may include geographical features as well as the culture. In Year 6, children compare France and the United Kingdom as part of a geographical unit. Details of topics covered in each year group can be found in the scheme of work attachment below. Our children learn through active participation in actions, rhymes, stories, song, grammar focus, video clips, sentence structure, dictionary work, book making, translations, art and many other creative ways to extend, embed and combine language skills.
In class, pupils are immersed in French. Instructions are largely given in the language and pupils are encouraged to always respond accordingly. Lessons start with a recap of previous vocabulary and learning and usually include a conversational starter.
Our French curriculum will ensure all pupils develop key language learning skills, as set out by the national curriculum, as well as an enthusiasm to speak French and an appreciation of the importance of this given that the world is such a small place. The school’s positive learning environment and it’s work on resilience means that children are prepared to make mistakes and feel confident when speaking aloud.
Children should be able to:
- understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources;
- 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 and
- discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.
These skills will enable them to confidently continue with language learning at secondary school; be it French or another Modern Foreign Language.