Modern Languages

Modern Foreign Languages Curriculum Statement

“Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom.”

Roger Bacon

At Fairhaven Primary School, we believe that the learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils. It helps them to develop communication skills including speaking and listening and extends their knowledge of how language works. It is about young people exploring the relationship between language and identity and giving them a new perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures and those of others in the diverse world in which we live. Children are taught both French and Spanish. 

Fairhaven Primary has a link with Ecole Elementaire La Louviere in Rambouillet. 

Our intent is to create an interest in language learning and teach in a way that is enjoyable and accessible to all pupils. 

The children will develop communication skills and be confident in what they are able to say in Spanish and French and be prepared for further language learning at secondary school. 

They will understand how a language works, including phonics, spelling and grammar and continually improve their pronunciation and intonation of the language.

We aim to equip our pupils with the necessary skills for further foreign language learning at a higher level.
From year 1 to year 6 pupils are taught specific skills, concepts and vocabulary in a weekly dedicated lesson with a specialist language teacher.

In years 1 and 2, the children learn French, using songs, stories, rhymes and games. This mostly concentrates on speaking and listening skills, touching on some grammar as it comes up and also exploring traditions and beliefs in France. The content of lessons includes learning colours, numbers, greetings and animals. 

Key stage 1 children have a soft toy called Trottine. Each week a child is chosen to take her home to speak to her in French and take photographs of her at home. These are stuck into a diary, where the child will write about Trottine’s week and share with the class. They also have a French activity as part of their ‘morning work’ on Fridays. 

In years 3 and 4, children are introduced to Spanish. The rationale behind this is that some children are naturally more gifted in or take more enjoyment from one language than another, so it gives all children the opportunity to achieve. As well as speaking and listening, the children are engaged in reading and writing Spanish along with phonics, grammar, beliefs and festivals. 

In years 5 and 6, the children continue their French journey, which enables them to make substantial progress in this language and gain the transferable language skills needed for continuing at high school. Oak class have a link with a French school where they build friendships with French children of the same age. The pupils regularly communicate with pupils there by letter and have a video conference during the summer term. 

For Key Stage 2 the school’s scheme of work follows the Key Stage 2 Programme of Study (DfE 2013). 

Story books written in either French or Spanish are used within lessons. 

We also intend to make languages part of the day to day life of the school. For example, in years 5 and 6, the class teacher gives simple classroom instructions and takes the dinner register in French. During the afternoon register, the teacher asks each child a question, which will be something they have worked on in their language lesson. 

Where appropriate, pupils are given opportunities to practise the foreign language in the context of lessons in other subject areas. For example, in PE some instructions may be given in another language; children may count in another language in maths etc. 

Each week a language ambassador for each class is chosen to lead a French or Spanish game for 5 minutes during the week. 
By the end of Key Stage 1 pupils will have experienced learning French. They will be  confident language learners with a good foundational knowledge of the French language and have some cultural awareness of the similarities and differences between our country and France. They will feel confident to always ‘have a go’ at speaking and listening and be ready to move on to KS2 with an understanding of how language works.

By the end of KS2 pupils will have experienced two languages and may feel more confident in one than the other. They will have some understanding of grammar and phonics and will have experienced a mixture of the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. They will be familiar with grammatical terms used in foreign language learning, such as ‘adjectival agreement’. They will be able to recognise questions they hear or see and respond appropriately in the target language, mostly in sentences. They will be able to write sentences in French. They will have an understanding of other cultures and their similarities and differences to their own culture and have developed an appreciation of how to be a good citizen.

Our foreign language teaching will provide pupils with an opening to other cultures, foster their curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. Our teaching of foreign languages will equip the children with transferable language learning skills, providing a foundation for learning further languages at a higher level.
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