Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
At the Bedonwell Federation, we believe that learning a modern foreign language in Key Stage 2 is a necessary part of being a member of a multicultural society, providing learning opportunities to other cultures and helps foster children’s curiosity whilst developing their understanding of the world around them. The teaching should enable children to express their ideas and thoughts in another language, understanding and responding to speakers, both through speech and in writing. Our lessons provide opportunities for children to communicate for practical purposes, exposing them to French culture and conversational sentences. KS2 MFL encourages a strong foundation for learning further languages as children progress through education, equipping them with skills to study and work in other countries.
The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all 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
- discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied
At Bedonwell Junior School:
We have carefully considered chronology in our planning that builds progressively on pupils’ knowledge and skills from Year 3 to Year 6. We use the National Curriculum as a basis for our planning and personalise and extend it to suit our specific context.
Children have weekly lessons in French through KS2, using carefully selected resources and units of work from Language Angels, in addition to other resources chosen by the class teacher to aid lessons. In Lower KS2, children acquire basic skills and understanding of French with a strong emphasis placed on developing their Speaking and Listening skills. These will be embedded and further developed in Upper KS2, alongside Reading and Writing, gradually progressing onto more complex language concepts and greater learner autonomy.
Our intention is that by the time children leave Bedonwell, they will have a natural curiosity and confidence to explore French or other languages further. Children will be willing to develop understanding towards other countries and cultures, accepting that in a multilingual society, it is a valuable skill to be able to communicate effectively with others regardless of language spoken. This will prepare children to continue language learning at secondary school.
In line with the National Curriculum for Modern Foreign Languages, pupils at Bedonwell are taught to:
- Listen attentively to French and show understanding by joining in and responding
- Explore the patterns and sounds of the language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
- Engage in conversations, ask, and answer questions, express opinions and respond to others
- Write phrases from memory, express ideas clearly and adapt these to create new sentences
- Speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases, and basic language structure
- Use correct pronunciation and grammar
- Learn stories, songs, poems, and rhymes in French
- Describe people, places, things, and actions orally and in writing
- Express themselves clearly and with confidence
- Experience success and enjoyment
Across the Federation, it is important that knowledge progression is ensured, essential to develop linguistic skills and we make sure that this is through scheme progress plus regular vocabulary recall and opportunities to practise all speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Teachers follow a long term plan, which shows yearly coverage of knowledge and skills. This ensures that knowledge is built upon and extended year by year and that all staff have a good working knowledge of the French curriculum across the Junior School. As new vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation skills are introduced, pupils are given the opportunity to explore independently and develop their confidence. Through verbal feedback and group work, pupils then have the chance to refine and develop their linguistic skills in order to improve their learning.
Evidence of the subject is collected as follow:
Each pupil has a French book, which is passed up through year groups. At the start of each academic year, pupils are provided with a subject-specific cover sheet which details their upcoming learning. Worksheets, written work and photographic evidence will all be included to evidence the work they have completed for each unit. In addition, displays, school projects, pupil feedback and an annual French day all provide evidence that French is an enjoyable and well-received subject in our school!
Teachers formatively assess children’s learning in MFL through informal judgements and observations during lessons. On completion of any written work, the teacher marks the work and will make comments in accordance with the marking policy. Children will also complete half-termly assessments at the end of each learning unit, which will provide an opportunity for the teacher to summatively assess a child’s ability to read, write, speak and listen in French.
Teaching staff will also have the opportunity to liaise with the subject leader, participate in learning walks and take part in moderation to give the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand children’s ability levels.
Teachers will enjoy teaching French and will be confident in its delivery via the help of Language Angels. Via strong subject leadership, they will have a clear overview of skills/knowledge coverage with a clear picture of progression across the federation.