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Modern Foreign Languages

Intent

Calcot Junior School intends to use the Twinkl Planit French scheme of work and resources to ensure we offer a relevant, broad, vibrant, and ambitious foreign languages curriculum that will inspire and excite our pupils using a wide variety of topics and themes. This scheme is adapted and supplemented with additional resources to make a tailor-made scheme for Calcot Junior School pupils.  All pupils will be expected to achieve their full potential through the encouragement of high expectations and excellent standards in pupils’ French learning- the aim being that pupils will feel willing and confident to continue studying languages beyond key stage 2.

The intent is that all content will be continuously updated and reviewed annually, creating a dynamic programme of study that will be clearly outlined in long-term and short-term planning.  This will ensure that the foreign language knowledge of our pupils progresses within each academic year and is extended year upon year throughout the primary phrase and, in so doing, will always be relevant and in line with meeting or exceeding national DfE requirements.

At Calcot, we offer a carefully planned sequence of lessons, ensuring progressive coverage of the skills required by the national curriculum.  A linear curriculum has been chosen to allow opportunity for children to gradually build on their skills.   At Calcot, we are committed to ensuring that teaching enables pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. We recognise that competence in another language enables children to interpret, create and exchange meaning within and across cultures.

The teaching of French in KS2 provides an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and lays the foundations for further foreign language teaching at KS3.   Central to our pedagogy, is the desire to expose children to authentic French, so the scheme offers regular opportunities to listen to native speakers. In lower KS2, children acquire basic skills and understanding of French with a strong emphasis placed on speaking and listening skills.  These will be embedded and further developed in upper KS2, alongside reading and writing, gradually progressing on to more complex language concepts and greater learner autonomy.

We intend to inspire pupils to develop a love of languages and expand their horizons to other countries, cultures and people. We aim to help children grow into curious, confident and reflective language learners by providing them with a foundation that will equip them for further language studies as well as the means to access international opportunities for study and work later in life.

Learners will

Develop resilience in language learning as well as enjoyment of it through a challenging scheme of work.

Acquire language learning strategies for memorisation and retrieval as well as for listening, reading and understanding.

Develop the skill of how to use a bi-lingual dictionary to decode unfamiliar language.

Be able to manipulate language to speak or write sentences creatively using prior knowledge of grammar and key features, with and without a dictionary.

Have a sound grasp of the key sounds of the French language and their corresponding graphemes and be able to apply this knowledge when speaking, listening and reading aloud.

Recognise some of the language patterns of French and how these differ or are similar to English.

Appreciate and be able to copy the sound of the language at text level through songs, stories and rhymes.

Have a deeper understanding of cultural differences and similarities.

Demonstrate substantial progress in learning French and work towards or meet the targets of the KS2 Programme of Study for Languages.

Implementation

All classes will have access to a high-quality foreign languages curriculum using the Twinkl Planit French scheme of work and resources.  This will be supplemented with practical activities and authentic resources from Rigalo, BBC French, the Catherine Cheater scheme, the Primary French Project, French-games.net and Cave languages.  These will progressively develop pupil skills in French through regularly taught, well planned lessons which will inspire and excite our pupils.  Lessons will be taught by our MFL lead who will know where every child is at any point in their French learning journey.

Children will progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary, language skills and grammatical knowledge organised around age-appropriate topics and themes building blocks of language into more complex, fluent and authentic language.

Children are introduced to French in Year 3.  In KS2, each class has a timetabled weekly French lesson of between 30-50 minutes. This is supplemented with spoken French in the classroom beyond the timetabled lesson and includes the use of French to greet one another, give basic instructions and to refer to objects in the classroom.  This enables the children to develop early language acquisition skills that facilitate their understanding of the patterns of language and how these compare to English or home language. 

Lessons support the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing:

Children are taught to listen attentively to spoken language and respond, joining in with songs, rhymes and games.

Children develop an appreciation for a variety of stories, songs, poems and rhymes in French that are delivered through the curriculum content as well as by native French Speakers within the wider school community.

Each lesson will incorporate interactive whiteboard materials which include speaking and listening activities. 

Reading and writing activities will be offered in all units.  Some extended reading and writing activities are provided so that native speakers can also be catered for.

Every unit will include a grammar concept which will increase in complexity as pupils move through the units. As pupils progress through the lessons within a unit, they will build their knowledge and develop the complexity of the language they use.

Teaching

  1. Lessons are sequenced so that prior learning is considered and opportunities for revision of key vocabulary, language and grammar structures is built into each lesson.

  2. Our lessons and resources help children to build on prior knowledge alongside the introduction of new skills.  The lessons are designed to be progressive, moving from word to sentence level over the four years.

