Welcome to Modern Foreign Languages
Children at Wallace Fields Junior School learn French throughout the school in a 30 minute lesson taught by a qualified teacher. We have been able to adapt our curriculum in light of Covid-19. Weather permitting, the majority of the lessons are taking place in the Eco area outdoor classroom. This allows for full ventilation and the children can be taught face to face by Miss Smith. We have been able to reintroduce extra-curricular clubs for French across the school and hope to resume other languages going forward e.g. Spanish, German and Latin.
At Wallace Fields Junior School, the intention of our Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) curriculum is to inspire an interest and appreciation for learning other languages. Our aim is to introduce pupils to French language, which is taught across all year groups, providing opportunities for them to lay foundations for future language learning. We hope to embed the essential skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening into French lessons across the school.
The National Curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
- Speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
- Can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
- Discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied
Our French curriculum at Wallace Fields Junior School is based on the National Curriculum guidance and covers a range of units. The lessons follow a progression throughout the year groups, building on previous knowledge each year. For example in Year 3 the children learn colours, Year 4 the children use colours to describe their eyes and hair colour, Year 5 the children use colours to describe clothes and in Year 6 the children consolidate their knowledge and describe fruits, vegetables and other items in full sentences and paragraphs.
All children are taught discreet French lessons for half an hour each week. We teach French across the four main areas: reading, writing, speaking and listening. We hope to teach children that language skills can be applied to a range of languages by spotting patterns within the structure of sentences. More details of these can be found in the progression map. We have also held whole school events such as European Day of Languages and Diversity Day.
The National Curriculum for MFL aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Pupils should be taught to: listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
- Engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help
- Speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases
- Present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences* read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language
- Broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
- Write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly
- Describe people, places, things and actions orally
- Understand basic grammar appropriate to the language
Through the teaching of Modern Foreign Languages we strive to instil both an appreciation and enjoyment of other languages and cultures around the world. We focus on a planned progression of skills to help ensure that children are appropriately supported and challenged. We aim to measure the impact of our curriculum by:
- Providing opportunities for children to communicate with each other in French
- Interviews with pupils about their learning (pupil voice)
- Marking work in the children’s books
- Moderation through book looks (and online classroom)
- Assessment of children’s understanding of topic vocabulary at the beginning and end of a unit
International School Award
We are very proud to have been granted the International School Award from the British Council, in recognition of our work with our partner schools in France and Kenya and of our provision of an ongoing global curriculum.
Topics and curriculum
Although children are taught through topics, the emphasis is on language skills and language-learning strategies, rather than an accumulation of vocabulary. This prepares them for language-learning in secondary school, whichever language they go on to study. Topics include:
- Introduction language
- Descriptions (myself, objects, places)
- Sports (preference)
- Food and drink (ordering, preference)
Please see your child’s year group curriculum map for more detail. https://www.wallacefields-jun.surrey.sch.uk/classes
Teaching Modern Foreign Languages to children with special needs
We teach Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) to all children, whatever their ability. MFL forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education for all children. We provide learning opportunities that are matched to the needs of children with learning difficulties and take into account any arrangements from their SEND support plans to allow children to learn key language skills.
- To help your child at home you can visit the BBC schools website, which is free to use and needs no log-in details. This can be found at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primarylanguages/french/
- We are also subscribed to linguascope, which is a language learning website with lots of fun activities for the children to practise hearing and reading French. The website is www.linguascope.com
Please contact Miss Smith for the username and password for this site, as we are not permitted to put these on our school website, under the conditions of the licence.
Competitions and other activities
- European Day of Languages. Previously in September, along with schools all over the country, we celebrate the European Day of Languages, a day set aside to celebrate cultural and linguistic diversity. Each year group concentrates on a different language and does fun activities, food tasting and singing in that language. Due to Covid restrictions this did not go ahead in 2020.
- Junior Language Challenge. Each Spring Term, there is an opportunity to compete in a national language competition. Our children always do very well in this competition, and it is intended to help with language-learning strategies in a fun way. Due to Covid restrictions this did not go ahead in Spring 2021.
- Pen-pals. We have long-running links with schools in Brittany and Paris and the children correspond with the children in both English and in French. This helps the children to understand the importance of learning a language and they love to notice some of the similarities and differences with their new friends. Due to Covid restrictions this has not happened during the academic year of 2020-21 but will hopefully resume in the near future.
- Ambleteuse. In the summer term of Year 6 in the past the children have previously had the opportunity to go for a week to France. This is always an enjoyable time and, to prepare them for ordering food at a French market, they have a French tasting day at the end of SATs week, where they can practise their French before they go, while getting to eat croissants, baguette and French cheese. Due to Covid travel restrictions this trip did not go ahead in Summer 2020 and sadly is unlikely to go ahead in 2021.
To find out more about the national curriculum for Languages in Key Stage 2 that the school is following click here.