Below you will find a flavour of what it is like to learn French in our school!
Progress in French is set in a context of learning about language in general and is a springboard for learning more and/or learning other languages later on. We help children develop their curiosity about language and culture, valuing and including home languages whenever possible. This is not simply an 'add on': enabling children to bring their knowledge of other languages to consciousness and compare/contrast with their learning in French lessons is important to their linguistic progression in all languages, including English. It is also an opportunity for monolingual children to understand how this works.
We recognise that French is a world language and French history, geography and culture relates to La Francophonie, including colonialism. When referring to France and French traditions, it is understood that modern France is a diverse country with evolving language and cultural habits.
Since a weekly lesson is not enough to enable children to develop a working knowledge of a language, we provide as many independent learning opportunities as possible: classes have French 'word boxes' to use in class to help recall their vocabulary and phrases, a French challenge is left on the board for each class to tackle with their class teacher the morning after their French session and home learning opportunities provided through our Languagenut programme, accessible from home.
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
We are currently in the process of integrating Sue Cave's Scheme into our planning, since it has the progressive phonics and grammar steps we would like to give our children the best chance of success. Once this is done, further revisions will be in terms of linking skills across the wider curriculum, with a view to embedding them in class provision, as well as the weekly specialist lessons. We also dip into the Catherine Cheater Schemes of Work purchased in January 2021, (Years 3 and 4) .
We started this term with a whole school Languages Day, with pupils dressed in the colours of a flag or their choice of traditional clothes. A huge thank you to parents who came in to help, contributing mini language lessons, stories, poetry, music, food, crafts and dance. There was a joyful, party atmosphere, with all children participating in the Languages Treasure hunt for flags and answers to questions dotted around the school.
We are a multilingual school, with 22 languages amongst our children and families and it was wonderful to allow a space for expressing and celebrating this in school. The day began with an assembly, followed by language and culture workshops organised by teachers and TAs in Greek, Mandarin, BSL, French, Spanish and the children's languages. Year 4 children prepared presentations, which they gave in class and have uploaded on to the class pages of the website.
Some of the contributions by parents who came in to school included German lanterns, Slovak and Bulgarian lessons, an Italian nursery rhyme, Sri Lankan dance, Polish food, sushi and Spanish poetry. There were more! We enjoyed welcoming the visitors in school, all of the activities and also making linguistic connections with the children's lives at home. Many children took the opportunity to give a language lesson, as well as making sound button recordings and video clips. Year 6 children helped organise the treasure hunt, taking responsibility for groups of younger children around the school.
Have you 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.