Remembrance: Years 3 and 4 made 'bleuets', talking about how cornflowers, like poppies, continued to grow in land devastated by wartime shelling. These flowers were often the only visible evidence of life, and the only colour in the muddy trenches. We cut out photos for our display, to honour those who gave their efforts and their lives.
Years 5 and 6 have been talking about l'Armistice and the way this date is honoured in France. We read the prayer of St Francis in English and French and made posters with messages of peace. The children were very good at working out which French words corresponded to the English version of the prayer and making sentences for their posters using the vocabulary they know in French. One of the most touching things about the session was how often the children said and also wrote on their posters 'j'adore ma famille' (I really love my family) or 'j'aime ma mère/mon père' (I love my mum/dad) etc. It seemed a simple and beautiful reminder of how closely connected the love we give our children as families and their understanding of peace actually are.
The class have made a brilliant start to language learning! We have met Michel the bear and he has helped us learn how to introduce ourselves in French and ask someone their name
Pupils: have a look at this You Tube clip to find out the cat's name!
Parents: you may like to have a look at these phrases with your son/daughter
Teachers: we play a version of activity 2.3 from this Linguasign resource sheet
One of the hardest things to do when you only have one languages lesson a week is to remember the words! The National Curriculum requires progression, so remember them we must! Year 4 have done an amazing job of revising key phrases from Year 3, (greetings) using picture prompts and testing each other to check on progress. Some of us have even learnt to spell all the phrases, including accents! We have used our CGP books to help us
Pupils: Does this clip help you learn/remember some of our words and phrases? Why/why not?
Parents: It might help your son/daughter to listen to these words/phrases and come up with a picture, gesture or other prompt to help remember them
Teachers: this has been a good opportunity to think about individual learning styles and peer assessment. Pupils have enjoyed testing each other on the words and phrases, advising on effective ways to learn and trying to improve on their scores. Further information on Assessment for Learning can be found here
We had loads of fun today trying out different ways to learn words - actions, air-writing, splitting words into sounds, making up rhymes, clapping the rhythm, drawing pictures ... we played in groups and whoever's turn it was threw a die to choose the action for the group. Pictures below ;D
Well the first lessons of term were all about preparations for our trip to France, with a look at the area the school was in (Hauts-de-France), the timetable for the day, a video clip the French school sent us of them singing Chez Mama Africa and learning how to buy an ice cream.
We went to St Omer on Friday 21st September and had a totally fantastic time! There are some photos of our trip below, along with some feedback on what we thought.
Pupils: You were amazing! What were your best moments and what would you change for next time?
Parents: Thank you for supporting the trip! The children loved it - we hope you enjoy the photos and feedback below
Teachers: Initial contact with the school was made through the British Council Connecting Classrooms scheme
During October we concentrated on revision, as we seemed to have forgotten a lot over the summer! We made revision booklets and we are keeping these in our folders to help us remember our vocabulary.
This month we have learnt about the Armistice and Remembrance in France. We made Peace posters in class.
Now we are learning about likes and dislikes, aiming to create complex sentences, with support. The children have been very keen to tell me what they love and hate and why! In French of course :)
New Language Ambassadors have been appointed! Ten year 6 pupils have been appointed to feed back on and promote Language Learning in the school. Please scroll down to the Language Ambassadors section for further information and photos, including news of our trip to Canterbury Christ Church on Friday 23 November for a Languages Celebration event.
We have been REVISING! Where did our French go over the summer?! In year 6 we work on more complex sentences in French and need to be as secure as possible in our basic vocabulary, grammar and phrases in order to build our sentences. We have therefore been making minibooks, which we will keep in our folders to help us remember the words for each topic we have covered
Pupils: This games site lets you choose your topic and level. Rate it between 1 (not helpful) and 10 (very helpful) for revision
Parents: Visit the games site above with your son/daughter - they will get more out of it if they understand how to navigate it first. You might enjoy playing some of the games together - which are the easiest/hardest/most or least helpful?
Teachers: the ideas for the mini books are from Clare Seccombe's blog, changing-phase.blogspot.com
French is taught from Year 3 to 6. Our language lessons are creative and fun, establishing a firm foundation from which it is possible to continue with French and/or begin another language in Year 7.
As well as topic-based words and phrases, we use learning French to help pupils develop as language learners in general, acquiring transferable skills they can apply to any language-learning situation. Ease of transition is one of the benefits of this approach. Our Language learning experiences are intrinsically linked with intercultural education, as we progress along the journey of appreciating similarity and difference.
We make links with home and heritage languages wherever possible and welcome input from parents who are able and willing to help us with this. Please contact Mrs Simpson if this interests you, for example if you are bi or multilingual and might be able and willing to come in to school and read a familiar story in another language, help us with another script or alphabet or talk about your language acquisition journey.
Language skills progression is demonstrated through objectives based on the Statements outlined by Sue Cave, available at http://www.cavelanguages.co.uk/sharing-good-practice and below
We have 10 Year 6 Language Ambassadors, who help with ideas for and feedback on Language Learning in the school, the web page, language displays and materials and setting up for younger classes. Their willingness to help and example to younger pupils is very much appreciated. We have just said goodbye to the wonderful Year 6 Language Ambassadors from last year, who have gone on to Year 7 and elected new ones from our current Year 6. Here are some of the new Year 6 Ambassadors with the Year 3 and 4 display they helped with.
