French is taught at Freemantle to empower pupils of all abilities to develop solid foundations in key language-learning skills. Children will develop the skills to decode what they hear and read, and learn to express themselves in speech and writing. With many children in our school already proficient in more than one language, the programme of study will extend their knowledge of how language works and encourage them to explore the similarities and differences between the foreign language they are learning and the languages they already know. By learning about culture in Francophone countries and comparing it with their own, children will strengthen their own sense of identity and have their horizons broadened.
The Academy’s approach to language-teaching prioritises fundamental oracy skills, providing a bedrock of language skills and knowledge through conversation, songs and games.
French is taught weekly across Key Stage 2 by the class teacher, following the Language Angels scheme of work which is supplemented with the teacher's own ideas, experience and creativity. The lessons are designed to motivate, captivate and interest children from the start and build incrementally to embed confidence, consolidate knowledge and ensure new language is retained.
Across KS2, children learn to
- Listen attentively: recognising familiar words and phrases and showing understanding by joining in and responding.
- Speak in sentences: using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic sentence structures to express their ideas, to engage in conversations and to ask and answer questions.
- Read French text: recognising familiar words and phrases and showing understanding by translating French text into spoken/written English.
- Write in French: writing words and phrases from memory and adapting familiar vocabulary, phrases and sentence structures to create new sentences and express ideas clearly.
- Build a vocabulary of high-frequency words.
- Develop accurate pronunciation and intonation
- Develop basic grammatical understanding of how to build sentences in French, understanding how sentence structures differ from English and other known languages.
There are no National Curriculum expectations for teaching MFL in Early Years or in Key Stage 1; however, at Freemantle Academy, we recognise that children absorb language from an early age – whilst they are still developing language skills in their mother tongue – and that a fun and playful engagement with French holds many benefits for the learner. When a child learns a second language, they indirectly absorb the mechanics of language. This makes them better at grasping the quirks of English grammar, improves their listening skills and makes them more effective communicators.
As a school, we expose children in EYFS and KS1 to French songs, stories and games so that they begin to love the language and gain confidence in their ability to recognise and join in with repeated phrases such as greetings and answering the register in French, as well as experimenting with a range of other home languages spoken within the class, to broaden and deepen cross-cultural understanding and respect.
In whole-school French language and culture events (such as French Market Day), children from EYFS through to Year 6 are invited to participate in speaking greetings in French (‘Bonjour’ and ‘Au Revoir’) and sampling French food.
During their time at Freemantle, all pupils develop solid foundations in key-language learning skills; our goal is for all children to be competent, confident and curious about language. Our pupils are supported to understand what they hear and read, and enabled to express themselves in speech and writing. We extend their knowledge of how language works and explore the similarities and differences between the foreign language they are learning and English and/or other home languages. By focusing on a range of key language learning skills, we equip our children for the next stage of their language-learning journey.
Please click on the links below to find out more about the teaching of French at Freemantle
Home Learning Opportunities
Learning catchy songs in French is a great way to embed key vocabulary. Why not enjoy singing some of these with your children?