Modern Foreign Languages


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MFL (French) Curriculum Overview

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  Policy Statement – MFL

At Usworth Colliery Primary School, we are keen to provide the foundation for learning languages, focussing on enabling pupils to make substantial progress in French and equipping pupils for further study of languages. The new National Curriculum states that ‘learning a foreign language, is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures, deepening pupil’s understanding of the wider world.’ Our school provides children with a good balance in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and through Key Stage 2, the children progress in all of these areas. At Usworth Colliery Primary School, we are keen to enrich the experience of learning a language and releasing children’s creative energy, through games, sport, drama and music. We provide pupils with opportunities to communicate in French for practical purposes, with a balance of spoken and written language. The scheme of work for French which we teach, incorporates materials from the North Tyneside Scheme, materials from the BBC Primary French website, the ‘Take 10 en Français’ resource pack and materials produced by the City of Sunderland Local Authority. 

Teaching of French in accordance with National Curriculum aims:

Usworth Colliery primary school delivers weekly lessons in French in Key Stage 2, using an imaginative range of activities, which cover the skills, knowledge and understanding needed for language learning. Vocabulary is regularly reinforced by class teachers, for example through songs and use of classroom instructions. A balanced programme of learning activities allows pupils to work individually, in pairs, small groups or as a whole class. A balance between oracy and literacy is also maintained.

Speaking and listening

All Key Stage 2 children are taught to:

  • listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
  • explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
  • engage in conversations, ask and answer questions, express opinions and respond to those of others
  • speak in sentences with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language
  • develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases
  • present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences

Reading and writing:

The children will be taught to:

• read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
• appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language
• broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
• write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly
• describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
• understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.

Intercultural understanding

The children will be taught:

  • to describe aspects of life of people living in France
  • to identify similarities and differences in everyday life, social conventions, traditions and celebrations
  • to foster a curiosity about language learning

The teaching will provide an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and will lay the foundations for further foreign language teaching at Key Stage 3.

Teaching time

Key Stage 1 children are introduced to the concept of intercultural understanding, and learn French as a new language, through playing games in French and learning French songs and rhymes with their class. Children in key Stage 1 are also introduced to the French language, through becoming familiar with greetings and basic classroom instructions in French.

All children in Years 2 – 6 are taught French weekly for a total of 60 minutes each week. They have the opportunity to learn French through playing games in French, learning French songs and rhymes, through regular speaking and listening, and reading and writing in French.