The Languagenut resources we subscribe to are linked and described below. You can go on them at home if you have a computer you can use. Ask permission first, then use your user name and password to log on. On Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes you can use the school laptops. Come to the language area and ask to borrow one. Year 6 Language Ambassadors are on hand to help if you get stuck.
Have you also tried the games and resources on
For numbers, click on:
Numbers 30-100, depending on your personal goal!
There are also sections on
Describing your appearance and many others!
Years 5 and 6 might like to visit the sectipn on
There is also a lot of fun linguistic and cultural stuff on Euroclub Schools
Years 3 and 4 are taught on a Tuesday afternoon and years 5 and 6 on Thursday. The pairs of classes cover the same broad topic, but the language and structures within that topic are adapted for the year group taught.
Progression is demonstrated in the objectives covered, for example pupils in both Years 3 and 4 might do the Barbapapa topic. However, while Year 3 learn the colours in French through that topic, pupils in Year 4 have already done colours in Year 3, so will revise them and work on adjectival agreement. To avoid repetition of topics, they are covered in a two-year rotation.
Talk to your son/daughter about the lessons and visit this site to look at what we have covered. Ask them to show you Languagenut, go through the vocabulary and phrases and play some of the games with them.
French is taught in a skills-based way. The language-learning skills they learn, (for example recall, dictionary skills and looking for similarity and difference between languages) will transfer to learning any language and accelerate progress when applied to learning a new language.
Help your class win the prize for the most words learnt this term!
Current leaders are Year 3, who have learnt 1443 words between them in the last 30 days!
Well done Year 3!
1. Find Languagenut by following the link http://www.languagenut.com
2. Click on LOG IN (top right)
3. Enter your username and password (your class teacher will have given you this to put in your homework diary. Keep it safe, but if you have lost the details, ask your teacher or Mrs Simpson)
4. Click on 'Login' (green bar)
... see if it is possible to go to homework club and use a school laptop there
... if you can't go to homework club, speak to your class teacher or Mrs Simpson
...check you have covered everything in the 'Learn' section of the Language Course section you are working on, PLUS the games in ALL FOUR SKILLS, (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and the test
... if you are sure you know that topic, move on to a new one ... you can learn faster than you can be taught!
... you can experiment with any of the languages on Languagenut - you don't have to stick to French!
...don't worry if you tried your hardest but did not do as well as you hoped in a test - they can be repeated! They are for you to test yourself, but not to worry about ... take a deep breath and try again. If you are still stuck on something, ask Mrs Simpson
Years 3 and 4 were taught by Karine, a trainee teacher from France, who joined us in spite of the snow! Karine kindly helped us learn our colours - photos below :)
Bear puppets. We chose names for them - a chance to work on pronunciation and sound-spelling links! They were then used for conversation work in pairs. Unfortunately the lovely video of this is too big to upload, but imagine pair work conversations between bear puppets, learnt by heart or improvised!One of the best involved phrases a Year 4 pupil had learnt independently from Languagenut and incorporated in his work!
Valentine cards, for friends or relatives: pupils chose adjectives to describe their chosen recipient and wrote them in hearts on a card. It was a good opportunity to remind ourselves French adjectives often change spelling depending on whether we are describing masculine or feminine nouns.Oliwier made his Valentines card in Polish, English AND French and Emily continued her word a week Malayalam lesson (Mrs Simpson is the pupil for this!)
How to search the Languagenut site for topics you want to revise. We picked numbers as an example. Using the search facility, you need to enter a keyword from the topic you want, such as 'nine' if you are revising the numbers 1-10. You will then be given a link to the page you need. You can listen to the numbers in French, then click on 'games' to practise. When you are ready you can do the test.
In our 'Galette des Rois' lesson, we learnt the keywords:
Roi, Reine, Galette, Fève et Couronne
We used a game where we made up actions to represent each word and had to do them when the word was called out. We gradually rubbed the English translations off the whiteboard until we no longer needed them to do the appropriate action when the word was called out. We took it in turns to be the caller.
In our own galette, Seyon and Ruby were the King and Queen. They won a kit to make their own Galette des Rois!
One of our aims in Year 6 is to review and consolidate the work we have done over the years we have been learning French and look at moving on to Year 7. All Year 6 pupils have been given a workbook to use in class, which can be kept and taken home at the end of the year. Whilst it does not contain everything we have done, it is a useful revision guide and can be completed at home and taken to secondary school to show what we have done. There is also a cd-rom in the back, which is useful for revision over the summer :)
Today we handed in our Christmas jumper competition entries and looked at the Galette des Rois tradition.
Picture used here and on lesson materials (ppt) from:
The Guardian - A French Epiphany: the king of sociable cakes
Our lesson this week was on Christmas Jumper Day! The perfect opportunity to revise our colours and practise writing simple sentences to describe our jumper designs ... yes, we designed our own jumpers in French, then described them!
