The intention of the French curriculum at Our Lady of Hartley is to design a curriculum so that our children are taught to develop an interest in learning other languages in a way that is enjoyable and stimulating. We encourage children’s confidence and creative skills, as well as striving to stimulate and encourage children’s curiosity about language. We will deliver lessons that will help children develop their awareness of cultural differences in other countries. We want our children to embed the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills necessary to enable them to use and apply their French learning in a variety of contexts and lay the foundations for future language learning.
At Our Lady of Hartley, our children learn French from Year 1. Although the National Curriculum implies that children should learn a Modern Foreign Language from KS2, we feel that providing our children with a weekly French lesson during KS1 shall allow our children to develop in their knowledge and understanding of the world. Furthermore, by the time our children begin their KS2 curriculum MFL lessons, they will be able to build upon their prior learning and apply their growing bank of vocabulary.
Our MFL curriculum is therefore designed to progressively develop children‘s skills in languages, through regularly taught lessons (from Year 1 to Year 6). Children progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary organised around topics. Our children are encouraged and supported to develop their speaking and listening skills through conversational work, singing activities and games.
Learning about another country and different cultures feeds into the children’s understanding of the world they live in and since cultural understanding forms an important part of language learning, this links well with geography.
Studying another language helps the children to form a clearer idea of how English works as well. It develops their understanding of grammar when looking at different sentence structures and word classes, it helps them to appreciate different shades of meaning when learning or being exposed to new vocabulary, not to mention the useful dictionary skills common to both of these subjects.
Looking at how people first started communicating informs children’s understanding of how different languages began and why there isn’t always a direct translation for every word. There are also many historical events and figures it’s useful to learning about when studying other cultures.
Pattern recognition is a key aspect of computational thinking which plays as integral role in understanding texts presented in another language. Children need to spot patterns in sentence structures, understand the work classes and get clues from context as well as spot similar graphemes to understand how to pronounce unfamiliar words.
Not only does science provide many exciting contexts for learning, such as animals, space and the world around us in general, scientific vocabulary has a high number of words that are similar in both languages, which are useful for language learning.
On 14th July, we had an exciting day celebrating Bastille Day and French Culture. We tried French food in the French Cafe, played boules, learnt about French artists and, of course, learned the history of Bastille Day. It was great fun!