The Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) curriculum at Burghfield St Mary’s is designed as part of a broad and balanced education which meets the needs of all children. A high quality languages education should foster children’s curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. At Burghfield St Mary’s we believe that experience of another language enables children to interpret, create and exchange meaning within and across cultures. We recognise that the skills, knowledge, and understanding gained through language learning enrich teaching and learning throughout the whole curriculum. The emphasis on language as a means of communication underpins children’s capabilities in oracy, which is critical to effective communication of ideas across a range of subjects, as well as being a key foundation for literacy. The teaching of French in KS2 provides an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and lays the foundations for further foreign language teaching at KS3.
French lessons are taught weekly in KS2 and develop skills in the four core areas of speaking, listening, reading and writing. All classes will have access to a high-quality foreign languages curriculum using the Language Angels scheme of work and resources. This will progressively develop pupil skills in foreign languages through the lessons taught. Children will acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary, language skills and grammatical knowledge organised around age-appropriate topics and themes. The units taught at each stage of the academic year will be reviewed in detail annually as units are updated and added to the Language Angels scheme. Many of these units also allow for cross curricular linguistic and cultural links to subjects such as PSHE, RE or topic work.
Lessons offering appropriate levels of challenge and stretch will be taught at all times to ensure pupils learn effectively, continuously building their knowledge of and enthusiasm for the language they are learning. The planning of different levels of challenge is demonstrated in the various Language Angels ‘Teaching Type’ categories:
- Early Language units are entry level units and are most appropriate for pupils with little or no previous foreign language learning.
- Intermediate units increase the level of challenge by increasing the amount and complexity (including foreign language grammar concepts) of the foreign language presented to pupils. Intermediate units are suitable for pupils with embedded basic knowledge of the foreign language.
- Progressive and Creative Curriculum units are the most challenging units and are suitable for pupils with a good understanding of the basics of the language they are learning.
Grouping units into these ‘Teaching Type’ categories ensures that the language taught is appropriate to the level of the class and introduced when the children are ready. Grammar is integrated and taught discreetly throughout all appropriate units. Formative assessment in each lesson forms the basis of teacher judgements against the relevant KS2 attainment targets but is also enriched by numerous opportunities for peer- and self-assessment. Evidence of attainment in listening, reading and writing is gathered in each child’s languages folder.
Our MFL curriculum ensures that language learning is accessible and enjoyable for all children. Learning a language enriches the curriculum, providing excitement and interest for children and teachers, helping to create enthusiastic learners and to develop positive attitudes to language learning throughout life. In lessons, children approach a broad range of learning activities in a new and challenging context; gaining pride and a sense of achievement, developing confidence and self-esteem. Children become effective communicators who develop an appreciation of language as a tool to convey meaning. Learning a foreign language acts as a stimulus for children to investigate questions of identity and community, as well as giving them a new perspective on their own language(s). Children’s enthusiasm for language learning also celebrates the range of home languages spoken by families of the school community.