MFL - 3 I's
The intention of the French curriculum at Hempstalls Primary School is that pupils are taught to develop an interest in learning other languages in a way that is enjoyable and stimulating. We develop children’s confidence and strive to stimulate their curiosity about different languages around the world. Teachers actively plan to make links to develop awareness of cultural differences in other countries, making links to British values wherever possible. We strive to embed the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing necessary to enable pupils to use and apply their French learning in a variety of contexts and lay the foundations for future language learning.
Our MFL curriculum is designed to progressively develop pupil’s skills in languages, through regular taught lessons. All children progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary organised around topics. We follow the ‘Rigolo’ Scheme of work to ensure coverage and progression across KS2. All of KS2 pupils will partake in regular French lessons. Hempstalls’ MFL curriculum is designed to meet the needs of all pupils within our school, including those with SEND.
Children are encouraged and supported to develop their speaking and listening skills through conversational work, singing activities and games. As confidence and skills grow, children record their work through pictures, captions and sentences. Rigolo provides our pupils with further opportunities to develop their reading and writing skills, as well as intercultural understanding. Concepts are used so that the children are able to attach their knowledge to a specific strand of teaching and learning. This also enables the children to build on their knowledge from previous years based on the concepts that they are explored.
Here are some ways in which we embed further understanding of a diverse French culture and history:
- Celebrate important French holidays, such as Bastille Day and teach about French history. As a school, we celebrate these special days in the French calendar by creating fun crafts or taking part in holiday traditions.
- Familiarise our pupils with French cuisine by tasting traditional French dishes, such as quiche, croissants or crème brûlée.
- Listening to French music helps familiarize our pupils with French accents and pronunciations, as well as learning about famous French composers such as Claude Debussy.
- Expose our pupils to children’s French novels such as Le Petit Prince: one of the most well-known French children’s books.
The Rigolo scheme of work is divided into 12 units: six units per year, or 2 per term. Each unit is then divided into four or five lessons. The units combine whiteboard and class activities using flashcards, big books, and the Rigolo family characters for whole-class teaching, so there is a varied approach across different learning styles.
Each lesson is framed by starter and plenary activities to refresh pupils’ memory of language learnt previously or to reflect on what has just been learnt. All French lessons at Hempstalls start with ‘What we already know’ so that pupils are constantly reflecting upon past learning, ensuring that previous knowledge is retained.
KS1 pupils are given the opportunity to understand basic French through the means of rhymes and stories. Singing and music is also used whenever possible, where children learn names of basic objects, animals and numbers.
The impact of our MFL curriculum is that children are encouraged to understand the relevance of what they are learning in languages and how it relates to everyday life and travel. Also, how it could help them in another country or to talk to a French speaker.
Our French curriculum will ensure all pupils develop key language learning skills, as set out by the national curriculum, as well as a love of languages and learning about other cultures. These are as follows:
- 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 lengths, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
- Discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied
French is monitored by the French co-ordinator throughout KS2 using a variety of strategies such as book scrutinises, lesson observations, staff discussions and pupil interviews. Regular feedback is given to teachers to enhance the quality of teaching MFL to ensure children know more and remember more.