  3. Lessons will offer appropriate levels of challenge and stretch to ensure pupils learn effectively.  The lesson plans include ideas for support for the less able and to extend the more able.

  4. The lesson activities are challenging, varied and interactive developing listening, reading, speaking and writing skills.

  5. The choice of vocabulary ensures exposure to all the key phonic sounds and the ability to build sentences using grammatical knowledge.

  6. In Year 6, the content allows for revisiting and consolidating prior knowledge.

  7. It is expected that formative assessment in each lesson informs the planning and teaching of subsequent lesson plans.

The progression document shows precisely how pupil foreign language learning across the key skills of speaking, listening, reading, writing underpinned by a clear understanding and knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, and phonics concepts progresses across KS2

 

The MFL lead will have a clear overview of what they are working towards and if they are meeting these criteria. They will use the long-term planning document to ensure that the correct units are being taught to the correct classes at each stage of the academic year.  Short term-planning is also provided in the form of unit overviews (covering the learning objectives for each 6-week unit) and individual lesson plans, laying out the learning aims and intentions of each individual lesson within a unit.  These planning documents ensure that what is to be taught and how to teach it in each lesson, across whole units and each term is clearly set out.

Impact

Pupils will continuously build on their previous knowledge as they progress in their foreign language learning journey through the primary phase.  Previous language will be recycled, revised, recalled and consolidated whenever possible and appropriate.  In the early units, pupils start at basic noun and article level and learn how to formulate short phrases.  They learn that letters in French can make a different sound to English and that French is spoken in other countries besides France.  This is developed further at the intermediate stage where pupils build on their concept of the gender of nouns, plural nouns, silent letters and making negative sentences. By the time they reach UKS2, they will be exposed to much longer texts and will be encouraged to formulate their own, more personalised responses on a much wider bank of vocabulary, linguistic features and grammatical knowledge.  They will be able to create longer pieces of spoken and written language and use a variety of conjunctions, adverbs, adjectives, opinions and justifications.

Assessment

Pupil learning and progression will be assessed at regular intervals in line with the school policy.  Assessment is based on what has been learned in the scheme of work.  It will include:

  1. The learner’s ability to produce sentences.
  2. The learner’s ability to manipulate structures.
  3. The learner’s understanding of vocabulary.
  4. The learner’s production and manipulation of vocabulary.
  5. The learner’s skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing.                                                                                                       

This process is supported by the end of KS2 attainment targets in the Languages Programme of Study (NC2014). These have been used to inform end of year statements for Years 3-6.

Impact can also be measured through key questioning skills built into lessons, child-led assessment such as success criteria grids, evaluation tables and continuous formative assessments as well as summative assessments aimed at targeting next steps in learning.

A teacher assessment grid is provided to record attainment of each target for each skill in each year group and to track progress.

Pupil books gather evidence of the listening, reading and writing targets.

Evidence of speaking activities can be gathered by making audio recordings of the suggested activities in the lesson plans.

Children will self-assess their progress at the end of each section of work using a traffic light system and comment on their grasp of the new knowledge ensuring that they are also aware of their own progress.  There is space for teachers to provide a written response.

The children are provided with opportunities to investigate, evaluate and apply a variety of learning strategies which they can then use to help them progress in all subject areas.

Children are expected to make good progress in their foreign language learning and their progress is tracked and reported to parents/carers using report statements which relate to the expected targets of each year group under the headings ‘emerging, expected and exceeding.’

To enhance the impact on enjoyment and intercultural understanding we have identified many opportunities to foster pupil’s curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world.  Improved cultural awareness and insight into French speaking countries can be achieved through whole school foreign language celebration assemblies as well as cross curricular links with PE, art, literacy, history, geography and RE.  These are included in our Sports Week, Reading Week, Arts Week as well planning for festivals (Christmas and Easter) and historical events such as Bastille Day.  In Year 6, pupils have an opportunity to sample a French breakfast. 

Children also gain enjoyment and a sense of achievement in learning a foreign language through weekly French certificates which ensure that language learning is celebrated throughout the school community.

 

The curriculum aims to provide a strong foundation which will secure meaningful and enjoyable learning.  We want to ensure that French is loved by pupils across the school and lays the foundations for further foreign language study at KS3.

Links have been developed with partnership schools in West Berkshire to share good practice.
Links have been developed with secondary schools and children from KS3 visit to disseminate language learning to the pupils. 
The MFL lead has also met with a partner secondary school to aid progression into KS3.  The completion of a ‘transition document’ is used to relay information to feeder secondary schools about prior language learning.

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