French – Intent, Implementation, and Impact
At Sunnyside Primary Academy we aim to instill a love of language learning and an awareness of other cultures. We want pupils to develop the confidence to communicate in French for practical purposes, using both written and spoken French. Through units of work, we aim to give pupils a foundation for language learning that encourages and enables them to apply their skills to learning further languages, developing a strong understanding of the English language, facilitating future study and opening opportunities to study and work in other countries in the future. The French scheme of work supports pupils to meet the National curriculum end of Key stage 2 attainment targets (there are no Key stage 1 attainment targets for Languages). This is driven through our four curriculum pillars.
Striving for Excellence:
In our primary curriculum, we cultivate a culture of striving for excellence in learning languages, particularly French. We believe that language acquisition is a powerful tool for both cognitive development and fostering global perspectives. Our pupils are encouraged to embrace the challenge of mastering a new language, aiming not just for proficiency but for fluency. Through immersive language activities, cultural exchanges, and authentic conversations, we inspire them to set high standards for their language skills. Excellence in French extends beyond the classroom; it opens doors to understanding diverse cultures, connecting with people from around the world, and pursuing future academic and professional opportunities. By striving for excellence in French, our pupils embark on a journey that enriches their lives and equips them with invaluable linguistic and cultural skills.
In our primary French curriculum, we emphasize that developing vocabulary is indeed the cornerstone of language learning. A rich and varied vocabulary is the key to effective communication and understanding. Our pupils embark on a journey of language acquisition, gradually building a strong foundation of French words and phrases through interactive lessons. We firmly believe that a well-developed vocabulary not only enhances their ability to converse fluently but also opens the door to exploring French literature, history, and culture with depth and nuance.
In our primary French curriculum, we place a strong emphasis on building a sense of community among our pupils through the shared journey of language learning. Learning a new language is not just about mastering grammar and vocabulary; it's about connecting with others and understanding different cultures. Through collaborative projects, language games, and cultural exchanges, our pupils come together to explore the French language and Francophone cultures. They learn to appreciate diversity and respect one another's language abilities and cultural backgrounds. By fostering this sense of community, we create an environment where pupils feel supported, motivated, and inspired to become proficient French speakers and culturally aware global citizens.
Expanding Cultural Experiences:
Teaching languages, especially French, plays a vital role in expanding cultural experiences and achieving SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social, and Cultural) objectives in our curriculum. By immersing pupils in the French language and Francophone cultures, we promote cultural understanding, empathy, and appreciation for diversity. This exposure enables pupils to explore different worldviews, traditions, and values, contributing to their spiritual and moral development. Through language learning, pupils develop social skills like effective communication and collaboration as they engage with peers from diverse backgrounds. Additionally, exploring French-speaking cultures fosters an awareness of global interconnectedness, fulfilling the cultural aspect of SMSC objectives. Overall, teaching languages like French goes beyond linguistics; it nurtures well-rounded individuals with a broader perspective on the world and a strong foundation in the core values of SMSC education.
The French scheme of work is designed with three knowledge strands that run throughout our units with knowledge building cumulatively. These are:
This knowledge can then be applied within our skills strands, which also run throughout each unit in the scheme:
- Language comprehension (Listening and reading)
- Language production (Speaking and writing)
Our National curriculum coverage shows which of our units cover each of the National curriculum attainment targets as well as each of the strands. Our Progression of skills and knowledge shows the skills and knowledge that are taught within each year group and how these skills develop to ensure that attainment targets are securely met by the end of Key Stage 2. Through the French scheme, pupils are given opportunities to communicate for practical purposes around familiar subjects and routines. The scheme provides balanced opportunities for communication in both spoken and written French, although in Year 3 the focus is on developing oral skills, before incorporating written French in Year 4 and beyond. The scheme is a spiral curriculum, with key skills and vocabulary revisited repeatedly with increasing complexity, allowing pupils to revise and build on their previous learning. Cross-curricular links are included throughout our French units, allowing children to make connections and apply their language skills to other areas of their learning. Lessons incorporate a range of teaching strategies from independent tasks, paired and group work including role-play, language games and language detective work. Our scheme of work focuses on developing what we term ‘language detective skills’ and developing an understanding of French grammar, and key vocabulary rather than on committing to memory vast amounts of French vocabulary. Pronunciation is emphasised early on using our Mouth mechanics videos to support pupils with phoneme pronunciation in French. Differentiated guidance is available for every lesson to ensure that lessons can be accessed and enjoyed by all. In order to help pupils, retain their French learning, we provide information about how to incorporate French into the classroom environment every day in our ‘During the week’ sections.
The impact of the scheme can be monitored continuously through both formative and summative assessment. After the implementation of French, pupils should leave school equipped with a range of language-learning skills to enable them to study French, or any other language, with confidence at Key Stage 3.
The expected impact of following the French scheme of work is that children will:
- Be able to engage in purposeful dialogue in practical situations (e.g., ordering in a cafe, following directions) and express an opinion.
- Make increasingly accurate attempts to read unfamiliar words, phrases, and short texts.
- Speak and read aloud with confidence and accuracy in pronunciation.
- Demonstrate understanding of spoken language by listening and responding appropriately.
- Use a bilingual dictionary to support their language learning.
- Be able to identify word classes in a sentence and apply grammatical rules they have learnt.
- Have developed an awareness of cognates and near-cognates and be able to use them to tackle unfamiliar words in French, English, and other languages.
- Be able to construct short texts on familiar topics.
- Meet the end of Key Stage 2 stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for Languages.