The Teaching of French at Greystones Primary School

In addition to reading the information that is detailed below, you may like to follow these links for more details about what is taught and expectations at Greystones (just click on the words):

1. French Progression of Skills

2. French End Points

3. French Phonics Coverage

4. Language Angels Unit Planner - Long Term Plan

5. MFL Policy

Greystones Primary School - French Curriculum Statement


Intent
Greystones Primary school intends to use the Language Angels scheme of work and resources to ensure we offer a relevant, broad, vibrant and ambitious foreign languages curriculum that will inspire and excite our pupils using a wide variety of topics and themes. All pupils will be expected to achieve their full potential by encouraging high expectations and excellent standards in their foreign language learning - the ultimate aim being that pupils will feel willing and able to continue studying languages beyond key stage 2.

The intent is that all content will be continuously updated and reviewed annually, creating a dynamic programme of study that will be clearly outlined in both long-term and short-term planning. This will ensure that the foreign language knowledge of our pupils progresses within each academic year and is extended year upon year throughout the primary phase and, in so doing, will always be relevant and in line with meeting or exceeding national DfE requirements.

The four key language learning skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing will be taught and all necessary grammar will be covered in an age-appropriate way across the primary phase. This will enable pupils to use and apply their learning in a variety of contexts, laying down solid foundations for future language learning and also helping the children improve overall attainment in other subject areas. In addition, the children will be taught how to look up and research language they are unsure of and they will have a bank of reference materials to help them with their spoken and written tasks going forward.

The intent is that all pupils will develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages, finding them enjoyable and stimulating. Learning a second language will also offer pupils the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them with a better awareness of self, others and cultural differences. The intention is that they will be working towards becoming life-long language learners.

Implementation

All classes will have access to a very high-quality foreign languages curriculum using the Language Angels scheme of work and resources. This will progressively develop pupil skills in foreign languages through regularly taught and well-planned weekly lessons in KS2 which will be taught by class teachers and/or by PPA cover. The chosen language of French will be taught in 30/45 minute weekly sessions. Children will progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary, language skills and grammatical knowledge organised around age-appropriate topics and themes ,building blocks of language into more complex, fluent and authentic language.

Language Angels are categorised by ‘Teaching Type’ to make it easier for teachers to choose units that will offer the appropriate level of challenge and stretch for the classes they are teaching. Early Language units are entry level units and are most appropriate for Year 3 pupils or pupils with little or no previous foreign language learning. Intermediate units increase the level of challenge by increasing the amount and complexity (including foreign language grammar concepts) of the foreign language presented to pupils. Intermediate units are suitable for Year 4-5 pupils or pupils with embedded basic knowledge of the foreign language. Progressive and Creative Curriculum units are the most challenging units and are suitable for Year 6 pupils or pupils with a good understanding of the basics of the language they are learning. Grouping units into these Teaching Type categories ensures that the language taught is appropriate to the level of the class and introduced when the children are ready. Children will be taught how to listen and read longer pieces of text gradually in the foreign language and they will have ample opportunities to speak, listen to, read and write the language being taught with and without scaffolds, frames and varying levels of support.

Children will build on previous knowledge gradually as their foreign language lessons continue to recycle, revise and consolidate previously learnt language whilst building on all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Grammar is integrated and taught discreetly throughout all appropriate units. Grammar rules and patterns will be taught and sequenced by level of challenge and teachers can access the grammar grid for a breakdown of how grammar progresses throughout the scheme.

The Progression of Skills Map shows precisely how pupil foreign language learning across the key skills of speaking, listening, reading, writing and grammar progresses across KS2 and how previous concepts are built on.

The school has a unit planner in place which will serve as an overall ‘teaching map’ outlining for all teachers within KS2 what each year group will be taught and when it will be taught. Each class in each year group will have an overview of units to be taught during the academic year to ensure substantial progress and learning is achieved. Each teaching unit is divided into 6 fully planned lessons, except for Core Vocabulary modules, which are used as stand-alone lessons. For the first year using Language Angels, 21/22, a bespoke one year catch up programme has been created which is highlighted in the Unit Planner. This to ensure that all KS2 pupils will be able to catch up as a result of lost learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic. After the year, the unit planner will be reviewed and adapted as appropriate to allow for language progression across the Key Stage.

