At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, we believe that language learning is extremely important. Learning a foreign language allows a greater and broader perspective on those who inhabit the world. At St Joseph’s, we offer French lessons to those in Years Three to Six. We seek to empower our children with an ability to communicate with those who live beyond English-speaking territories. We also serve to provide an insight into another culture with its rich and diverse traditions.
Modern Foreign Languages is a popular subject at Primary level and we hope that the children’s initial studies at Primary level will enhance and prepare pupils for their studies of French at Secondary School level. They will build on the language that has been learned throughout Lower Key Stage Two and expand the range of French language that they can use. This involves learning grammatical structure and handling topics such as ‘Families’ and ‘Parts of the Body’.
St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School is very active in its work in embedding the teaching of inter-cultural understanding across the whole school curriculum. This can be seen through the very high quality work on display throughout school.
The school values the high quality international links that we have as a result of having pupils on roll from a number of other countries for whom English is an Additional Language. We work closely with our parents and community members for the benefit of mutual understanding of the benefits of multiple languages being used at home and in language lessons in school.
The four key language learning skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing will be taught and all necessary grammar will be covered in an age-appropriate way across the primary phase. This will enable pupils to use and apply their learning in a variety of contexts, laying down solid foundations for future language learning and also helping the children improve overall attainment in other subject areas. In addition, the children will be taught how to look up and research language they are unsure of and they will have a bank of reference materials to help them with their spoken and written tasks going forward. This bank of reference materials will develop into a reference library to help pupils recall and build on previous knowledge throughout their primary school language learning journey.
All KS2 classes will have access to a very high-quality foreign languages curriculum using the Language Angels scheme of work and resources. This will progressively develop pupil skills in foreign languages through regularly taught and well-planned weekly lessons.
Pupils will progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary, language skills and grammatical knowledge organised around age-appropriate topics and themes – building blocks of language into more complex, fluent and authentic language. All teachers will know where every child is at any point in their foreign language learning journey.
Lessons offering appropriate levels of challenge and stretch will be taught at all times to ensure pupils learn effectively, continuously building their knowledge of and enthusiasm for the language(s) they are learning. Early Language Units (entry level) and Core Vocabulary lessons are designed to run for approximately 30 minutes. Intermediate, Progressive and Creative Curriculum units are designed to run for approximately 45 minutes. Units, where possible and appropriate, will be linked to class topics and cross curricular themes. Children will build on previous knowledge gradually as their foreign language lessons continue to recycle, revise and consolidate previously learnt language whilst building on all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Knowledge and awareness of required and appropriate grammar concepts will be taught throughout all units at all levels of challenge.
Teachers are provided with a Progression Map and Grammar Grid to ensure all children are progressing their foreign language learning skills and are taught the appropriate grammar at the right time in their foreign language learning journey.
Units are progressive within themselves as subsequent lessons within a unit build on the language and knowledge taught in previous lessons. As pupils progress though the lessons in a unit they will build their knowledge and develop the complexity of the language they use. We think of the progression within the 6 lessons in a unit as ‘language Lego’. The scheme provides blocks of language knowledge and, over the course of a 6-week unit, encourage pupils to build more complex and sophisticated language structures with their blocks of language knowledge.
Our MFL curriculum is fun and enjoyed by learners, well-resourced and planned to demonstrate progression through Key Stage 2. Through the use of planning supported by the Language Angels scheme we aim to ensure that eventually children are accessing work at age related expectations. They will be able to recognise and apply key vocabulary within conversations and will be challenged in a range of speaking and listening, reading and writing activities.
Early Learning units will start at basic noun and article level and will teach pupils how to formulate short phrases. By the time pupils reach Progressive units they will be exposed to much longer text and will be encouraged to formulate their own, more personalised responses based on a much wider bank of vocabulary, linguistic structures and grammatical knowledge. Pupils will continuously build on their previous knowledge as they progress in their foreign language journey through the primary phase. Previous language will be recycled, revised, recalled and consolidated whenever possible and appropriate.