'You live a new life for every language you speak. If you only speak one language, you only live once.'
At Allerton Bywater, we hope that children become enthused language learners by the time they leave us at the end of Year 6, understanding that a little language can go a long way. We want them to appreciate the range of doors that learning a language can open, to understand that letter-sound correspondences vary between languages and to realise that speaking another language is not merely learning and swapping a huge list of words. We hope that children begin to see connections between English and other languages. Learning a language, even just a few words, helps us to appreciate the cultures of others. These are all skills that will benefit language learning later in life, even if children don't study French at secondary school.
Children in Key Stage Two learn French. Each class has a dedicated half hour slot per week. Children are encouraged to practise informally between lessons, and lesson resources are put onto class dojo for children to use before mini assessments, should they wish.
Our planning in French works on a ‘pass-to-progress model’. Year groups follow the plan for French prescribed by The Primary Languages Network at the rate that is suitable for them, only moving on when they have mastered the content in that unit. During the academic year 2022-2023, we have made the decision to re-cover the fundamentals of the language to all year groups, even those who had some experience of French before, to ensure children were committing their learning to memory and had proportionate opportunities to read, write, speak and listen for each objective.
We devote as much time revisiting and revising previously learnt content as teaching new content. We know that a little language goes a long way and we want to be sure that children remember their language learning over time. Our teaching involves using phonic strategies to ensure children pronounce words accurately and beautifully. Children have opportunities to practise the spelling and writing of key phrases as well as discussion. Often, we will introduce phrases with their literal translations (Did you know that the French say I have ten years instead of I am ten years old?) so that children can understand how the language is constructed, which will help them manipulate and construct new sentences.
Please find our long-term plan for French below. Note that it will develop over time to include more units as children become more familiar with the language.
Year 3; Year 4; Year 5; Year 6
Assessment in French most regularly takes place when revisiting content at distance. This happens each lesson. At the end of a unit, often four or five lessons long, children recap their learning for that block of learning and sit a mini summative assessment to inform future reteaching. Language learnt in one unit directly feeds into subsequent learning.
For more information about French at ABPS, please speak to Mr Asquith, Mrs Fenna or Mrs Williams.