Through our ongoing teaching and learning experiences, we aim to provide a broad, balanced French curriculum which is relevant to and widens the experiences of our children. Our vision is that this will not only provide the foundations for acquiring further language skills in KS3, but will ensure their readiness for the challenges they will face in the future and develop and inspire a love of knowledge, learning and life. Our children will use their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills to engage and communicate in French, and we hope this will equip them for any future work or travel in a French speaking country.
The National Curriculum for languages aims for all pupils to:
● 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.
Within the National Curriculum, the teaching of modern foreign languages, including French, is non-statutory for Key Stage 1. However, here at Mosaic Federation we believe that if children are exposed to a language, specifically French, from an early age, this will help shape and mould their brain into one of a ‘language learner’ for life. We believe if a child has the opportunity to access both another language and culture during their first few years of education, it will play a significant role in equipping them for future study.
In Early Years and Key Stage 1, some skills they may develop are to:
● know where France is located.
● be able to greet others in French.
● understand and respond to classroom commands.
● know the French vocabulary for classroom objects.
● be able to tell others their age
● tell others where they live.
● be able to ask and answer questions about the weather.
In Key Stage 2, pupils are formally taught to:
● listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding ● explore the patterns and sounds of 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 those of others; seek clarification and help
● speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures
● develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases
● present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences
● 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 that are introduced into familiar written material, 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 orally and in writing
● understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including: feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.
As a result of our carefully mapped out French progression document, staff working in the Mosaic Federation are able to carefully plan well sequenced and level-appropriate lessons to teach. Through the use of summative assessment in the form of an attainment grid, in addition to ongoing formative assessment in both lessons and assemblies, teachers are able to assess children’s knowledge and skills regularly. Their French knowledge is frequently revisited in assemblies and through the use of the French Passport document. Mosaic Federation French Leads monitor the impact termly in the form of lesson observations and work and planning scrutinies.
As well as assessing the skills, knowledge and understanding that children have developed in the subject, we also consider their level of enjoyment and engagement. This enables us to identify the children who are gifted and talented in the study of French, and for whom French may become more than a subject, but a passion in life. We endeavour to provide guidance and further opportunities to explore their talents and interest in this subject with extracurricular activities, such as clubs and trips, community events such as Culture Week and we hope to provide greater access to native speakers.