MFL - French

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Intent

The learning of a foreign language at Wrenbury will prepare pupils to participate in a world in which work and other activities are increasingly carried out in languages other than English.
Learning another language raises awareness of citizenship and gives children an insight into their own and other cultures.
Communication skills are developed through speaking and listening activities.
Literacy skills are developed through opportunities to understand how language works and to find differences or similarities between the learning of English and the foreign language.
Increased capability in another language promotes initiative, confidence and independent learning, whilst encouraging diversity in society.

Aims
The aims of learning a modern foreign language in Wrenbury Primary School are:

  • to foster an interest in learning other languages;
  • to introduce young children to another language in a way that is enjoyable and fun;
  • to make young children aware that language has structure and that the structure differs from one language to another;
  • to help children develop their awareness of cultural differences in other countries;
  • to develop their speaking and listening skills;
  • to lay the foundations for future study and potential employment

    Implementation

    The school offers French as the foreign language and dedicated lessons are delivered by a specialist MFL teacher on a weekly basis throughout the year. Children begin learning French in Reception with 15 minutes per week, building up to 30 minutes per week in Year Six.
    KS1 lessons take place in the school hall, which facilitates the kinaesthetic element of much of younger children's language learning.
    KS2 lessons are given in a dedicated French teaching space where the children are able to access information through wall displays, dictionaries and readers.
    Listening and speaking are the skills emphasised in KS1, with the addition of reading and writing in KS2.
    Effective communication and fostering a positive attitude towards language learning are actively encouraged, with building confidence in every child considered to be essential, whatever their ability. Constant praise is given for any contribution made in the foreign language, however tentative.
    French through drama has a high profile in both KS1 and KS2 at Wrenbury. This promotes a real sense of achievement in communication and is approached enthusiastically by children of all ages.
    Cultural understanding is developed from the beginning and in KS2 is reinforced by watching short films and by tasting typical French food and drink.
    A summary sheet of the work covered each term is available in the classroom and is also kept at home by pupils to practise and to build up their vocabulary. Many children enjoy sharing their rhymes, songs and vocabulary lists with other members of the family.

    Impact

    By the end of KS1, children will be using the correct pronunciation and intonation. They will also have memorised and be able to recite numerous rhymes and songs which will form a foundation of vocabulary for KS2. For example, colours, the weather and giving directions.
    By the end of each KS2 year, they will increasingly be able to:

  • ask and answer questions. For example, Year Five will be able to elicit key details about a native speaker and speak about themselves.
  • memorise words and be able to engage in various language games using their vocabulary.
  • interpret meaning and understand texts of varying length.
  • understand basic grammar. For example, Year Six will be able to use three tenses in the first person singular in all four skill areas.
  • use dictionaries. For example, Year Four will have chosen their ending to a poem by looking up a new noun.
  • work in pairs. For example, Year Four will have written and performed a weather forecast with a partner.
  • work in groups. For example, Year Three will have practised and performed a 'birthday' sketch with four roles.
  • look at life in another culture. For example, Year Five will have undertaken a 'Tour de France', acquiring regional facts and tasting French food.

    The assessment of KS1 children is done informally during lessons, according to how confident a child is about contributing and how well they are using correct pronunciation.
    In KS2 lessons, there will be opportunities for the children to be involved in activities where the teacher can observe individuals in order to determine their contribution and comprehension. Set tasks in all four skill areas are marked formally with comments familiar to the children, ranging from 'insuffisant' to 'très bien'. In addition, children are asked to assess their own progress through the use of 'Can do..' sheets. There is also peer assessment during pair work.

    KS2 learning culminates in the final term of Year Six with a formal multi-choice assessment of the Tourist vocabulary taught in term three and a one-to-one speaking assessment.

    Celebration of the children's learning is shared with an audience with at least one French song being sung as part of the school's annual EYFS/KS1 Nativity or KS2's Carol Service.

    Success in the Y6 speaking assessment leads to a certificate, presented by the head teacher, at the Leaver's Service in July. Also, having performed to their own class throughout their French learning, Year 6 children have the opportunity to perform to a real audience, usually consisting of their peers from across all year groups, parents and others connected to the school at the Leaver's Service (see photos)