At Manor Farm Junior School, we want to inspire a love of language learning, foster pupil’s curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. We teach French in all year groups as well as offering an introduction to Spanish at the end of Year 6 for half a term.
Our MFL curriculum is designed to enable our children to: develop linguistic and communicative competence; extend their knowledge of how language works and explore similarities and differences between French, any heritage languages our children have, and English. We intend for our pupils to become aware of the importance of being able to communicate in a modern foreign language and develop a strong foundation for language learning which can be applied to the learning of any foreign language. We want children to understand how a modern foreign language can act as a gateway to new learning and wider opportunities throughout their lives such as: socially; academically and in the world of work. We want our children to confidently use French in everyday situations that they may encounter in the UK and abroad e.g. greetings, numbers, the weather, ordering food in a restaurant, expressing ideas, thoughts and opinions and describing places, people and things.
We also have a cultural intent for pupils to become aware of the origins and development of the French language. This includes traditions and culture; celebrations and festivals, geography; art and culture in France and French speaking countries. Children participate in whole school events including language days, links with a school in France and theatre productions in French.
Lessons are taught by a specialist MFL teacher for one hour each week. The MFL curriculum includes the four main skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening as well as developing the children’s knowledge of phonology, grammatical structures and vocabulary. The curriculum shows a clear progression in skills, developing their depth of understanding as they move through the school and enabling them to make substantial progress in French.
Children are exposed to a range of vocabulary looking at a specific topic/theme each half term. Children are taught through interactive games, which can range from listening, reading and writing skills. Each year, we hold a French day where children are immersed in a French Cafe experience. They take on a role as either a customer or a server and communicate with one another solely in French. This immersive experience builds cultural capital, is engaging and allows children to practise French with a purpose.
We are developing a dedicated role play area with props and resources for children to develop conversations through games and activities. Pupils appointed as language leaders across the school assist in promoting and developing language learning.
The impact of the MFL teaching and learning is that pupils develop key skills, knowledge and understanding which can be applied to the learning of any foreign language. Children also become ready to undertake the learning of MFL at secondary school level very successfully regardless of the language. The MFL curriculum ensures that children develop their cultural capital in a meaningful way as they become knowledgeable about topics which they would not have been exposed to outside of the MFL curriculum. Our children express a love of language learning and a willingness to put into practise what has been embedded in their learning through repetition, reinforcement and progression year on year.