Bonjour, je m’appelle Mademoiselle Bridges!
I am the French lead at St. Peters and I am very passionate about children learning this language!
Introduction to French
Teaching of a foreign language should focus on enabling pupils to make substantial progress in one language (National Curriculum, 2013). At St. Peters, the language that we have chosen to teach is French. Children begin learning French through discrete lessons in Key Stage 2, although children in KS1 will be introduced to Modern Foreign Languages through exploring other languages informally where appropriate. In Year 3 and 4, planning is based on the Salut scheme of work. In Year 5 and 6, lessons are planned and taught by a French specialist teacher from St. Margaret Ward Academy, supporting the children’s transition to learning languages at Key Stage 3 level.
Why do we teach French?
Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high quality languages education will foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries (Purpose of Study, National Curriculum, September 2013).
The intention of the French curriculum at St Peters, is that children develop an interest and enthusiasm in learning another language. We strive to embed the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing through a progressive French curriculum, so that children can use and apply their learning in a variety of contexts.
We have developed a bespoke Modern Foreign Language curriculum, which covers all the components of the Modern Foreign Languages Programme of Study and meets the current needs of children here at St Peter’s. The curriculum is designed to develop children’s vocabulary and skills through regularly taught lessons. Opportunities to rehearse and consolidate skills are also utilised across the week, by including the French language within the daily routine.
In Year 3 and 4, we use resources from the Salut scheme of work. Children acquire new vocabulary based upon a familiar topic. New units start with a catchy song and then end with a story that ties the content together. Lessons within each unit typically include an introduction and review of new vocabulary, practise through an interactive game and then application through a classroom activity. As the children’s confidence and skills develop, they will record their work through writing captions and sentences in French.
In Year 5 and 6, lessons are planned through the Primary Outreach Programme. Children start their lesson by recapping and revisiting previous knowledge. They are then introduced to new vocabulary and grammar, which they then apply to a classroom activity. Lesson activities include songs, games and role play. Children progress to writing several sentences and passages, based upon an engaging context, such as designing and then describing their own Christmas bauble. Children also learn about French culture, including the traditions of ‘La Chandeleur’ and ‘Mardi Gras’.
Our Curriculum Map for French can be found below:
We strive to lay the foundations for future language learning. Children will understand the relevance of what they are learning in languages and how this relates to everyday life, travel and how this can enhance future career prospects.
The impact of our French curriculum is measured through:
- Reviewing the work inside of the children’s individual folder
- Photograph’s and videos of practical work
- Assessment of pupil’s progress
- Interviewing the children about their learning
What does French look like in our school?
Look at Year 3’s French display, which includes some of the children’s fantastic transition work. The children are really enjoying being introduced to the French language!
Now our children are back in school, Year 5 have been practising the new vocabulary they have been learning with Mademoiselle Smith using Quizlet on the computers.
During Lockdown, the children in Year 5 and 6 continued to receive lessons from Mademoiselle Smith, our Collegiate French specialist through TEAMS. Year 3 and 4 continued to follow our Salut programme from home.
In Year 3, the children learned all about different pets and animals on the farm in French. They even learned how to sing Old McDonald had a farm in French! Below is some of the fantastic work that Noa completed at home.
We have been very lucky here at St Peter’s and every fortnight, the children in Year 5 and 6 are taught French by Mademoiselle Smith. Mademoiselle Smith is a French specialist teacher from St Margaret Ward, who is supporting the children to excel with this subject.
The children in Year 3 have loved having this exposure to a new language, they even sang Happy Birthday to Mrs Snee in French!
What do our children say about French?
“I like that when I learn some new words I can go home and talk in French. I sang happy birthday to my mum in French!” Y4 Pupil
“I like learning new things in French” Y5 Pupil
Learning resources you can use at home:
Practise introducing yourself in French with the below resource:
Practise saying the names of farm animals in French with the below resource:
Practise saying greetings in French with the below resource: