At Gade Valley Primary School, we believe that enabling children to express their ideas in another language provides essential and practical knowledge for all global citizens in the 21st century. Children are given the opportunity to develop an international outlook and gain an insight into the people and culture of other countries. Our intention is that children will develop a deep curiosity for language as they learn to express themselves with increasing confidence. Language learning is beneficial as it boosts self-esteem and boosts their understanding of English: children use what they learn in one language to reinforce what they have learned in another. In addition, learning a language helps our pupils to develop their CHAMP skills of confidence, helpful, attentive, motivated and perseverant.
At Gade Valley, children learn French in Key Stage 2, based on the National Curriculum Programme of Study for languages. French lessons take place weekly, with sessions lasting up to 30 minutes. We use the Language Angels scheme of work and resources to ensure that the four key language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are covered in an age-appropriate way across Key Stage 2. Our French teaching is progressive. Each unit increases in the level of challenge and linguistic and grammatical complexity as the children move through the early language units in Years 3 and 4, through the intermediate units in Years 4 and 5 and into the most challenging progressive units in Year 6. Language learning is fun and we use a variety of teaching methods, including games, role-play, songs and computer-based interactive games. Where appropriate, we make sure that French is linked to class topics and cross-curricular themes. Occasionally we hold special events, for example, we held a French day where children had the opportunity to sample some of the language, culture (and food!) of France. Also, in the Autumn Term 2019, we held a cross-curricular ‘Take One Country’ Day, in which children enjoyed discovering France as well as other countries.
The intended impact of the Modern Foreign Languages programme is that the majority of children in each year group are working at or above the expected level for their age. Children are assessed according to the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum requirements based on progression in skills and knowledge. In addition, children should acquire a deeper curiosity for language learning and develop language skills to equip them for life-long learning.
Up to December 2019, the following impact includes:
- In the 2018/19 academic year, the large majority of pupils achieved age related expectations or above.
- Children celebrate their language learning in regular class assemblies where they perform to parents
- Sometimes, where possible, French language units link to the children’s topic work, where they supplement their learning by building a vocabulary bank of topic words alongside the English terms.
- Pupils’ voice (in Key Stage 2) states that:
- most children think that their French lessons are fun
- pupils feel that their teachers encourage them to participate in French lessons and they enjoy having French conversations with each other
- they know when they have done something well
- they feel that their teachers encourage them to use a range of media in lessons, such as online interactive games, which children can now access at home.