And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ Micah 6:8
Through the teachings of Jesus, all can flourish spiritually, emotionally and academically throughout life, living out love and justice for all. Our Christian values of love, justice, compassion, wisdom, forgiveness and friendship underpin the life of the school community and impact on our daily lives. Guilden Sutton Church of England Primary School strives to provide the best possible education for our children. We aim for excellence within our happy, secure school where each individual’s achievements are valued and celebrated. By using a holistic approach, we will provide a curriculum that offers a diverse and challenging environment to inspire and motivate every child in our care.
At Guilden Sutton Church of England Primary School, we have chosen French as our Modern Foreign Language with an introduction to Spanish and Italian at the end of Year 6. We strive to stimulate and encourage children’s curiosity about languages as they provide a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils. It also helps them to develop communication skills, including key skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. We enable our children to be courageous (not afraid of making mistakes) in their attitude to learning, to be empowered to work both independently and collaboratively, to understand the impact their learning has had on them so far and be inspired to keep learning. It allows them to use their brain in new and exciting ways, giving them a sense of achievement and pride in the acquisition of new skills.
We teach French across the whole school, from Reception up to Year 6, as we believe that children enjoy learning to speak another language and that the earlier a child is exposed to a foreign language, the faster the language in question is acquired. Our intention of the French curriculum is that children are taught to develop an interest in learning other languages in a way that is interactive, stimulating, enjoyable, lively and engaging. Our MFL curriculum is designed to progressively develop children’s skills in languages. Each section is coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulative knowledge.
At Guilden Sutton Church of England Primary School, the long-term plan is designed to be closely aligned to the National Curriculum and to enable all children to make “substantial progress in one language.” The children experience a variety of skills including singing, speaking, reading, listening and writing. As they progress, they will develop a bank of vocabulary that can then be used in a wider variety of situations. All children receive the same curriculum offer. Our ambitious, broad and balanced curriculum is adapted to ensure learning for all our children is never narrowed. French resources and additional support are available and utilised where appropriate to further enhance first quality teaching.
Lessons are part of the normal school curriculum. Children are taught French weekly for 20 minutes in Reception, 30/40 minutes upwards up to Year 6 by a specialist native teacher.
When children start learning French in EYFS and Key Stage 1, the emphasis is on speaking and listening, using games, songs and practical activities. We aim to motivate children and help them remember more through repetition of new vocabulary and structures in a variety of fun contexts, creatively and practically. Children enjoy listening to familiar stories read in French and like the opportunity to take part in paired speaking and listening activities, including role play. We develop the potential of songs - using rhythm, catchy tunes and repetitive choruses to get pupils used to the new words.
As they continue through Key Stage 2, we build on those foundations to progress in reading and writing by introducing them to more phonics and sentence building to encourage them to express themselves in writing, learning some basic French grammar as well as how to use a dictionary to check the spelling and gender of words and/or meaning.
New vocabulary is supported by a variety of resources. Regular repetition and reinforcement are essential for children to become confident in French. Practical activities, songs and games are used to help improve memory and recall. Children revisit previous learning periodically using their “cahier de français” (French notebook) that is passed through the years, with the songs/rhymes repertoire and word mats/ knowledge organisers.
The teacher takes the opportunity to make cross-curricular links (e.g. in R.E., geography, English, maths, history etc.) in the classroom, whether possible. Instructions are given in French to expose children to the language as much as possible in day-to-day contexts. In addition, the school has a strong link with a primary school near Toulouse in France.
We also use a complementary tool, the website: Linguafun.eu. It is an online resource used in class and at home, aimed to support, complement and reinforce memorisation and French knowledge.
We will promote the language in the future by singing the songs we are learning in the Christmas Carol concert, assemblies and special occasions such as Francophonie day.
A French ‘after school club’ is available for families interested in enrolling their children to enable the use of the language more creatively and spontaneously.
We support our pupils to build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills, assessed informally during the lessons using a variety of strategies such as book scrutinies, games, lesson observations of their personal qualities and attitudes towards their work.
The children’s understanding of a particular concept is shown through self-marking (traffic light: green/orange/red) on the objective (Can I…?) They are given the time to reflect and evaluate their ideas, in line with the school’s marking policy.
Children acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary organised around topics relating to themselves and their everyday experiences. They are encouraged and supported to develop their speaking and listening skills through conversational work, singing activities and games. As confidence and skill grows over the years, children record their work through pictures, captions and sentences. In Key Stage 2, we also discuss features of the language, such as pronunciation of sounds, word order and accents. This knowledge of how languages work provides a useful basis for the study of any foreign language at Key Stage 3 and gives pupils a better understanding of their own language.
We also aim to develop their awareness of cultural differences as we live in a multicultural society, giving them an understanding and appreciation of other cultures. This is to foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the wider world. The skills of learning a new language are transferable; they will enable our children to access foreign languages in their future lives, whether for travel, study or in the international workplace.
Here at Guilden Sutton Church of England Primary School, our children are confident linguists and understand the purpose of studying a language and how it can prepare them for the wider world. The vast majority of pupils reach end of year expectations.