Modern Foreign Language at SS. Mary and John’s Catholic Primary Academy

As a richly diverse school community, many children, families and staff are fluent in a wide range of languages. We value the gifts and abilities of all and we believe that language learning is about more than mastering a single language. It is about mastering the skills for language acquisition, which can then be transferred to other languages in the future.

It is also, and crucially, about developing the cultural awareness that opens the way for a more sophisticated understanding of other ways of doing things. This, in itself, is a vital transferable skill.

Learning a language enriches the curriculum, providing excitement, enjoyment and challenge for children and teachers, helping to create enthusiastic learners and to develop positive attitudes to language learning throughout life. The natural links between languages and other areas of the curriculum can enhance the overall teaching and learning experience. The skills, knowledge and understanding gained make a major contribution to the development of children’s oracy and literacy and to their understanding of their own culture/s and those of others. Language also lies at the heart of ideas about individual identity and community, and learning another language can do a great deal to shape children’s ideas in this critical area as well as giving them a new perspective on their own language.

Intent

Our aims of teaching MFL are for children to:

  • foster an interest in learning another language,
  • understand the purpose of learning other languages,
  • appreciate that language learning can benefit them in later life in terms of work opportunities and social activity,
  • appreciate that language learning can help them to become a global citizen and to contribute in a positive way to modern life and our economy,
  • gain enjoyment, pride and a sense of achievement from learning other languages,
  • be equipped with the foundations of learning a language so that they are ready for Secondary School,
  • have access to fun, creative learning experiences,
  • have exposure to authentic material, including menus, holiday brochures, video clips
  • foster transferable knowledge, skills and attributes, including strategies for remembering language, resilience and problem-solving whereby children are encouraged to work out language and grammar rules for themselves,
  • develop their cultural awareness, whilst recognising and valuing similarities with, and differences between, other cultures and languages,
  • have access to cross-curricular learning opportunities, where possible and appropriate (Art, Maths, English),
  • develop accuracy/competence/fluency in English as well as French,
  • be given the opportunity to develop all four MFL skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening,
  • are provided with lesson content that is accessible to all learners, regardless of background and status.

Implementation

Our chosen language for KS2 is French, based on the knowledge and capabilities of current staff and the availability of quality resources. The lessons are delivered by the class teacher each week in a lesson of no less than 30 minutes. During the week, the teacher revises and consolidates the language that has been previously learned in short bursts of 5-10 minute sessions, such as answering the register in French and singing songs in French. In this way, the children are given plenty of opportunities to re-learn, re-visit and rehearse the target language.

At S.S. Mary and John’s, we have our own scheme of work, which draws upon quality resources for the teaching and learning of purposeful conversational French language: it ensures that our children our provided with a complete language learning experience in which they are be able to listen to, speak, read and write in French. We also include the teaching and learning of phonics in our scheme of work so that our children are able to transfer their skills independently, applying their phonic knowledge to read and pronounce new words themselves.

We have pupil language ambassadors who are able to converse in different languages and offer support and assistance to other pupils in their first language.

Impact

We evaluate the impact of our provision through monitoring the progress children in Key Stage 2 make in the development of skills, knowledge and understanding of the key aspects of the curriculum. We map progress in the acquisition, use and understanding of spoken and written French.