Bonjour et bienvenue!
French at Settle CE Primary School
We believe that the learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for pupils. At our school, pupils develop communication and literacy skills in English throughout EYFS and KS1 that lay the foundation for future modern foreign language learning in Years 3-6 and beyond at KS3.
At Settle CE Primary School, our subject leader is Miss Thompson, who is also our deputy head and Year 6 teacher. We provide opportunities for each Key Stage 2 child to learn French, by developing skills in speaking, listening, writing and reading. Research in modern foreign languages highlights the need for pupils to gain systematic knowledge of the three pillars of language learning: phonics (sound and spelling systems), grammar and vocabulary, in order to build competency in the new language.
We aim to:
- Help children to master a growing vocabulary of words linked to everyday topics
- Help children to deploy this vocabulary in short conversations with peers and their teacher
- Help children to write French words with accurate spelling, including in sentences
- Help children to increasingly understand the basics of french grammar, including tenses, word order and masculine/feminine
- Help children to develop a phonetic awareness of french
- Help children to read and understand common words, phrases and sentences in French with automaticity and proficiency, with pictorial support where needed.
- Help children to understand aspects of culture linked to the French language.
At Settle Primary School we follow the North Yorkshire scheme of work from Year 3-6. Starting with topics such as 'Moi!' and 'Les Couleurs' in Year 3, building up to 'Les Portraits' and 'Le Cadeaux' in Year 6. This allows children to be exposed to a range of topics that build systematically upon one another and to learn vocabulary effectively through repetition, games and covers all four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. The scheme also emphasises accurate spelling in French, and gives clear guidance as to previous learning to help teachers check children are ready to access new learning. We have selected 4 out of 6 units per year for each class to focus on to ensure in depth coverage and to allow time for over-learning when needed. These have been selected specifically to be aligned with one another, across year groups AND across topics/concepts, and cover core language needed to prepare children for the next stage in their learning. Please see our progression document below for a more detailed breakdown.
Children in Key Stage 2 have a 30 minute French lesson every week throughout the year. Each lesson is structured broadly as follows:
- Revision of previously taught vocabulary from the unit overview/previous lesson.
- New vocabulary introduced, with key classroom commands/questions used as much as possible.
- Images and actions will be used to help new knowledge to stick in pupils' long term memory.
Sometimes, lessons may be combined to allow time for bigger written outcomes, eg, writing a letter or postcard, or making a mini book, etc. Children begin each year by recapping key knowledge from the previous year; they will revisit lessons/previous vocabulary as appropriate to ensure that children have a solid foundation for their French learning for the remainder of the year. This may mean some units are adapted to meet the children's needs and to ensure the curriculum is achievable by all pupils.
Each of these units consists of 6 lessons, culminating in a different outcome in French, with pictorial support where needed. The progression document below is our long term plan, the language overview is our medium term planning, and the lesson outlines and accompanying Powerpoints are used as our short term planning, and are adapted when needed to include previous learning.
Occasionally, we may use supplementary teaching resources. This may be in order to provide additional enrichment or variety (such as an opportunity to apply learning to a seasonal context), or to provide opportunities for extended dialogues or pieces of writing.
At Settle Primary School we aim that children continuously build their vocabulary in French, as well as their skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. In order to ensure that children’s understanding of the curriculum is progressing, the French subject leader and the Senior Leadership Team will undertake monitoring and evaluation to ascertain the following:
- That the North Yorkshire scheme of work is being followed and that all parts of the lesson are being delivered at the appropriate level for the age of the children, including speaking and writing activities, and the use of Knowledge Organisers (Language overview sheets) are being used to support over-learning of vocabulary
- That children are developing an age-appropriate vocabulary and skills in French
- That the training needs of teachers are being met, through occasional CPD or more targeted support when required.
This monitoring and evaluation may take the form of informal drop-ins to lessons, or conversations with pupils and teachers.
In order to determine whether children’s skills and vocabulary are developing in line with the curriculum, children will undertake Knowledge Checks (Flashbacks) at regular intervals, usually at the start of most lessons. Sometimes they may be team quizzes or recorded in backs of books. These will always be low stakes and children will be encouraged to go back and find the answers in their books if needed.