Modern Foreign Languages
My name is Mr Forbes and I am the MFL lead. The following information will give you an overview of MFL at Lydiate Primary School.
The Lydiate French Speaker.
When you walk around our school, you are sure to hear French being spoken. This is because we make it part of our daily language in school. We use the Language Angels scheme of work to inspire our pupils to achieve in Modern Foreign Languages and prepare them for a life-long love of languages beyond Key Stage 2.
We have adapted these high-quality resources to create a bespoke scheme of work tailored for our school. Despite there being no requirement prior to Key Stage Two, children from reception upwards are exposed to French in everything from classroom instructions to whole school celebrations and food.
Our Curriculum Drivers
Our curriculum is driven around the three principles which make up our school motto: Inspire,
Achieve, Prepare for Life. We start every lesson by setting the learning intention, explaining clearly
why we are learning a concept, and drawing specifically on previous learning to help us.
Inspiring Our Pupils – The Intent
Lydiate Primary intends to use the Language Angels scheme of work and resources to ensure we offer a relevant, broad, vibrant and ambitious foreign languages curriculum that will inspire and excite our pupils using a wide variety of topics and themes. All pupils will be expected to achieve their full potential by encouraging high expectations and excellent standards in their foreign language learning - the ultimate aim being that pupils will feel willing and able to continue studying languages beyond key stage 2.
The intent is that all content will be continuously updated and reviewed annually, creating a dynamic programme of study that will be clearly outlined in both long-term and short-term planning. This will ensure that the foreign language knowledge of our pupils progresses within each academic year and is extended year upon year throughout the primary phase and, in so doing, will always be relevant and in line with meeting or exceeding national DfE requirements.
The four key language learning skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing will be taught and all necessary grammar will be covered in an age-appropriate way across the primary phase. This will enable pupils to use and apply their learning in a variety of contexts, laying down solid foundations for future language learning and also helping the children improve overall attainment in other subject areas. In addition, the children will be taught how to look up and research language they are unsure of and they will have a bank of reference materials to help them with their spoken and written tasks going forward. This bank of reference materials will develop into a reference library to help pupils recall and build on previous knowledge throughout their primary school language learning journey.
The intent is that all pupils will develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages, finding them enjoyable and stimulating. Learning a second language will also offer pupils the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them with a better awareness of self, others and cultural differences. The intention is that they will be working towards becoming life-long language learners.
Our bespoke scheme, adapted from Language Angels, aims to ensure that children can:
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
To 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.
And by the end of their journey at Lydiate that children should be able to:
Engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others
Speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures
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
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
Ensuring Our Pupils Achieve – The Implementation
All classes will have access to a very high-quality foreign languages curriculum using the Language Angels scheme of work (adapted for Lydiate Primary) and resources. This will progressively develop pupil skills in foreign languages through regularly taught and well-planned weekly lessons in French which will be taught by their own class teacher or HTLA. These are planned to cover the 12 DfE Languages Programme of Study for Key Stage 2 attainment targets.
Children will progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary, language skills and grammatical knowledge organised around age-appropriate topics and themes - building blocks of language into more complex, fluent and authentic language.
Language Angels lessons are categorised by ‘Teaching Type’ to enable teachers to choose units that will offer the appropriate level of challenge and stretch for the classes they are teaching. Early Language units are entry level units and are mostly for KS1 and Year 3 pupils or pupils with little or no previous foreign language learning. Intermediate units increase the level of challenge by increasing the amount and complexity (including foreign language grammar concepts) of the foreign language presented to pupils. Intermediate units are suitable for Year 4-5 pupils or pupils with embedded basic knowledge of the foreign language. Progressive and Creative Curriculum units are the most challenging units and are suitable for Year 6 pupils or pupils with a good understanding of the basics of the language they are learning.
Grouping units into these Teaching Type categories ensures that the language taught is appropriate to the level of the class and introduced when the children are ready. Children will be taught how to listen and read longer pieces of text gradually in the foreign language and they will have ample opportunities to speak, listen to, read and write the language being taught with and without scaffolds, frames and varying levels of support.
Grammar is integrated and taught discreetly throughout all appropriate units. Teachers can also use the specific Grammar Explained units to ensure pupils are exposed to all of the appropriate grammar so they are able to create their own accurate and personalised responses to complex authentic foreign language questions by the end of the primary phase.
Children record their work into dedicated MFL books and are assessed at the end of each unit, with the class teacher then creating a bespoke additional lesson to take learning further.
Preparing Our Pupils For Life – The Impact
Pupils will continuously build on their previous knowledge as they progress in their foreign language learning journey through the primary phase. Previous language will be recycled, revised, recalled and consolidated whenever possible and appropriate. French will be a daily part of school language for children to be proud of.
