Modern Foreign Languages
‘To learn a language is to have more than one window from which to look at the world.’
At Barrow Hill Primary Academy, our aim is to develop the confidence and competence of each child in the foreign language they are learning. Our goal is for them to be passionate, curious and confident about their own foreign language learning abilities when they finish the primary school phase of their education.
We will help them develop and demonstrate substantial progress in the 5 key language skills necessary for learning French:
We aim to ensure that children of all abilities develop solid foundations in these key language learning skills - properly preparing them for the next stage of their language learning journey. These skills will develop children’s ability to understand what they hear and read and enable them to express themselves in speech and writing. We will extend their knowledge of how language works and explore the similarities and differences between the foreign language they are learning and English. We will also help strengthen their sense of identity through learning about culture in other countries and comparing it with their own.
Modern Foreign Languages Curriculum Intent
Barrow Hill Primary Academy intends to use the Language Angels scheme of work and resources to ensure we offer a relevant, broad, vibrant and ambitious foreign languages curriculum that will inspire and excite our pupils using a wide variety of topics and themes. All children will be expected to achieve their full potential by encouraging high expectations and excellent standards in their foreign language learning - the ultimate aim being that children will feel willing and able to continue studying languages beyond key stage 2.
The intent is that all children will develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages, finding them enjoyable and stimulating. Learning a second language will also offer children the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them with a better awareness of self, others and cultural differences. The intention is that they will be working towards becoming life-long language learners.
Modern Foreign Languages Curriculum Implementation
Our whole school approach to language teaching and learning is in line with the recommendations of the National Curriculum and the requirements outlined in the Department for Education Languages Programme of Study for Key Stage 2.
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 authentic writing in the language studied.
By the end of key stage 2, pupils should be able to:
1. Listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding.
2. Explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words.
3. Engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help.
4. Speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures.
5. Develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases.
6. Present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences.
7. Read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing.
8. Appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language.
9. Broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary.
10. Write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly.
11. Describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing.
12. Understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.
Displays of the topics being taught in French will be displayed around individual classrooms (if space allows) or will feature on a general school board. Teachers plan their lessons using the Language Angels scheme of work and can supplement this with their own ideas and experience and those of their colleagues. The lessons are designed to motivate, captivate and interest children from the first moment. They have clear, achievable objectives and incorporate different learning styles. SEN children have access to the curriculum through variation of task, grouping or support from an adult.
Each class has a timetabled lesson of at least thirty minutes per week.
Our French lessons include:
- PowerPoints and interactive whiteboard materials
- Interactive games (which pupils can access from home to consolidate their learning)
- Songs & raps
- Differentiated desk-based consolidation activities
- Worksheets (at three different levels of challenge) are provided throughout each teaching unit and can be used in class.
Each lesson will focus on a combination of the 5 key language learning skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing and grammar).
Where appropriate, worksheets completed by the children may be kept in their books which can be passed through the years and become a portfolio of their learning. Teachers can also upload scans of pupil written work along with audio and video recordings of pupils speaking and presenting in French to a centralised secure file store on their Tracking & Progression Tool.
All of this information along with the pupil’s individual Learning & Progression Timeline and skills progress reports can be forwarded to their secondary school at time of transition.
Two forms of assessment are available at the end of every Language Angels unit:
1. Peer and self-assessment ‘I can do…’ grids. A quick and easy way for all pupils in the class to record which units they have completed and the progress they are making.
2. More detailed skills-based assessments using bespoke skills assessment worksheets. This form of assessment enables us to determine the learning and progression of all pupils in the key language learning skills as well as monitoring their progress against the 12 attainment targets stipulated in the DfE Languages Programme of Study for Key Stage 2.
Modern Foreign Languages Curriculum Impact
As well as each subsequent lesson within a unit being progressive, the teaching type organisation of Language Angels units also directs, drives and guarantees progressive learning and challenge. Units increase in level of challenge, stretch and linguistic and grammatical complexity as pupils move from Early Learning units through Intermediate units and into the most challenging Progressive units. Units in each subsequent level of the teaching type categories require more knowledge and application of skills than the previous teaching type. Activities contain progressively more text (both in English and the foreign language being studied) and lessons will have more content as the children become more confident and ambitious with the foreign language they are learning.
Early Learning units will start at basic noun and article level and will teach pupils how to formulate short phrases. By the time children reach Progressive units they will be exposed to much longer text and will be encouraged to formulate their own, more personalised responses based on a much wider bank of vocabulary, linguistic structures and grammatical knowledge. They will be able to create longer pieces of spoken and written language and are encouraged to use a variety of conjunctions, adverbs, adjectives, opinions and justifications.
Children will continuously build on their previous knowledge as they progress in their foreign language learning journey through the primary phase. Previous language will be recycled, revised, recalled and consolidated whenever possible and appropriate.
Teachers will have a clear overview of what they are working towards and if they are meeting these criteria. They will use the long-term planning documents provided in the form of Language Angels unit planners to ensure the correct units are being taught to the correct classes at each stage of the year. Short-term planning is also provided in the form of unit overviews (covering the learning targets for each 6-week unit) and individual lesson plans laying out the learning aims and intentions of each individual lesson within a unit. These planning documents ensure that teachers know what to teach and how to teach it in each lesson, across whole units and across each term.
Children will be aware of their own learning goals and progression as each unit offers a child friendly overview so that all children can review their own learning at the start and at the end of each unit. They will know and will be able to articulate if they have or have not met their learning objectives and can keep their unit learning intention sheets and unit core vocabulary sheets as a record of what they have learnt from unit to unit and from year to year.