Modern Foreign Languages
At St Mary’s, we provide a high-quality modern foreign language education which gives children a broader perspective and deeper understanding of the wider world.
Throughout their journey of discovering language, our pupils develop communication skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing with the aim of making substantial progress in their understanding of the French language. Our curriculum provides classes with the opportunity to communicate for a range of purposes. They learn to understand and respond to both spoken language and are exposed to a variety of great literature – setting the foundations for a love of language and an interest in other cultures.
At St Mary’s, French is taught in classes by class teachers. Children are taught about French culture including festivals, traditions, history and places in France. This creative pedagogy means lessons are engaging and inspiring for the children.
French is taught in six-week topics. Each topic has a repeated structure, but also has the opportunity for child-led learning and questioning - ensuring lessons are inclusive and met the needs of all children. There are four areas of focus: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Children are introduced to new vocabulary each lesson and practise this through a listening and speaking activity, such as role-play or singing a song in French. Children then have the opportunity to play interactive games and quizzes to reinforce new and prior learning.
Children carry out their own research into French traditions, places in France and are taught how to use a French dictionary. At the end of each topic, the children receive literature in French incorporating all the words they have learnt – this becomes more challenging as they progress through the school. This literature comes in a variety of forms such as stories, instructions and recipes. Children are then able to translate these to English and complete quizzes.
In upper KS2 children, our pupils have the opportunity to go on a five-day residential trip to Normandy, France. The trip is specifically designed to give children an opportunity to experience the real history, culture and language for themselves. This includes local excursions and the opportunity to try traditional French foods alongside practicing the language skills they learnt throughout their journey at the school.
The creative topics and pedagogy of teaching French at St Mary’s promotes an inspiring and broad and balanced modern foreign languages curriculum. It allows the children to develop their key language learning skills, as set out by the national curriculum, as well as creating a love of languages and deeper respect for other cultures.
Children learn purposeful new vocabulary and grammar and are able to understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of French sources. Additionally, they learn to speak with increasing confidence, fluency and pronunciation.
The design of this curriculum, through a vocabulary-rich focus, sets children up for a future of learning further languages, studying or working abroad or joining international organisations.