At Spring Gardens, French is our focus foreign language taught in school. Our curriculum aims to teach children the basic foundations of common French vocabulary and phrases, progressing to fluency and accuracy in both verbal and written forms of communication. The curriculum is designed to progressively build a range of French vocabulary as children make their learning journey through Key Stage 2. Alongside the acquisition of new vocabulary, French teaching sessions allow children to develop careful listening skills, engage in a variety of verbal conversations and practise writing for a range of purposes to demonstrate their growing understanding of grammatical structures. Vocabulary is taught in ‘topics’ that are relevant to the children to maximise understanding and develop the children’s confidence in using a new language. Coverage of topics and skills are mapped out across the year for each year group with core principals being revisited during the teaching of each topic after the initial introduction in Year 3.
Within our curriculum, we hope to inspire children about the world that they live in, promote the appreciation of other cultures and broaden their horizons with the possibilities of studying and working in other countries.
French Curriculum Overview 2023-2024
French is taught in blocks in Key Stage 2. Children are introduced to basic French vocabulary and phrases in Year 3, including greetings, counting and the number system, days of the week, months of the year and colours. Topics are then introduced from Year 4 onwards, building the children’s knowledge and understanding of vocabulary gradually, at a pace that meets the needs of all children. In school, we follow the CGP Salut scheme which enables children to listen to correct pronunciations, visually make links between the French and English languages through pictorial representations and take an active approach to their learning through regular mini-tasks during the whole-class teaching session.
Teachers use a variety of strategies to teach new vocabulary. Oral speaking and listening activities are used in all sessions to embed new learning and practise prior vocabulary. Verbal repetition, singing songs, videos and responding to questions are used widely. Children are given vast opportunities to work together in pairs and groups to practise speaking and listening skills through conversation. Passionate, fluent French-speaking members of staff benefit our teaching team and also engage children in incidental learning opportunities to practise their verbal skills. They use their own experiences of visiting France and using the French language, to inspire and provide context to support the children’s learning.
Children further demonstrate their understanding of new and known vocabulary and grammatical structures through written tasks. They are given opportunities to write for different purposes and in a range of forms such as posters, leaflets, labels and maps. Written work is recorded in books which are carried up with the children as they move through Key Stage 2. These shows the progression of skills the children have acquired as well as giving the children opportunities to look back upon the vocabulary they have previously learned.
Pupil voice tells us that children enjoy and look forward to their French lessons. They enjoy learning new vocabulary and express that French lessons are ‘fun’ and ‘interactive’. Children are also keen to demonstrate their knowledge of vocabulary and practise conversations in French. Children are aware of their own strengths within learning the language and also aspects that they feel they need more support with. They value the support they receive from teachers to develop their confidence and skills. As children reach Year 6, they develop a good understanding of vocabulary, how to use words and phrases in sentences and apply this to written skills. This gives them a good foundation to build upon when continuing their language journey in secondary school.