The introduction to the programmes of study for Languages in the National Curriculum states that “Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures’, a subject which should should “foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world.”
The aims of the curriculum include ensuring that pupils:
understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
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
can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
At All Saints’, the subject is taught through the medium of French and teaching provides an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and lays the foundations for further foreign language teaching at secondary school.
Through a range of topics, pupils learn to listen to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding, including songs, poems and conversation. They are encouraged to speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures. Developing accurate pronunciation and intonation is achieved through opportunities such as role-play, e.g. going shopping or presenting a weather forecast.
French is taught currently in Years 3 & 4 by the headteacher, Ms Wood, where, for some pupils, they get their first introduction to another language. Our Year 3 topics include: Greetings, Days of the Week and Months of the Year, Colours, Pets and developing understanding and knowledge about the culture of France. In Year 4, we consolidate learning from the previous year and introduce topics such as Weather, Food and Drink and Sports.
Year 6 teacher, Mr Sarker, a fluent French speaker teaches Years 5 and 6 where they are focusing on understanding and building essential skills (écouter, écrire, répéter, traduire) and moving towards a greater focus on writing. In grammar, they study nouns, pronouns and determiners to create sentences for speaking and listening, such as cette pomme est rouge, or la fille est riche. We will continue with conjugation (je mange, tu manges) and transfer skills from speaking to writing. In vocabulary we have consolidated the previous learning of numbers, days, months, colours, and some foods. We are focusing on vocabulary of sport (j'aime le cricket) and clothes (j'ai une chemise rouge).
Pupils are writing a personal essay over time. (Je m'appelle..., j'ai..., je suis... , j'aime bien...). And singing too! ‘Je suis content’ and ‘J'ai une maison’, by Anne Sylvèstre.
Another modern foreign language, Spanish, is offered to pupils as an after school club and an ancient language, Latin, to pupils in Years 5 and 6.