As directed in the 2014 National Curriculum, all children in KS2 are taught a Modern Foreign Language - at Westhouses we focus on French. When children enter Year 3, we begin this journey, focusing on the basic conversational skills, building on this and applying this knowledge as they travel through school. We strive to ensure that our languages teaching provides children with firm foundations which enables them to succeed in the future, and make a seamless transition to secondary school, where they continue to either study French, or begin learning an alternative language.
French at Westhouses offers a carefully planned sequence of lessons, ensuring progressive coverage of the skills required by the national curriculum. Through our teaching, we provide an introduction to the culture of French-speaking countries and communities. It aims to foster children’s curiosity and help deepen their understanding of the world. A linear curriculum has been chosen to allow opportunity for children to gradually build on their skills. French enables children to express their ideas and thoughts in French and provides opportunities to interact and communicate with others both in speech and in writing. At the heart of our curriculum, based upon the Kapow Scheme of Learning, is the desire to expose children to authentic French, so the scheme offers regular opportunities to listen to native speakers.
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, as well as offering opportunities to apply key knowledge from previous learning.
Lessons are sequenced so that prior learning is considered and opportunities for revision of language and grammar are built in (these are referred to as Sticky Learning Tasks).
The Kapow French scheme of work is designed with six strands that run throughout. These are:
• Speaking and pronunciation
• Reading and writing
• Intercultural understanding
• Language detective skills
Through Kapow Primary’s French scheme, pupils are given opportunities to communicate for practical purposes around familiar subjects and routines. The scheme provides balanced opportunities for communication in both spoken and written French, although in Year 3/4 the focus is on developing oral skills, before incorporating written French in Year 5/6 and beyond.
The Kapow Primary scheme is a spiral curriculum, with key skills and vocabulary revisited repeatedly with increasing complexity, allowing pupils to revise and build on their previous learning. Cross-curricular links are included throughout our French units, allowing children to make connections and apply their language skills to other areas of their learning.
Lessons incorporate a range of teaching strategies from independent tasks, paired and group work including role-play, language games and language detective work. Our scheme of work focuses on developing what we term ‘language detective skills’ and developing an understanding of French grammar, rather than on committing to memory vast amounts of French vocabulary. Differentiated guidance is available for every lesson to ensure that lessons can be accessed and enjoyed by all. In order to help pupils, retain their French learning, suggestions are provided about how to incorporate French into the classroom environment every day in our ‘During the week’ sections.
Pupils' learning is evidenced through the use of the class floor book. This book will have examples of ley vocabulary and grammatical structures, which will be a key resource to support children when reviewing previously learnt concepts. These books may include images, key vocabulary, scripts and QR codes which link to pupils practising speaking in French. Additional work may be saved onto individual pupil SeeSaw accounts.
Strong subject knowledge is vital for staff to be able to deliver a highly effective languages curriculum. Each unit of lessons includes multiple teacher videos to develop subject knowledge and support ongoing CPD. Lessons include a section entitled, 'Teacher knowledge - language points' to explain key grammar and other details to the teacher before the lesson, together with a Key vocabulary and pronunciation presentation with sound files to demonstrate the correct pronunciation. Many of the other presentations included in the lessons also include sound files, supporting teachers who are less confident with their own pronunciation to deliver the lesson and support the children's learning.
The learning environment will be consistent with key French vocabulary displayed, spoken and used by all learners. We want to ensure that French is loved by teachers and pupils across school, therefore encouraging them to embark on further language studies.
Additional information about the long term plan for French at Westhouses Primary School can be accessed using the links at the bottom of this page.
Impact can also be measured through key questioning skills built into lessons, child-led assessment such as using our success criteria, retention of knowledge which is identified through our Sticky Learning activities and summative assessments aimed at targeting next steps in learning. By the end of their time at Westhouses Primary School, children should be able to:
Be able to engage in purposeful dialogue in practical situations (e.g., ordering in a cafe, following directions) and express an opinion.
Make increasingly accurate attempts to read unfamiliar words, phrases, and short texts.
Speak and read aloud with confidence and accuracy in pronunciation.
Demonstrate understanding of spoken language by listening and responding appropriately.
Use a bilingual dictionary to support their language learning.
Be able to identify word classes in a sentence and apply grammatical rules they have learnt.
Have developed an awareness of cognates and near-cognates and be able to use them to tackle unfamiliar words in French, English, and other languages.
Be able to construct short texts on familiar topics.
Meet the end of Key Stage 2 stage expectations outlined in the national curriculum for Languages.
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