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.
Our aims of teaching MFL are for children to:
• Foster an interest in learning another language.
• Become aware that language has a structure, and that this structure differs from one language to another.
• Develop speaking and listening skills.
• Gain enjoyment, pride and a sense of achievement.
• Explore and apply strategies to improve their learning.
• Explore their own cultural identities and those of others.
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. There are currently no formal summative assessments however, 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.