  • Each unit and lesson will have clearly defined objectives and aims. 

  • Each lesson will incorporate interactive whiteboard materials to include ample speaking and listening tasks within a lesson. 

  • Lessons will incorporate challenge sections and desk-based activities that will be offered with three levels of stretch and differentiation. These may be sent home as homework if not completed in class. 

  • Reading and writing activities will be offered in all units. Some extended reading and writing activities are provided so that children are appropriately challenged. 

  • Every unit will include a grammar concept which will increase in complexity as pupils move throughout their language learning journey. 

  • Extending writing activities are provided to ensure that pupils are recalling previously learnt language and, by reusing it, will be able to recall it and use it with greater ease and accuracy. These tasks will help to link units together and show that pupils are retaining and recalling the language taught with increased fluency and ease.

Units are progressive within themselves as subsequent lessons within a unit build on the language and knowledge taught in previous lessons. As pupils progress though the lessons in a unit they will build their knowledge and develop the complexity of the language they use. We think of the progression within the 6 lessons in a unit as ‘language Lego’. We provide blocks of language knowledge and, over the course of a 6-week unit, encourage pupils to build more complex and sophisticated language structures with their blocks of language knowledge.

Pupil learning and progression will be assessed at regular intervals. At the end of each 6-week unit, teachers can assess pupils in each language skill (speaking, listening, reading and writing) and there is also chance for pupils to self assess using the pupil ‘I can’ documents. Teachers can also view the ‘end points’ document which is useful in highlighting which objectives have been covered in previous years.

Impact

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 an appreciation for other cultures. By the time they leave Greystones, pupils will have acquired basic skills in the 4 key strands of language learning – speaking listening reading and writing and will have acquired a solid foundation upon which to pursue further language study. Pupils will be assessed on their ability to do each of the following aspects:

  • 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 length, 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

Units within the scheme increase in level of challenge, stretch and linguistic and grammatical complexity as pupils move from Early Learning units through Intermediate units and into the most challenging Progressive units. Units in each subsequent level of the teaching type categories require more knowledge and application of skills than the previous teaching type. Activities contain progressively more text (both in English and French) and lessons will have more content as the children become more confident and ambitious with the foreign language they are learning.

Early Learning units will start at basic noun and article level and will teach pupils how to formulate short phrases. By the time pupils reach Progressive units they will be exposed to much longer text and will be encouraged to formulate their own, more personalised responses based on a much wider bank of vocabulary, linguistic structures and grammatical knowledge. They will be able to create longer pieces of spoken and written language and are encouraged to use a variety of conjunctions, adverbs, adjectives, opinions and justifications.

Pupils will continuously build on their previous knowledge as they progress in their foreign language learning journey through the primary phase. Previous language will be recycled, revised, recalled and consolidated whenever possible and appropriate.

Teachers will have a clear overview of what they are working towards and if they are meeting these criteria. They will use the long-term planning documents provided in the form of Language Angels unit planners to ensure the correct units are being taught to the correct classes at each stage of the scholastic year. Short-term planning is also provided in the form of unit overviews (covering the learning targets for each 6-week unit) and individual lesson plans laying out the learning aims and intentions of each individual lesson within a unit. These planning documents ensure that teachers know what to teach and how to teach it in each lesson, across whole units and across each scholastic term.

The opportunity to assess pupil learning and progression in the key language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) and against the 12 DfE Languages Programme of Study for Key Stage 2 attainment targets is provided at the
end of each 6-week teaching unit. Pupils will also be offered self-assessment grids to ensure they are also aware of their own progress which they can keep as a record.

Children are expected to make good or better than good progress in their foreign language learning and their individual progress is tracked and reported to pupils and parents / carers in line with school recommendations. If pupils are not progressing in line with expectations, this will be identified in the End of Unit Skills Assessments, which are completed after each 6-week unit of work. This will enable teachers to put in place an early intervention programme to address any areas that require attention in any of the language learning skills.