Modern Foreign Languages
At Beehive Lane, we believe learning a foreign language is a necessary part of being a member of a multi-cultural society and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster children's curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching enables children to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It also provides opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. The language teaching provides the foundation for learning further languages and deepens the children’s own understanding of the grammatical structures of English.
It is intended that when children leave Beehive Lane Primary, they will have a natural curiosity and confidence to explore, other countries, cultures and languages, accepting that, in a multi-lingual society it is a valuable skill to be able to communicate effectively with others in another language. They will be engaged and prepared to continue learning at high school and equipping children to study and work in other countries.
At Beehive Lane, children have weekly lessons in French throughout Key Stage 2. Children in Years 3 and 5 are taught by a French specialist teacher from the local secondary school. Areas covered include: numbers, colours, house and home, towns, food and drink, the classroom, clothes and hobbies. Our French curriculum follows a spiral curriculum, where children see the same topics throughout their primary school career, with each encounter increasing in complexity. This allows previous learning to be reinforced and solidified each time the children revisit the topic, and also allows the children to apply their early knowledge to later course objectives.
Pupils are 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 clear
- describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
- 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.
Throughout Year 4, children are given the opportunity to visit Great Baddow High School for a weekly breakfast club to apply the language skills they have learned.
As part of our Key Stage 2 Enterprise project, children run a French café, where they have to prepare all food on site, design their own French menus and decorate the café with French themed artwork. As well as helping children adopt a positive mindset and attitude towards work and their future, this enterprise project gives the children a real-world context to French culture. Every child in school is able to sample a selection of French cuisine and drinks at the café whilst practising their French language skills.
Assessment criteria has been developed, in line with national curriculum aims, to enable teachers to assess the progress of children in their language learning as they move through Key Stage 2, ensuring that children are supported and challenged as appropriate. This data is analysed on a termly basis, and an action plan drawn up to address any identified gaps.
Working together with our local secondary school, children are also provided with a variety of extra-curricular activities to promote their enjoyment and engagement in the subject as well as provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary, to continue their studies successfully at High School.
Pupil voice is also used to further develop the French curriculum, through questioning of pupils' views and attitudes to learning a language.