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Modern Foreign Languages

The chosen language at St Bonaventures is French which is taught throughout Key Stage 2

 

Intent

At St Bonaventure’s we want to engage and inspire all our pupils with a love and passion for languages and to open their eyes to other cultures and the world. Through their learning of French, we aim to provide each student with the building blocks for language learning so that they understand the basics of the language, starting with words and building up to sentences. We aim to regularly check that these basics are learnt, understood and embedded in their long term memory. We want pupils to leave Key Stage 2 with a basic understanding of how to pronounce words in French, how to put sentences together as well as having a sound understanding of how the language works. In this way they are confident to move on to more complex language concepts at Key Stage 3 and beyond.

Our schemes of work are based on the 3 pillars of language learning:  phonics, vocab and grammar, all of which are mutually dependent and interconnected. These 3 pillars are introduced in a phased and sequenced manner over the 4 years of Key Stage 2 and are regularly revisited and recalled so that knowledge is stored in the long term memory and each child is able to build from conscious learning to automaticity in the language. Ultimately, we want them to know more, remember more and be able to do more in the language.

As well as motivating pupils in the subject of French, we believe that the learning of a language has the additional benefit of improving the cognitive learning and performance and progress of all pupils across all subjects and areas of the curriculum.

 

Implementation

All pupils at Key Stage 2 are taught French by a specialist MFL Outreach teacher from our secondary school; St Bede’s Catholic College (Eleanor Williams) Pre Covid, all Key Stage 2 pupils received 30 minute weekly lessons in French.

However, during 2020/2021 and 2021/22 lessons were changed to 60 minute weekly lessons on alternate half terms (to reduce the MFL Outreach teacher contact across bubbles).

With covid bubbles no longer necessary, in 2022-23 and 2023-24 year 3 and 4 classes have returned to 30 minute weekly lessons, while year 5 and 6 will be taught in 60 minute lesson slots on a termly basis.

By introducing the phonics, vocabulary and basic grammar of French in manageable chunks through relevant content, pupils are able to build on their knowledge each year and remember and recall language and structures, especially high frequency words. Regular retrieval practice and revisiting language in different contexts is integral to the schemes of work as this enables more complex performance and communication, enabling and encouraging pupils to move from receptive to productive use and giving them the tools to be able to say what they want to in the language. Over the 4 years, we want pupils to gain a systemic knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and the sound-spelling system and an awareness of how these are all linked so that they can build their communication skills and are able to listen, speak, read and write confidently and independently in the language.

 

Impact

Pupils leave Key Stage 2 with an enthusiasm for French, are motivated in their language learning and have a basic understanding of how the French language works. Through the understanding of the sound spelling system all pupils have the tools and strategies to be able to read and pronounce words accurately and put sentences together so that they can be independent, confident and resilient communicators, ready for their next stage of language learning at Key Stage 3.

Pupil progress is assessed regularly by the teacher through speaking and listening tasks in lessons, as well as through written and reading work completed in French workbooks. Progress checks are completed by pupils twice yearly in approximately February and July. Progress is monitored through the assessment benchmarks of Working Towards, Expected and Greater Depth and outcomes are regularly reviewed against the intent set out in this document, with schemes of work being adjusted accordingly if necessary. As well as monitoring pupil progress, the impact of French learning and teaching will be measured by looking at pupil motivation and engagement levels.

 
 
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