The national curriculum states that any modern or ancient language can be taught at primary school. Because the focus is on enabling a child to make substantial progress in one language, we have chosen to teach French throughout the school. Resources are plentiful, and it is the language children are most likely to encounter at KS3.
Years 1 & 2
Years 3,4,5 & 6
Learning a foreign language provides an opening to other cultures. Good teaching should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. It should enable pupils to express their ideas in another language and understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and writing. It should provide opportunities for them to enjoy books in another language, and to communicate for practical purposes. Most importantly, it should lay the foundations for study at KS3.
The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:
- understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of sources
- speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
- can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences
- discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied
Years 1 & 2
While a foreign language does not have to be taught at key stage 1, we find it beneficial to introduce French to children from Year 1 upwards.
This may be as simple as saying hello or answering the register in French, or may be extended to fit in with a current theme e.g. Y1 learned the names of some animals in French during their ‘Carnival of the Animals’ topic.
Years 3,4,5 & 6
The focus of study in a modern language is on practical communication.
Pupils should be taught to:
- listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in
- explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes
- engage in conversations, ask and answer questions, express opinions
- speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary and language structures
- develop accurate pronunciation so that others understand them
- present ideas and information orally
- read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
- appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language
- broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words, including through using a dictionary
- write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly
- describe people, places, things and actions
Some of the topics we have covered include:
Year 3: Greetings, names and ages, counting to 20, colours, animals, food, days of the week, months of the year
Year 4: More greetings, time, daily routines, health, counting to 30, hobbies, directions, Christmas
Year 5: Countries, where we live, numbers to 100, simple maths, money, café/shop role-play, school, clothes
Year 6: French culture, songs and poems, role-plays, power points, instruction texts, using a dictionary