We had a very short time for this, so pupils were able to take their work home to finish (if needed, further copies of worksheets in the section below) In January we will look at the designs and descriptions and give a prize for:
The best presentation
The best labelled jumper, (labels in French of course!)
The best written description, (of the jumper design) in French
Bonne Chance! :):)
Supporting vocabulary can be found on Languagenut (LN):
LN Language Course 5/Animals, Colours and Sizes/5.5 Colours (revision)
LN Language Course 21/Describing People and Things/21.5 More Colours (revision and extension)
LN Language Course 16/Music and Celebrations/16.6 Celebrations (extension)
With thanks to Barbara Cee via LiPS (Languages in Primary Schools) group. Further information can be found on Barbara's blog: https://funfrenchactivities.blogspot.co.uk/
Parents of Year 5/6 children who would like to help their children with the aim of today's lesson could look at the recipe on the link http://www.marmiton.org/recettes/recette_buche-de-noel-facile_18219.aspx and talk with their children about the words/instructions that are accessible via deduction and contextual clues, such as pictures, recipes and other language we know.
This week Years 3 and 4 learnt about the French 'crèche' tradition and made triarama nativity scenes. The materials are in the section below this one - with thanks to Nicky Edwards from the LiPS (Languages in Primary Schools) group
Parents of Year 3/4 children who wish to talk about, revise or extend the lesson with their children could use the 'crèche 'section of the Euroclubs website: http://www.euroclubschools.co.uk/page41.htm I
t would be interesting to talk about this in terms of diversity - does everyone do the same thing? Do you celebrate in the the same way as your neighbour at this time of year? What is similar and what is different? Do all families in France follow the same traditions?
Formative assessment picked up a tricky problem for the children. They have learnt various phrases to describe themselves, such as 'Je m'appelle, J'habite, J'ai 10 ans', plus that 'Je' is the French word for 'I'. However, they find it hard to remember that the word 'Je' changes spelling in front of a vowel. Not only this, but the letter 'h' behaves as a vowel! We took a lesson to problematize and practise this.
We used cards for 'Je' and 'J''. These two were gang leaders, who picked gang members (verbs). The 'e' of 'Je' refused to be friends with any of the vowels, so 'Je' picked only verbs/phrases beginning with consonants for his gang. 'J'' picked verbs beginning with vowels, as the consonants who sided with 'Je' had nothing to do with 'J'', or her vowel friends. The only exception was 'h'. As 'h' was silent, she managed to sneak in with 'J'' and the vowels, since it sounded as if she wasn't there...
On our display board we can link the gang leaders Je and J' and their gangs member, using string (photos below)
We made up silly sentences - grammatically correct, but nonsense! The point was to demonstrate that all languages have rules and to practise putting the words in the right order in French ... we used a pyramid to help us build up sentences word by word, making sure we put size adjectives before the nouns and colours after them.
We experimented with ways of remembering words and spellings. Most of us found picture clues worked well. Some of us found a combination of pictures and writing helpful. For spelling, letter shapes and drawing boxes to represent the letter shapes we wanted to remember worked for many of us - we used tall (rectangular) boxes for tall letters and squares for small letters. Here are some photos of our efforts!
Students from KRAN - Kent Refugee Action Network https://kran.org.uk/ - came in to school to help us make bunting for the Turn Festival at the Abbotts Mill Project site in Canterbury. We were so impressed with their English! More students than could come wanted to visit us, so those who couldn't be with us in class sent us a 'Welcome' poster and messages. They wrote in their home languages. We talked about the languages and compared them with the languages we know. We had great fun sharing words and phrases and writing in different languages! The pupils were allowed to choose any language they wanted for their flag. The flags looked amazing all put together as bunting - we were proud of them at the festival!
Pupils were asked to give feedback on the visit from the French pupils. Many said they were nervous at first, but soon made friends. The main things pupils said they would like to change for next time were for the next visit to be longer and to learn more French so as to be able to say more!
Finally the day arrived and the pupils from Niergnies School in France came to visit us! They had to get up very early to arrive at St Thomas' at 9.30am... Year 6 showed them where to put their coats and lunches and greeted them in the hall with squash and biscuits. They spent the morning playing with us and participating in sports and games on the field. After that we had lunch together outside. We were sad to see our new friends go after lunch and we hope to arrange a return visit!
Years 3 and 4 made fortune tellers to play with with their friends from France
Back at St Thomas', we were impatient for the day when the children from Niergnies would come! We looked at some of the photos Mrs Simpson took when she was at the French school and talked about similarities and differences between their school/school life and ours. How many can you think of?
The children from Niergnies invited Mrs Simpson to join their English breakfast
Before welcoming the Niergnies pupils, we thought about ways to help them feel at home. Year 5 pupils took photos of the school and school life to show them. Mrs Simpson went to Niergnies to meet the teachers and pupils, give a presentation about our school and find out about school life in France. Miss Hill suggested taking Freda, the Year 1 flamingo. On the way, some of the other Eurostar passengers also met her! She was excited to find more words beginning with 'F' and especially keen to add some French words to her collection!