“To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world” – Chinese Proverb
MFL education helps pupils to develop the self-confidence, skills and cultural capital they need to take place in a global society and succeed in life. MFL provides opportunities for pupils to explore and celebrate language and cultures together as a school, as well as the freedom to perform before an audience. This helps to nurture pupils’ self-esteem and develops their inter-personal skills.
Although MFL is not a compulsory requirement of the curriculum at Key Stage 1, it provides opportunities for younger children to use and build on their first language and provides a platform for children to use talk to develop social and linguistic skills whilst promoting cooperative learning. For this reason Redby Academy begin to introduce the concept of MFL as early as EYFS, employing some simple elements of a CLIL approach in order that learners become accustomed to the presence of additional language in their environment, preparing them for more structured, grammar based learning later. At Redby we aim to use MFL learning as a liberation from insularity and provision of an opening to other cultures. The National Curriculum states: ‘A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching…should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.’
The intention of the French curriculum at Redby Academy is that children are taught to develop an interest in beginning to learn another language in an enjoyable and stimulating way. We strive to raise their awareness of other countries and cultures through our curriculum. With a progressive approach to language skills, vocabulary and grammar explored through rhyme, song and everyday conversation, we strive to embed the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing necessary to enable children to use and apply their learning, and begin to lay the foundations for future language learning.
The children will learn about cultures and countries other than their own, helping to broaden their outlook upon life whilst developing an understanding of linguistic diversity and the wider world, including how this may influence their future career and maximise their life choices.
French learning begins informally throughout EYFS and KS1, via written language in the environment, and spoken greetings and counting to prepare children for more formal learning later.
A typical KS2 French lesson will begin with a recap of prior learning in order to embed what has gone before. New vocabulary will then be introduced in an engaging way, using books, nursery rhymes or songs, along with appropriate accompanying grammar rules. Children are encouraged to practise their speaking and listening skills in a ‘safe’ environment via practical activities, and when they are ready, record their learning using pictures, captions and sentences. Learning is reinforced via displays around school and, where possible, instructions are given in French, employing elements of a CLIL approach to expose the children to the everyday use of the language. Year 6 involves repeated practise and application of already learned language and skills in a variety of contexts, allowing for a greater depth of understanding.
A progressive skills based assessment is employed as we strive for age related attainment for all pupils regardless of their starting point or socio-economic background, with regular opportunities for pupils to be challenged to demonstrate a higher level or deeper understanding of the language.
Substantive knowledge – The teaching and learning of MFL is heavily reliant upon substantive knowledge, that is, the acquisition of fact based knowledge in relation to the studied language, i.e. the translation of specific words/phrases and their meaning.
Pupils begin to develop an understanding of a language in addition to English. They demonstrate that they have begun to acquire vocabulary and grammar to enable them to communicate with other speakers of French. Their written work demonstrates that they have had the opportunity to practise and refine their learned skills in a variety of ways. The progression map ensures that children’s learning is cumulative, which results in them knowing and remembering more. By the end of Key Stage 2, children will have the confidence to enable them to listen attentively and respond in conversation, ask and answer simple questions, speak in sentences using developing pronunciation, read and write with understanding and use a dictionary to enable them to widen their own vocabulary, preparing them to extend their learning into KS3 and beyond.
Curriculum Plans & Policies
We aim to create a learning environment that is inclusive and accessible for all pupils. Lessons will be taught in a way that is educational, sensitive yet enjoyable and teachers will remain inclusive and meet the needs all children. This is achieved by creating a space that feels safe and will encourage all children to explore their emotions and ask questions through carefully and appropriately planned lessons.
Additional Web Links