All pupils have the opportunity to learn French and Spanish. The first language taught is Spanish, which pupils start in Reception. French is added to the curriculum in Year 2, so pupils study both languages in equal measure from Years 2 to 6.
The aims of our Modern Languages curriculum are to encourage children’s curiosity and enjoyment of languages. We aim to develop their understanding of what they hear and read and their ability to express themselves in speech and writing. We provide learning experiences that are designed to extend children’s knowledge of how language works and explore differences between the target language and English. We aim to strengthen their sense of identity through learning about French and Spanish culture and comparing it with their own culture.
The language curriculum throughout the school is enhanced by language theatre workshops where children are given the opportunity to perform familiar stories in the target language.
Languages in Reception
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, the teaching of Spanish is delivered through very close links with the class teacher. Planning, where possible, links with the topics covered in class. Teaching is delivered through songs, stories, puppet shows, interactive stories and videos, workshops, cooking and art. Children learn through games and songs and the focus is mainly on speaking and listening skills. Children are taught to answer simple questions about themselves in Spanish, often conversing with our resident puppet, Christina. They study fairy tales such as Los Tres Cerditos and Caperucita Roja (Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood), acting out small scenes as a class.
Languages in Key Stage 1
In Years 1 and 2 our priority is to develop oral communication skills in a way that is relevant to young learners and that will engender enthusiasm and confidence. We concentrate on developing listening and speaking skills. They learn how to respond clearly and coherently, using good pronunciation and intonation. They are taught how to ask questions and reply to them, how to give and follow instructions, how to ask for what they need, how to talk about their everyday life and their special interests.
Language is introduced through contexts, using a wide range of resources. New vocabulary and structures are introduced and practised through many different activities such as games, songs, rhymes, role play, puppets, flashcards, real objects, video, stories, interactive whiteboard activities and mime. I-pads bring learning to life when children record themselves using familiar language to introduce themselves in French and Spanish.
Languages in Key Stage 2
Whilst effective communication remains a priority, children in Years 3 to 6 learn more advanced language such as how to describe their family and how to tell people what they like to do in their free time. Reading and writing are introduced progressively as children acquire confidence in their use of French and Spanish. Teachers deploy a wide range of activities to encourage independent reading and to develop written language skills. Children learn about the grammar of the language, which they are then able to apply in their written and spoken work. Language is introduced through contexts, using a wide range of resources.
Children in Key Stage 2 are provided with opportunities to practise their language skills further by taking part in trips to Northern France and Southern Spain.
Pupils aged between 6 and 11, whose mother tongue is French, have the opportunity to follow both the French and the English curriculum alongside one another. We do this by offering the CNED programme; a well-established programme validated by the French Ministry of Education to provide a French educational standard for students living overseas.
The programme, textbooks and evaluations are all provided by the CNED (Centre National d’Enseignement à Distance), which is based in Toulouse, France. This organisation provides an end of year report certifying that the child has completed the CNED programme which subsequently allows pupils to return to a French school at the right level.
Pupils are taught by qualified French native-speaking teachers and the number of lessons they receive depends on their age and individual needs. Twice a week, children study the Language and Mathematics programme of their respective classes in France i.e. CP- CE1 – CE2 – CM1- CM2. Younger children typically have between 1 and 1 ½ hours per week and older children up to 2 ½ per week. Lessons can be taught in small groups of 1- 5 children.
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