Foreign Languages Curriculum Statement
Aiming High Together
Learning a language opens a world of new possibilities and opportunities. In exploring languages, we promote children’s curiosity, problem solving skills and deepen their understanding, not only of their own identity and culture but also of other countries. Through the study of a Foreign Language, we are building children’s communication and literacy skills and preparing them for a globalised world of work.
Learning a foreign language is an important life skill and provides an opening to other cultures. Although pupils may explore a bank of vocabulary from a wide range of languages during their topic work, our foreign language curriculum focuses on enabling pupils to make substantial progress in one language. Here at Lowton West, through our French curriculum, we aim to create able linguists who can express their ideas and thoughts in another language. We want them to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. The French curriculum also provides opportunities for pupils to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read literature published in the original language. Language teaching will provide an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and will lay the foundation for our pupils’ learning of further languages, equipping pupils for further foreign language teaching at key stage 3.
Through our teaching of French across KS2, we aim for our pupils to:
- To develop an interest in learning other languages.
- To introduce young children to another language in a way that is enjoyable and stimulating.
- To encourage children’s confidence and creative skills.
- To stimulate and encourage children’s curiosity about language.
- To read fluently and understand the main points and some of the detail in short written texts.
- To write imaginatively short texts on familiar topics.
- To speak confidently: understand the main points in spoken language and take part in conversations.
- To understand a different culture and help children develop their awareness of cultural differences in other countries to our own.
Although the teaching of a foreign language is not compulsory at Key Stage 1 in the national curriculum, pupils in Key Stage 1 will be exposed to a range of languages and will begin to learn simple words and phrases in French and other languages, in preparation for Key Stage 2. The school’s French scheme of work allows for pupils to learn progressively and develop language skills throughout Key Stage 2. Children progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary around topics. We follow the Primary Languages Scheme of work for French to ensure coverage and progression across Key Stage 2.
Children are encouraged and supported to develop their speaking and listening skills through conversational work, singing activities and games. As confidence and skill grows, children record their work through pictures, captions and sentences.
- displays are used to remind children of key vocabulary
- practical activities, songs and games are used to help improve memory and recall.
- in the classroom whether possible instructions are given in French to expose children to the language as much as possible and in day to day contexts.
- visual prompts are used to support children in translating new vocabulary.
- word mats/ knowledge organisers are available for children to support their learning and recap previous learning.
The KS2 curriculum focuses on key grammatical structures by introducing pupils to the concept of gender, word order, adjectival agreement and high frequency verbs. We specifically choose topics in KS2, which are suitable for younger children, namely: family, holiday, food and drink, sports and activities. Some topics have cross-curricular links such as links to science, the weather (geography), wild animals (geography/science) and story-writing (literacy).
The KS2 foreign language curriculum is designed to build upon prior knowledge of vocabulary and key phrases acquired in Years 3 and 4. Pupils will also develop transferable language skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing.
At Lowton West, teachers strive to create a supportive and collaborative ethos for learning by providing conversational learning opportunities. Emphasis is placed on shared spoken learning opportunities to help children gain a coherent knowledge of understanding of each unit of work covered throughout the school. As Linguists, children will deepen their understanding of the French language. They will:
- Speak the French language with confidence, good intonation and pronunciation.
- Listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding.
- Explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
- Develop a strong awareness of the countries where French is spoken.
- Develop the ability to use language creatively spontaneously.
- Engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others.
- Speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures.
- Present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences, including peers and parents.
- Have fluency when reading, reading carefully and showing an understanding of words, phrases and simple writing.
- Appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes written in French.
- Have fluency and imagination in writing, writing phrases from memory, and adapting these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly.
- Understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including the feminine and masculine forms; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.