At Barley Lane Primary School, we believe that the learning of a foreign language in primary school provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for all pupils. French is our chosen language. We have selected French as traditionally it has been the MFL language of choice across the local authority, and it is a language which many of our EAL pupils across a range of ethnicities and backgrounds are familiar with.
Pupils develop communication and literacy skills that lay the foundation for future language learning. They develop linguistic competence, extend their knowledge of how language works and explore differences and similarities between the foreign language and English. Learning another language raises awareness of the multilingual and multi-cultural world and introduces an international dimension to pupils’ learning, giving them an insight into their own culture and those of others. The learning of a foreign language provides a medium for cross-curricular links and for the reinforcement of knowledge, skills and understanding developed in other subjects.
Learning French offers the children the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, by developing a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them with a better awareness of themselves, others and cultural differences. Increased capability in the use of languages promotes initiative and independent learning and encourages diversity within society.
We aspire to expose our pupils to a broad and ambitious Modern Languages curriculum, which is rich in skills and knowledge, develops self-efficacy, kindles curiosity and promotes diversity and tolerance of other cultures. Our MFL curriculum will give pupils the opportunity to:
- use language skills, receptively and productively, for communication in the real world, for practical purposes, for their immediate needs, interests and beyond and to express and justify opinions;
- develop their confidence and autonomy to access new and unfamiliar language using decoding skills brought about by the explicit teaching of phonics and sound patterns;
- work towards becoming a fluent and spontaneous speaker of the foreign language.
We believe that chilrren benefit from learning a foreign language from an early age; the earlier a child is exposed to the language, the easier and faster it is to achieve. Furthermore, the children also acquire awareness of other cultures, improved listening and reading skills, memorisation techniques and an increased confidence in oral communication and enjoyment. Skills for life, that children will use to succeed far beyond the classroom. We believe that our diverse, multicultural local community gives us strength and we have a part to play in the wider world
We have a specialist French teacher at Barley Lane Primary School, who teaches French in all classes from Year 2 to Year 6. This take place during PPA time. We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our MFL lessons. Our principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills, and understanding. Children have the opportunity to support their work with a variety of resources. We aim for a balance of whole class, group and independent learning. Wherever possible we encourage children to use and apply their learning in other areas of the curriculum; ICT, PE and Music, for example, are particularly appropriate for cross-curricular teaching. In all classes, children have a wide range of abilities, and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child.
MFL is a highly inclusive subject, however, and despite our principal aim of developing children’s knowledge, skills, and understanding, the initial focus will be on enjoyment. At our school, we teach MFL to all KS2 children (and currently to Year 2), whatever their ability and individual needs. MFL forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all children. Through our MFL teaching, we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make good progress. We strive hard to meet the needs of those pupils with special educational needs, those with disabilities, those with special gifts and talents, and those learning English as an additional language (EAL), and we take all reasonable steps to achieve this.
Our medium-term plans, give details of the main teaching objectives for each term. These plans define what we teach, and ensure an appropriate balance and distribution of work across each term.
We use on-going formative processes to assess the children’s progress in this subject. We use end of unit summative assessments to monitor the pupils progress. Older children are encouraged to make judgements about how they can improve their own and each other’s work. A brief comment about the children’s learning in French is included in their annual reports to parents.