Pupils will be aware of their own learning goals and progression as each unit offers a pupil friendly overview and self assesament opportunity so that all pupils can review their own learning at the start and at the end of each unit. They will know and will be able to articulate if they have or have not met their learning objectives and can keep their unit learning intention sheets and unit core vocabulary sheets as a record of what they have learnt from unit to unit and from year to year. Pupils will also be offered self-assessment grids to ensure they are also aware of their own progress which they can keep as a record of their progress.
This partnership of teacher and pupil creates a real buzz around French at Lydiate Primary, with children proud of their learning achievements and retained knowledge.
Here's what some of our Year 2 children think
We celebrate French across school with whole-school events such as French food day in our amazing canteen, Bastille Day celebrations and forming links with surrounding High schools to allow their A-Level students to come and inspire our young French Speakers. The impact is to create a life-long love of language that will follow and inspire children to achieve beyond Primary School.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you ensure all of the KS2 aims are covered in your curriculum?
We have adapted the Language Angels scheme to be used across both Key Stages. This includes use of the curriculum compliance grids (see Useful documents section) which pinpoint which units cover which national curriculum targets. This is built into our bespoke scheme with increasing challenge and key principles such as phonics, vocabulary and grammar are revisited regularly and in different contexts.
What do you expect children to be able to do in their lessons and how do they move on over time?
Each lesson has a clear skill-based lesson objective e.g. To write the numbers 1-10 in French. To listen and recognise the days of the week in French. With the exception of clearly signposted spoken lessons, children in Year 3 and above are expected to produce written work for all lessons which could be in the form of writing key vocabulary, completing an exercise work sheet or participating in a listening task. Older children will build upon their learned vocabulary to write and manipulate sentences, not just recite them.
Over time, there is a focus on learning words that can be used in a wide variety of situations, moving on from rote learning to ensure our French speakers can manipulate vocabulary and grammar to good effect, engaging with longer written and spoken texts and having simple conversations in French.
How do you ensure that listening, speaking, reading and writing take place in French?
Our bespoke scheme, adapted from Language Angels, clearly identifies the lessons and units which have these aspects in. As part of our whole school planning, we ensure that any key language in focus is learned through reading and listening before being produced orally and in written form. The units our children can be learned can be cross-referenced with the curriculum compliance grid in the useful documents section below.
How do you decide on key or target vocabulary?
Each unit of learning is based around 4 pieces of key learning. We identify the key language that is required for this learning which is learned, revisited and reviewed. Due to the nature of MFL, there is often a large amount of key vocabulary to be used and remembered in lessons. The specific language is signposted by the Language Angels scheme. This language is carefully chosen and planned to be effective. It is important that children know and remember the key vocabulary from their units so they can expand on this retained knowledge later on in their language journey. Our unit is designed so that key vocabulary and phonics skills are revisited in a cyclical fashion.
The Language Angels scheme we have adapted is designed to avoid cognitive overload and ensure step-by-step learning. Children hear a piece of key vocabulary with a pictorial representation to learn to pronounce it before they are exposed to the spelling. This means that a clear pattern of consistent learning takes place.
How we support SEND children in MFL?
Learning at Lydiate Primary school is underpinned by the Education Endowment Foundation's 'Five a Day' principle. This is woven into the MFL curriculum. Teacher-led approaches give clear and explicit instructions in an 'I do, we do, you do' format. Lesson objectives are clear and skills-based. This approach prevents cognitive overload and provides opportunities for children to evaluate their own work. New concepts are clearly, and appropriately, scaffolded to allow children of all needs to access the lesson objective.
How do you assess MFL at Lydiate Primary?
We have adopted a teacher and self assessment approach, based on the 4 pieces of key learning built into our Key Learning document. This approach prevents cognitive overload, focuses purely on the vital pieces of learning in every unit and allows children to evaluate and assess their own work and learning over time. After an assessment, the class teacher will analyse the results to plan a final lesson designed to tackle any learning gaps, and take learning further for children who have achieved their goals.
What is the profile of French in school?
We love French at Lydiate Primary! All classes use French classroom instructions as part of their daily dialogue, and you can’t walk down a corridor without hearing some foreign language being spoken. We celebrate Bastille day annually with a whole school celebration, including special French food cooked by our kitchen.
We are developing links with surrounding high schools to allow their students to come to Lydiate to demonstrate how far they can take their learning in MFL.
Who teaches MFL in school?
MFL is delivered by either a class teacher or HTLA. Our scheme was deliberately chosen to support non-specialists providing native-speaker pronunciation and clear instructions and lesson plans.
Want To Know More?
We are passionate about French at Lydiate Primary school and welcome any comments or suggestions. Please contact the school office should you want to discuss the music curriculum with me.