Our Curriculum Intent for French
At Avening Primary School, we believe that the learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils. It helps them to develop communication skills including key skills of speaking and listening and extends their knowledge of how language works. Learning another language gives children a new perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures and those of others.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela
‘Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.’(National Curriculum in England, September 2013)
Our overarching aim for teaching French is to develop the confidence and competence of each child in the language. Our goal is for them to be passionate, curious and confident about their own foreign language learning abilities when they finish the primary school phase of their education. We will extend their knowledge of how language works and explore the similarities and differences between French and English. We will also help strengthen their sense of identity through learning about culture in other countries and comparing it with their own. The four key language learning skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing will be taught and basic grammar will be covered in an age-appropriate way across Key Stage 2.
In line with the National Curriculum, we aim to ensure that all children:
- 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.
The French curriculum at Avening Primary School is built around the statutory content of the 2014 National Curriculum. French is a foundation subject; the National Curriculum outlines the knowledge and skills that pupils should be taught. It states that languages teaching should enable pupils to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing, focused on familiar and routine matters, using their knowledge of phonology, grammatical structures and vocabulary. The focus of study in modern languages will be on practical communication.
Pupils should be 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
- 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
- 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 and masculine 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.
At Avening Primary School we use the Language Angels scheme of work, planning and resources to ensure we offer a relevant, broad, progressive, vibrant and ambitious foreign languages curriculum that will inspire and excite our pupils using a wide variety of topics and themes.
An overview of units taught is below:
The Savage Stone Age:
Les jours et les mois
Phonetics 1 and 2
At the Café
Tour de France:
J’apprends le francais
Phonetics 3 and 4
Little Red Riding Hood
Rivers and Mountains:
What is the date?
We are the Future:
Verbs and grammar
Units increase in level of challenge, stretch, and linguistic and grammatical complexity as children move from Years 3 and 4 to Years 5 and 6. Activities contain progressively more text (both in English and the foreign language being studied) and lessons will have more content as the children become more confident and ambitious.
In Years 3 and 4, the children will start at basic noun and article level and will teach pupils how to formulate short phrases. By the time pupils reach Years 5 and 6, they will be exposed to longer text and will be encouraged to formulate their own, more personalised responses based on a wider bank of vocabulary, linguistic structures and grammatical knowledge. They will be able to create longer pieces of spoken and written language and are encouraged to use a variety of conjunctions, adverbs, adjectives, opinions and justifications. They will continuously build on their previous knowledge as they progress in their foreign language learning journey through the primary phase. Previous language will be recycled, revised, recalled and consolidated whenever possible and appropriate.