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MFL

“Learning a foreign language, and the culture that goes with it, is one of the most useful things we can do to broaden the empathy and imaginative sympathy and cultural outlook of children.”

– Michael Gove

IntentAt St Joseph’s, we provide service and witness to children, their families and the wider Catholic community, adding value as a family of schools and enriching the learning and experience of all our young people so they may achieve their full potential.

At St Joseph’s, we have designed a broad, balanced and challenging curriculum, which is accessible to all. It has been designed to maximise the development of every child’s ability and academic achievement.  We believe that learning another language gives children a new and broader perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures and those of others and lay the foundations for further language learning in the future.

Our MFL curriculum aims to ensure that children :

  • Engage in oral activities to develop their skills and confidence in speaking French in a respectful and friendly environment where children are prepared to take risks and secure a deeper understanding.
  • Engage in listening activities to develop their skills and curiosity in listening to a different language.
  • Engage in reading activities to develop their skills in reading French and develop resilience by using and understanding a different language.
  • Engage in writing activities to develop their skills in writing French and take the responsibility of developing and mastering life long learning skills that can be applied to 21st century Britain.
  • Be reflective of understanding a different culture and develop their awareness of cultural differences in other cultures and countries.

Cultural Capital

The MFL curriculum at St Joseph’s will offer children the opportunities to draw upon skills, behaviours and knowledge. To be able to do this, all pupils are:

  • Taught lessons that allow them to learn and develop a depth of understanding of the French language and culture.
  • Taught as cross-curricular understanding such as understanding of key figures in French history such as Marie Curie in science lessons and Claude Monet in art.
  • Given the opportunities to make and experience French food.
  • Learn about traditional celebrations and festivals such as Bastille Day and the Menton Lemon Festival.
  • Be given opportunities to engage with French popular media.
  • Participate in organised events such as Modern Foreign Languages day.

Implementation

At St Joseph’s children in KS2 learn French through the scheme of work Salut! Each half term has a different topic taught through a discreet lesson.  In order to help children develop their understanding of French, make connections and deepen their understanding we have designed a broad and balanced progressive curriculum which builds upon prior knowledge and develops new concepts.  Lessons are presented in a fun and friendly way, to help the children engage in learning French.  The lessons include games, to help children build listening and reading skills.  For each unit there is a simple catchy song and a story to help the children engage and develop their understanding of French.

At the beginning of KS2 children the first stage is 3 core units to introduce basic language like colours and numbers that will be essential for developing their skills, knowledge and understanding as they progress with their learning of French.  This leads on to three simple, topic-based units to spark the children’s interest.   Children are encouraged to make links to prior learning either in their present year or from previous years through revisiting the core units. Throughout the lesson, children are given opportunities to develop their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.  Throughout, and at the end of the topic, children have the opportunity to reflect upon their learning and make links to aspects learnt and queries for future learning.  Also, they further develop their French vocabulary. The majority of children progress through the lessons at the same pace.  Differentiation is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention.

Impact

The quality of our MFL curriculum is reviewed and adapted on a regular basis so we are confident it meets the needs of all our pupils. The impact of French is measured at St Joseph’s through a range of monitoring procedures. We monitor the quality of teaching and provide CPD where needed, monitor and look in children’s books to see if key French concepts have been taught, children have a deep understanding there is a sequential progression of skills.  In addition to this, discussions with teachers, pupils and parents are held.

Assessment is an essential part of measuring our French curriculum.  Formative on going assessment is carried out to see if children have acquired relevant skills. This is then tracked on our whole school assessment sheets.  Moderation takes place in house, with Catholic clusters of schools, local clusters of schools and with the local authority.