Modern Foreign Languages
Modern Foreign Languages
At Sandbach Primary Academy (SPA), we aim to develop the children’s confidence, skill, excitement and knowledge of another language other than their own. The children at SPA’s first language is generally English, with a small number (9% at time of writing) of children speaking an alternative first language. These individual children have a range of first languages from different communities, including Polish, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Tamil, Punjabi and Arabic. However, high school links and teacher subject knowledge drove our decision to choose French as SPA’s language of focus a number of years ago.
The children of SPA leave our school being able to confidently communicate in French, meeting the requirements of the various aspects of the National Curriculum program of study. Our approach is to ensure children’s understanding and flair (confidence and accuracy) for French is grounded in a secure knowledge of high frequency and relevant vocabulary, verbs and sentence structures which are constantly rehearsed and revised in meaningful and authentic contexts, e.g. A day in Paris, at the café, at an airport.
We also want the children to relish playing and have fun with language. We want them to be fascinated by the different sounds, contrasting grammatical structures and the myriad of similarities and differences with English. The opportunity to explore French in depth will, in turn, provide the children of SPA with a superior understanding and respect for English grammar and language conventions.
In addition to excellent communication skills, we endeavour to instil in the children a deeper cultural awareness through respect for other ways of life as well as language.
At SPA we plan and deliver a curriculum that embeds the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing necessary to enable children to use and apply their French learning in a variety of relevant contexts and lay the foundations for future language learning.
EYFS and Key Stage One
The SPA languages journey begins in the Early Years Foundation Stage as we want to introduce children to the joy of languages other than their own prior to formal lessons. Whilst these children do not receive formal lessons, we want the children to enjoy hearing the sounds of the French language and begin to pick up on vocabulary through listening and joining in with songs, stories and rhymes and poems. We ensure that these are regularly revisited to allow the children to remember and own them as they would in their own first language.
Key Stage One
As children move into Key Stage One, they continue to return to and explore stories, songs and rhymes in French. Short lessons are introduced in Key Stage One, where children spend twenty minutes immersed in the French language on a weekly basis. Whilst children continue to build upon the listening skills and joy of engaging in a language other than their own, they are introduced to the French nouns of well-known English words. By the time they leave Year 2 they will have a bank of known vocabulary as well as an awareness, enthusiasm and willingness to explore French and have ‘an ear’ for its rhythm and sounds.
Lower Key Stage 2
From Year 3 children begin their more formal language learning receiving weekly lessons of thirty to forty minutes. Throughout Lower Key Stage Two, children will further develop their confidence and communication skills in French, their overall French vocabulary and grammatical and phonological awareness.
They will be taught an understanding of the phonic alternatives to English. Songs and rhymes learnt over their time in Key Stage One will form the basis of this understanding. They will learn the careful pronunciation of these phonemes and the corresponding graphemes, which are vital to their future pronunciation skills. These fundamental skills will be constantly reinforced in lessons over both years, and in future year groups, to consolidate and embed the learning. Words from the songs which the children can already pronounce well, which illustrate the phonemes, will be used to introduce this understanding and will be reinforced as new vocabulary is introduced.
Through the first theme of Greetings, the children will work with the familiar to quickly develop some initial communication skills and give the children confidence. Children will learn to ask others how they are and to reply; say hello and goodbye both formally and informally; give their name; to address familiar and unfamiliar people correctly; say please and thankyou and introduce themselves.
A theme based on ‘The Classroom’ follows, with the children being given classroom commands and vocabulary for various classroom items familiar to them. Teaching of masculine and feminine determiners used in the French language is also given here. The children are introduced to the vocabulary of colours and the verbs, ‘I have’, ‘I don’t have’ and ‘It is’. They will learn how to write a simple sentence using the verbs and vocabulary gained so far.
Through the theme of animals and pets, children will revisit noun vocabulary learning from Key Stage One and expand upon this. The new verbs ‘I like’ and ‘I don’t like’ will also be introduced, whilst revising and rehearsing colours and numbers. The verbs ‘I have’ and ‘I don’t have’ will also be used here as well as the conjunctions: ‘and’ and ‘also’.
Further Themes of Birthdays and Myself over year A will allow children to talk and write about themselves further reinforcing numbers, months and colours as well as introducing new vocabulary. Children will be able to ask and respond to familiar questions such as ‘my name is’….’I was born in’… ‘I live in’ and ‘My birthday is’….
In addition, the children will learn the vital questions: ‘Que’est-ce que c’est?’ (what is it ?) and ‘Repeater s’il vous plait’ (please repeat what you have just said) to help children with clarity of understanding.
Over the year the children will develop their writing skills from writing single words to writing 2 or 3 simple sentences. Reading will develop from reading individual nouns and classroom instructions to reading simple texts and identifying the main ideas.
Cultural understanding and language skills will be extended through a study of Christmas in France and the New Year Epiphany Festival including La Galette.
Children will be taught the skill of using a French English bilingual dictionary in book form and will use these with support.
Children will also learn the extent of the French speaking world and identify these countries on a map. We will also reflect on why we are learning French and why it is important and relevant to learn another language.
A theme of The Family will again use familiar and relevant concepts to introduce new vocabulary and to reinforce the colours and further extend knowledge of numbers to 100. The plural determiners will be introduced and masculine and feminine determiners reinforced. ‘He’ and ‘she’ and the possessive pronoun,’ my’ will be introduced along with phrases such as ‘I am called’ which will be further extended to ‘He/She is called’ etc.
