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Look at the amazing things going on in MFL at St Paulinus

Curriculum Intent:

How do we intend to achieve our curriculum vision in MFL lessons?

European Language Day

On the 26th of September, we celebrated European language day as a whole school. Each year group chose a different country and everyone wore the colours for their chosen country. Children went to four different classes and took part in activities about different countries. Children also visited our hall where there was lots of different food from around Europe for them to try. Here are some photos from the day.

Learning a foreign language is a necessary part of being a member of a multi-cultural society and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster children’s curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable children to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping children to study and work in other countries.

At St Paulinus we follow the national Curriculum, which clearly identifies the aims for Modern Foreign Languages as:

  1. understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
  2. speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
  3. can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
  4. Discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.

At St Paulinus Primary School:

Children in key stage 1 and Early Years are exposed to different cultures and languages from a young age, although they are not formally taught a specific language we celebrate other cultures and languages that we have in school and beyond.  The children enjoy taking part in multicultural week and in the Languages super learning day.

Children have weekly lessons in French throughout Key Stage 2, using A bespoke scheme of work inspired by the QCA  in addition to other resources.  Areas covered include: numbers, colours, house and home, in town, food and drink, the classroom, clothes and hobbies.

The programme of study for each year group builds upon previous knowledge year on year and through the academic year. It is organised in such a way that the children revisit and revise key language as they go through the school allowing them to gain confidence.

It is intended that when children leave St Paulinus Primary, they will have a natural curiosity and confidence to explore other countries, cultures and languages, accepting that, in a multi-lingual society it is a valuable skill to be able to communicate effectively with others in another language.  They will be engaged and prepared to continue language learning at High School.

The curriculum in taught to all pupils and relevant and appropriate methods such as differentiation, shorter lessons or supportive resources is given to pupils who may need it, including those with Special Educational Needs.

French lessons aim to meet the 5 school goals in the way it is presented and taught.

Curriculum Implementation:

What does MFL teaching look like?

French allows the children to learn in a fun and creative manner, which may not always be possible in other subjects.  We aim to equip children with a wide vocabulary and an understanding of grammar (a cross curricular benefit) and we do this in a number of ways. Developing the ability to dissect the spoken and written word into its component parts is a valid and rewarding skill to learn at any age.

Reading and writing skills are reinforced by the development of Oracy, which gives a practical application to skills learnt. The practical element can be introduced into learning with the use of games, songs, role play and the dramatization of common folk stories familiar to children across Europe, for example, we learn in:

  • Year 3: Simple structures, questions/answers about self, family, animals, food. Children join in with singing traditional French songs. Cultural awareness ( French festivals).
  • Year 4: Grammar points (female/male, pronouns, position of adjectives and agreement, Conjugation of regular and irregular verbs, connectives, adverbs…). Reading comprehension with the help of some fairy tales, “le petit chaperon rouge”, “les trois petits cochons” et “Boucle d’or et les trois ours”.
  • Year5/6: Complex sentences, independent writing. Our projects: “en ville”, children produced a leaflet describing their town. “La mode à la française”, children performed a fashion show describing each other. “En voyage”, children wrote a postcard describing their holidays

A visual element is introduced into learning French with the use of Flashcards, interactive websites and DVD, which fall in line with the framework guidelines (we use a range of resources including – Tout le monde, Linguascope and Early start). Children can sing along and watch stories unaware that they are still engaged in a learning process.

The structure of French lessons follows the following pattern:

  • Revisit/ revise (fun game or activity to practice already acquired knowledge)
  • Introduce new learning or consolidate past learning if needed (modelled learning by the teacher, new vocabulary, could include a video etc)
  • Talk tasks – developing oracy (this could be games)
  • Develop learning – applying oracy skills to written work or reading as appropriate or furthering oracy skill e.g. adding adjectives etc.
  • Independent task – children apply their learning in an activity (this can be recorded in many ways e.g. written, photos, matching activity, group activity)
  • Plenary – review of what we have learnt today.

Teaching focuses on key elements in order to support children in their progress – modelling (both orally and written) repetition in single lessons and across lessons (both orally and written), applying language in a range of situations, effective questioning, clear build-up of knowledge over time.  At St Paulinus, we employ a specialist French teacher to deliver French lessons in order to demonstrate correct pronunciation and to impart strong specialist knowledge in preparation for High School.

Children are formally assessed every half term using both formative and summative assessments as appropriate. Children become rapidly more capable French speakers as they grow older as lessons emphasize on pronunciation and accent. The children’s writing skills improve progressively throughout the years which can be clearly seen in the children’s exercise books.

Work in subject lessons is also supplemented by a Super-learning day every year where children learn about different languages and cultures in fun and active ways.  The children also celebrate the languages we speak in school and thoroughly enjoy interfaith and multicultural week.

Curriculum impact:

What do our outcomes in MFL look like? How successful is our MFL teaching?:

You can see some of the impact of our curriculum in the work at the top of the page.  Below you will find some data from last year and this year so you can see how our children are getting on in their French learning, we also have some quotes from children when asked about their French lessons.