St James' C of E Primary School, Blackburn

Modern Foreign Language - French

Curriculum Intent

At St James’ we want to children to be fascinated by other languages and want to learn how to communicate in a different language to their own. We want pupils to grow up wanting to be translators, interpreters and broadcasters!

Through the teaching of Foreign Languages at St James’ we aim to broaden pupils’ horizons and stimulate their curiosity about language. The curriculum aims to foster positive attitudes towards language learning, deepening their awareness and understanding of our multilingual and multicultural world. The learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for pupils. 

The aims of learning a Modern Foreign Language (MFL) in our school are to:

  • Introduce young children to another language in a way that is enjoyable and fun
  • Stimulate and encourage children’s curiosity about language
  • Encourage children to be aware that language has structure and that the structure differs from one language to another
  • Help the children develop their awareness of cultural differences in other countries
  • Develop their speaking and listening skills, enabling pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language being able to respond to its speakers in speech and writing. 

Curriculum Implementation

The National Curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:

  1. Understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources.
  2. 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.
  3. Can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, suing the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt.
  4. Discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in French

In order for the pupils to make substantial progress, we encourage staff to deliver a French lesson every week in Key Stage Two. It is vital that the children have the opportunity to listen attentively to the spoken language and then show their understanding by joining in and responding. This will enable the children to speak in sentences using familiar phrases and basic language structures. 

French is the chosen language to study at St James’ as many of the pupils will continue to deepen their understanding of this language at High School.  The scheme of work is based largely on the ‘I Languages’ MFL framework.  This covers oracy, literacy and cultural understanding. 

Language is taught to all children whatever their ability, providing learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make progress. Lessons also seek to enhance children’s knowledge and understanding of French culture and traditions and any differences with their own.

Children are introduced to new topics through oral work, songs, visual prompts, videos, flash cards, games, and role-play. Initially, written French is used to reinforce oral-learning only, however in Years 5 and 6 pupils will have some written French activities to complete. Songs, stories and games will be used to reinforce learning across the Year groups. 

Where possible, the teacher gives simple instructions in the target language. As year groups progress, consolidation is a key part of the curriculum. By the end of Year 6 children will have awareness that French is not only spoken in France. 

Children will be able to access a curriculum that will enable them to communicate practically in another language, possibly different to languages used at home and in the community. Children will have a respectful view of others and develop their own understanding of another language in addition to their own. Key vocabulary and specific aspects of learning will be supported by a knowledge organiser. This will be sent home in advance of the unit, and will allow children to make a head start on their learning, and will enable the parents and carers to have a clear understanding of what will be taught.

Teachers will use a range of assessment tools to provide adequate information to show the progress for each child and their development points.

This includes:

  • Assessment for learning
  • Challenge tasks
  • Enquiry tasks
  • Quizzing, multiple choice and end of unit questions.
  • Pupil voice

Assessment information is collected frequently and analysed as part of our monitoring cycle. This process provides an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in French. A comprehensive monitoring cycle is developed with monitoring in French including: book scrutinies, lesson observations and/or learning walks, pupil/parent and/or staff voice. All of this information is gathered and reviewed. It is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.

Curriculum Impact

By teaching French through a progressive and repetitive curriculum, pupils will develop the skills and knowledge needed to meet the end of key stage expectations. Pupils should leave St James’ with an in-depth knowledge of French culture and language. They should leave with a fondness of French, a curiosity of language, remembering their inspiring lessons and experiences in school. Pupils will have developed their resilience and be able to confidently express their ideas and thoughts independently in another language. They will have an awareness of language having a structure and how this differs between languages. Children will be able to respond to French speakers in speech and writing with fluency and spontaneity. 

French Curriculum Overview Years 3-6
St James' C of E Primary School Earl Street, Blackburn BB1 8EG
Headteacher Mr D Stitcher
SENDCo Mr J Cameron
- email address on telephone request
Enquiries should be addressed to Mr R. Dewhurst.
Telephone 01254 698335
Office Hours Monday to Friday 7:45am to 4:00pm