As well as introducing extremely useful noun vocabulary, the theme of Food will reinforce verb forms ‘I like’, ‘I do not like’. At this stage the verbs-to prefer, to drink and to eat will be introduced to the children. Just as with the theme of The Family, we will use she/he/Mum /Dad/Fred likes/eats/drinks etc.
The Spring Term starts with a study of the French version of The Hungry Caterpillar. This will help to revisit colours, days of the week and foods. It will also give the children the opportunity to retell a story in French, verbally and in the written form.
Further Themes of Weather and Seasons will introduce useful noun vocabulary and the verb, il fait and il ne fait. Conjunctions will be introduced, too – for example ‘quand’ (when) and ‘si’ (if) to be used in full sentences, such as ‘Quand il fait chaud’ (when it is hot) ‘je’ ( I … activity) .
The final theme for Year B is Time, Transport and Holidays. This theme will introduce telling the time in French and provide an opportunity to learn the adverbials of time. We endeavour to give the children questioning skills to cope with a French airport-ask for what they would like in a café, tell someone where they are going and ask for directions to the toilet, for example. The children will begin to use phases such as, ‘Je voudrais’ (I would like) ‘Je vais’ ( I go) (en) ‘Je peux’ (I can) + verbs (when I’m on holiday). Children will be introduced to French question forms, Why?, Where? and What? and also the conjunctions because, but, sometimes.
Children continue to build on the writing of simple sentences using models and structures and will be expected to include some words from memory. They will develop the awareness of the position of the adjective in a French sentence. The skill of using a French /English bilingual dictionary in book form will be revised. In addition, the children will also learn how to use online translation tools and the possible pitfalls of their use.
Cultural understanding and language skills will be extended through a study of foods and Easter in France. During this theme of food, children will be introduced to French dining/meal traditions.
Upper Key Stage Two
Throughout Years 5 and 6 the children will be given the opportunity to consolidate, use and become confident using the vocabulary and grammatical structures which they have gained so far. Children continue to develop their confidence whilst further extending their reading, writing and grammatical skills and knowledge in French. We recognise the vital importance of repetition whilst learning a new language, at SPA we have designed our learning opportunities with this in mind. Pronunciation of all phonemes should now be secure leading to confidence when reading familiar and unfamiliar French words.
By the end of KS2, children are confident with their pronunciation of familiar and unfamiliar French words, have a range of useful questioning and clarification skills and a large bank of French vocabulary, including verbs.
Throughout this year conjugation of verbs will be introduced. Building on Year 3 and 4 skills with a dictionary and online translation tools, children will also learn the skill of using a dictionary to find verbs and how they are conjugated.
Learning about Clothes and Fashion in the Autumn term will provide opportunities for the children to revise much of their previous learning including colours, numbers, preferences/opinions, months, days of the week, conjunctions, time adverbials and pronouns. Children will build on this through learning all the pronouns (je, tu, il, elle, nous, vous, ils, elles and possessive pronouns) and learning to conjugate a regular verb porter (to wear). Further adjectives will be introduced-focussing on adjectival agreement. Children will be asked to write an online shopping page describing clothing and Christmas gifts. This will extend their writing skills in Lower Key Stage Two with children writing their own sentences using nouns, verbs adjectives and introducing the conjunction. We will also look at clothing in history and around the World giving further opportunities to strengthen intercultural understanding and cross –curricular links.
A Day in Paris is our Spring Term theme. Children will learn about Paris, how to order food and drink in restaurants and cafés and how to ask for directions. We will read and understand ‘trip advisor type’ reports, posters, instructions and road signs. Grammatical awareness will be further extended through recognising, writing and speaking in complex sentences. Children will also be expected to write a series of linked sentences to form a cohesive text for a useful purpose linked with the theme.
Year A’s final theme of ‘All about Me: My life in Sandbach’ will build on children’s French knowledge and language of themselves and their local area. The children will think about their hobbies and weekend activities giving the opportunity for introducing new verbs and for the children to further extend their writing including adjectival agreement and further progress in the use of conjunctions and complex sentences, through the completion of a Mindfulness Journal. Children will build on the questioning skills from Lower Key Stage Two, asking each other about their lives, interests, opinions and goals.
During year B confidence and communication, knowledge and skills will continue to be developed through the study of 3 new themes.
In Autumn, through the theme of School, children will consolidate their use of grammar, sentence structures and vocabulary from previous year’s learning. The theme also provides an opportunity to contrast life for French and English children, expanding children’s cultural understanding of a different life to their own in another country. Children will now start using relative clauses in their writing and speaking. Children will be taught the formal use of ‘you’ with regular and irregular high frequency verbs.
In Spring, the theme of Healthy Lifestyles will give the children opportunity to read and write about what it means to be healthy for our school newsletter. Children will consolidate all the grammatical structures learned to date. New vocabulary of verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs will extend known vocabulary for foods, drinks and hobbies/sports. Here, the concept of stereotypes will be explored and challenged with the influence of perceptions and preconceived ideas considered.
In Summer the theme is Superstars (music, You-tube, etc) with the aim of giving useful and relevant vocabulary which will allow the children to communicate with French peers. The children will extend questioning skills and will be able to give their opinions both verbally and in writing. Children will consider who would be seen as a superstar or role model to children in France and make comparisons with their English Superstars.