Welcome to our Languages page
Under the new National Curriculum guidelines, we have decided as a school to concentrate on French as a modern foreign language.
Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.
The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:
- 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.
At Halfway Houses Primary School, we aim to teach children another language in order to provide them with a broader understanding of the world around them. Being exposed to a Modern Foreign Language provides a vehicle for us to immerse the children in the multicultural society in which they live, developing their understanding of other cultures and languages. We strive to encourage their curiosity about other cultures and endeavour to make language learning a fun and enjoyable experience, with links across other curriculum subjects, so that our children will go on to develop further at secondary school with an enhanced awareness of their diverse world.
MFL provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience that broadens pupils’ understanding of the diverse world they live in. Gaining insight into the lives of others whilst also enabling pupils to reflect upon their own cultural identity drawing parallels and celebrating differences. It supports pupils’ ability to communicate which particular emphasis placed on developing the key skills of speaking and listening and developing greater understanding of how languages work and promotes aspiration in our pupils to explore the wider world through travel, research and so on. From our experience with the children here at Halfway Houses, learning a new language provides excitement, enjoyment and challenge using a wide variety of learning approaches to enrich and inspire their learning. Also, due to the fact that the majority of pupils begin at similar starting point, it supports inclusion and a collaborative culture of learning together. We fully believe that learning a language at primary school provides a springboard into the learning of languages at secondary school supporting transition.
At Halfway Houses Primary we aim:
- To ensure that we foster an interest in our children to learn another language alongside
- To develop their speaking and listening skills, laying foundations for future study.
- To encourage our young children to spot similarities and difference within the structure of different languages in comparison to our own, linking across the curriculum,
- To foster enjoyment, pride in their work and a sense of achievement, increasing the children’s aspirations for their future.
- To develop their knowledge and skills through engaging in conversations, asking and answering questions and expressing opinions and responses to others.
- To provide our children with confidence to speak in sentences using familiar vocabulary phrases and language structures, in small groups and to an audience,
- To eventually be confident enough to write phrases from memory and adapt these independently.
It is part of normal classroom practice, here at Halfway Houses, to ensure every child from Year 3-6 have the opportunity to be involved in language learning for at least 30 minutes per week, taught by their non-specialist class teachers. Despite the fact that not all teachers in the school are fluent in different languages, planning is provided by the lead teachers for MFL within the school who are readily available to help their colleagues in any way. It is important for our children to know that it is not about being fluent, but instead about finding an enjoyment in what you are learning and developing a culture within the classroom and school of ‘giving it a go’ and being in a supportive and risk-taking environment, linking back to our ‘ROAR’ values.
Throughout their time in KS2 at Halfway Houses they will be learning a wide variety of topical vocabulary, including:
- Greetings and useful phrases to have in general conversation
- Numbers up to 31, day of the week and months of the year- linking to ways of introducing themselves, including their family and their physical attributes
- Names of food- as well as cultural differences in our daily diets
- Expressing our opinions on hobbies and their choice of amenities
- Learning about different cultural festivities, including Christmas around the world
We use a range of different speaking and listening activities, allowing children to use the language in a practical context, developing their language experiences. Games, songs and role-play help to make the lessons fun and often allow children to remember vocabulary and phrases in an interesting manner. Our lessons include a range of vocabulary and basic language structures which children can use to communicate about everyday topics, such as colours, numbers, food and drink, sports, school, family etc. The topics covered are repeated within different year groups (3-5, 4-6) in order to allow our children plenty of opportunities to practice and build upon them. Children will have opportunities to listen to stories and songs in French, so they can pick up on and recognises the patterns and sounds of the language, helping them develop their own pronunciation. Due to our learners sometimes having an initial limited exposure to language, we also hope that through this teaching and learning, we are able to spark a love of language learning in order to create a firm building platform for their future engagement in this area. Through capturing this within language learning we feel it gives children, of all abilities, a fair chance to succeed. As well as a weekly language lessons, we encourage our teachers to adopt a flexible approach to language teaching by including French and sign language in parts of the daily classroom routine, such as taking the register or giving instructions. This means that the language is being used for real communication and enables the learning to become embedded and stored in their long-term memory.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education is a natural focus of MFL. During our MFL lessons we give our pupils an opportunity to both consider the needs and experiences of people of other cultures, and reflect upon their own response to this. Pupil’s spiritual development is shown by their ability to link their own language to another, strengthening connections whilst exploring the new words and phrases. creating an excitement about learning a new language. Morally, through the medium of MFL, pupils will begin to recognise the importance of learning an MFL from another country to enable them to respect how difficult it is when people visit Britain and try to speak a new language. In addition, pupils here at Halfway Houses are being given the opportunity to take the risk of making mistakes and appreciating and respecting the fact that other pupils are attempting to speak another language. It is undeniable that learning a Modern Foreign Language to have an impact on their cultural understanding and begin to appreciate the similarities and differences between France and Britain. This is exemplified through their exploration of famous landmarks and the history and heritage linked to these landmarks in Britain and France. A large focus placed on developing speaking and listening skills through group work and collaborative learning with also give children a unique opportunity to develop socially within these lessons. To ensure that
At Halfway Houses Primary school, it is essential to us, no matter what subject we are teaching, that all the needs of our pupils are met. Within MFL, we have a unique opportunity to introduce something so new that regardless of the children’s ability in other subjects they all have the same starting point. Due to this, all children are exposed to the same tasks and vocabulary, being given equal opportunities to succeed, however these allow for a variety of responses which means that a majority of differentiation comes from outcome. Some children feel confident enough to respond in a more complex manner in full sentences. When it comes to recording their understanding, tasks are reshaped in response to pupils’ needs with the use of scaffolding (for example, sentence stems) and through the support provided by adults. An example of this is when providing children with a question, some pupils may draw their response and label the main features with topic specific vocabulary, whereas others may choose to provide a written answer, providing the opportunity for inclusion for all.
Role and Responsibilities of the MFL Subject Leader:
At Halfway Houses Primary School, the MFL Subject Leader has the responsibility of overseeing the subject within the school including:
- Formulating and updating the policy when appropriate.
- Ensuring staff are aware of the policy’s content and that it matches classroom practice as far as possible.
- Ensuring appropriate resources are available.
- Disseminating information, as it is received from any external source, to staff and children.
- Supporting staff with computing-related issues when required.
- Having a knowledge of the quality of computing provision across the school
- Identifying and acting on development needs of staff members
- Monitoring expectations, provision and attainment across the school and providing feedback to develop practice further in order to raise standards.
- Reporting to parents, SLT, governors and others when appropriate.
With regard to assessment, each lesson provides a class teacher with an ongoing formative assessment of the children’s interaction, confidence and pronunciation, carried out in observations of individual children or groups. As well as this, our school is tracks summative assessments in our curriculum subject assessment book which moves with the class across the Key Stage.
How can I help my child with their MFL learning?
Here are some questions that you could ask your child.
What have you learned about so far in French?
Can you tell me the French words for something that we have at home?
What do you like about learning a different language?
What do you find trick about learning a different language?
Do you know anyone who speaks a different language?
What other languages would you like to learn?
How do you ask a question in French?
Can you tell me what the French words for the colours are?
How do you think learning a different language will help you in the future?
Can you teach me to count in French?