MFL - French

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Intent - What do we want for our developing linguists?

At Horn’s Mill, our aim is to foster a love of languages; a curiosity about how languages works; the skills for practical communication and a sense of exploration and enquiry about other cultures. Learning a language provides a cultural experience for our children, which allows them to deepen their understanding of the world. We develop and extend children’s knowledge of how languages work, providing them with tools that enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond, both in speech and in writing. This enables pupils to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings using their knowledge of phonology, grammatical structures and vocabulary.

Across the school, we primarily teach French, as this is the most common language studied at our feeder high school, however we also encourage wider opportunities for other language learning and the celebration of other cultures around the world.

At Horn’s Mill, we lay the foundations for future learning and begin this when children join us in the Early Years. Throughout EY and KS1, our developing linguists learn that different languages are spoken around the world and are introduced to basic phrases that they then build upon throughout KS2. Children leave Horn’s Mill as confident and enthusiastic linguists, equipped to broaden their understanding of the world and ready for their future learning in high school.    

Implementation - How is the curriculum delivered?

The languages curriculum at Horn’s Mill has been designed to progressively develop language over time and prepare children for future language learning. Lessons ensure children acquire a bank of knowledge, vocabulary and skills as they build on previous units already studied and teaching is designed to help learners remember the long-term content and integrate new knowledge. Details of French Learning covered in each year group can be found in French curriculum document below.

Children develop a love for language learning and knowledge from early years. The learning of French, in Early Years and Key Stage 1, where children are introduced to Modern Foreign Languages through the use of classroom routines and are given opportunities to hear and speak French through stories, games and songs regularly.

All children in Key Stage 2 are taught French in a weekly lesson. Lesson plans ensure progression in language learning across the four modalities (reading, speaking, listening and writing). Learning across KS2 incorporates vocabulary, grammar and phonics knowledge.

Children are encouraged and supported to develop their speaking and listening skills through conversational work, singing activities and games. They learn to speak with increasing fluency, spontaneity and find ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions. As confidence and skills grow, children record their work through pictures, captions and sentences.

Curriculum Enrichment

Languages open a door through which to explore other cultures and we felt that, in addition to teaching the National curriculum objectives, this should be integral to our curriculum. Our developing linguists begin to build cultural capital through learning about festivals and traditions of France and Francophone countries. For example, in Team 2, we learn about French Easter traditions, and in Team 3, we learn about Christmas foods in France and sing French Christmas carols. In Team 4, we apply our knowledge of numbers to learn how currency differs in Europe to the UK. In each instance, children are given the opportunity to have hands on experiences to help make the learning memorable.

Every year, we also celebrate the European Day of Languages with dramatised storytelling sessions in Key Stage 1 by our specialist languages teacher and a carousel of language taster sessions in Key Stage 2. In order to reflect and celebrate the wide diversity of languages around the world, we vary the languages that we offer on this day each year; they have included BSL, Spanish, Welsh, Italian, Mandarin, Romanian.

Impact - How do we know our languages curriculum is effective?

Our inclusive ethos and approach to creating our curriculum offer means that we have thought about how children can demonstrate their learning in a way that is accessible for all. Pupil Voice is one of the ways that we ensure learning is sticking and that the curriculum is achieving our aims.  We believe that if children have become skilful and knowledgeable linguists, they will be able to engage in interactions in the foreign language and articulate their understanding of the grammar and phonics taught. Pupil Voice is an important tool in assessing whether children have made progress.

Children present their understanding of language learning in various ways, taking into account the four modalities of language; speaking, listening, reading and writing. They demonstrate that they have acheived our identified end points within their language learning through speaking and listening, written outcomes, presentations and performing songs and rhymes. Throughout their learning, opportunities are planned in for children to show their understanding of what has been taught.  Children have Learning Journeys which show their individual progress throughout the curriculum. Displays are created around school to celebrate learning which has taken place, and to also provide opportunities for children to recall and discuss this learning.

If you have any further enquiries relating to the languages curriculum, please email Mrs Georgie Hulse on