We follow the National Curriculum for Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), focusing on teaching the children basic language skills in French, although we do explore other languages in small ‘parcels’ e.g. answering the register in different languages.
The Catherine Cheater Scheme of Work provides teachers with a structure and a recommended set of resources through which the expectations of the Key Stage 2 Framework for Languages can be met. Teachers also use other resources to complement their lessons.
The emphasis at the beginning is very much on developing listening skills, closely followed by speaking skills; this is why there is a clear focus on storytelling, finger rhymes and singing traditional songs. It is important to relate all language skills developed in French to what the children are learning in the rest of the curriculum, especially in literacy lessons. As the children progress, the teacher continues to develop the children’s listening and speaking skills through storytelling, songs and finger rhymes. Later on, the emphasis shifts to developing an understanding of basic French grammar such as knowledge of word classes, agreements and some verb forms.
The children are taught through a mixture of lessons and parcels. The weekly lesson lasts between 30 and 45 minutes, and shorter ‘parcels’ are taught at appropriate times in the school day.
The learning focus in each lesson concentrates on oracy and literacy learning objectives, and there are also cross-cutting strands of Intercultural Understanding, Language Learning Strategies and Knowledge About Language.
As teaching French is new to our school (we previously taught Spanish), all children in Key Stage Two will be starting from the same beginning point this year. We will then build on skills and knowledge as detailed in the curriculum framework.