The study of Languages prepares pupils to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are increasingly carried out in languages other than English. Pupils use languages to communicate information responsibly, creatively and with discrimination. They learn how to employ languages to enable rapid access to ideas and experiences from a wide range of people, communities and cultures. Increased capability in the use of languages promotes initiative and independent learning and encourages diversity within a society.
At Northgate, our primary intent is to have an engaging and inspiring curriculum with high academic ambition for all pupils. In French we aim to:
- Foster an enjoyment of languages and successful language acquisition, through quality teaching, a meaningful and engaging syllabus and cross-curricular links where possible.
- Stimulate our pupils’ creativity through taking an active part in French lessons and experimenting creatively with language.
- Raise awareness of the multilingual and multicultural world that we live in, giving them an insight into their own culture and those of others.
- Lay the foundations for future study in Key Stage 3.
The 2014 National curriculum for MFL aims to ensure that all children:
- Understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources.
- Speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation.
- Are able to write at varying length, using the grammatical structures they have learned.
- Are aware that language has structure, and that the structure differs from one language to another.
- Develop their awareness of cultural differences in other countries.
- Develop their speaking and listening skills.
A native, specialist teaches French to children in KS2 for 30 minutes on a weekly basis through a programme of study which meets the National Curriculum requirement at KS2. The children develop subject-specific skills and vocabulary during their lessons and they build upon their prior learning and recap each week so that their knowledge is secure. Key vocabulary is present in classrooms as well as displays, labels around the school (e.g. la cantine on the dining hall door) and some staff make use of opportunities to incorporate French into daily routine, e.g. registers.
Assessment criteria to cover all four key skills has been developed, to enable the teacher to assess the progress of children in their language learning as they move through Key Stage 2, ensuring that children are supported and challenged as appropriate. The level of enthusiasm and engagement in the classroom show that the children thoroughly enjoy and engage with the MFL lessons. Feedback from students in secondary school who have benefited from learning French at Northgate shows that the majority found it extremely helpful. A number have chosen French at A-Level and/or university thanks to their early start.