Modern Foreign Language is taught across Year3-6 (KS2) in a discrete weekly lesson through French. The French skills and knowledge objectives taught are based on the National Curriculum, delivered through the ‘Rigolo’ scheme of work with additions and adaptations made to meet the needs of the children and to enable cross curricular learning as and when it is appropriate. For example, a project based on life, history and culture in in Mexico lent itself well to children exploring basic Spanish.
Lessons are structured with each year group building on their learning from the previous year with Y3 as the initial year of languages. The progression of skills is provisioned within the scheme, however staff are also aware of the progression breakdown for each objective within the 4 years of language learning. An example of this is adjectival vocabulary, such as colours, which is built up incrementally over time. This teaching strategy builds on small foundations of language which can be used to greater effect in longer pieces of writing. There is a strong sense of repetition within lessons, enabling the less confident leaners amble opportunity to listen to spoken language with lots whole class and individual responses. Native speaker resources are also used to ensure developing accurate pronunciation and intonation. Children have the opportunity to read the language in every lesson as all of the video resources have captions. Early reading strategies, such as looking for a familiar root word, using picture cues etc are employed to support the children to begin to decode and understand familiar and unfamiliar words.
There is a steady focus on reading, writing, speaking and listening within each lesson across all years, with speaking and writing both being taught and applied in the first years of language, where writing is often underdeveloped. Writing is progressive with labels and short closed procedures in Y3 developing into less structured sentence construction in the latter years.
By the end of Y6, most children are able to write independently, using vocabulary from the previous years. They are familiar with a range of contexts in France, i.e. shops, meeting people. Because the language repeats and builds on prior learning i.e. greetings as a unit is taught in Rigolo1 and Rigolo2, children are able retain knowledge over the long term.
As part of our commitment to share and support other cultures around the world, we are a committed member of the BEFSA charity organisation, supporting staff from St Marys and from South Africa to visit and develop teaching across schools. Children have the opportunity to meet teachers from different cultures and experience their different language. Due to the linguistic diversity of the pupils and families within the St Marys’ community, many children are already experts in dual languages. To deepen and embed our children’s broad understanding of the world, we aim to utilise their linguistic skills through encouraging parents into classrooms to share their home languages with all students.