French at Heathmere
From September 2022 the modern foreign language taught at Heathmere Primary School has been French (prior to this, Spanish was the language taught). Although the National Curriculum states it is a statutory requirement for languages to be taught in Key Stage 2, we also expose our Key Stage 1 pupils to French at an age appropriate level. In addition to this, in our Early Years Foundation Stage, we celebrate the diversity of languages within our pupil population. Where cross curricular opportunities arise, we provide pupils with the opportunity to experience a range of other languages.
Languages are an essential part of a broad, balanced curriculum. The teaching and learning of additional languages widens pupils’ horizons within and beyond the classroom, creating a deeper understanding of the world and different cultures. Research shows that pupils who study a second language perform better across a range of academic subjects than those who do not study a second language (Department for Education 2023).
At Heathmere, our teachers create a variety of opportunities for pupils to practise using the language they acquire in their French lessons. To empower our teachers to plan high quality and well-structured lessons for our pupils, we use a scheme of work called ‘Language Angels’. Our aim is for all pupils to leave Heathmere being able to listen to, speak, read and write in French at an age appropriate level. Pupils will leave Heathmere Primary School with a love of languages and the confidence to access the Languages curriculum at their chosen Secondary School.
All pupils in year 1 to year 6 partake in discrete French lessons throughout the school year; curriculum content is taken from the Language Angels scheme of work. Our Languages curriculum focuses on the key skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Curriculum content progresses from Early Language Teaching through to Intermediate Teaching and then through to Progressive Teaching. The sequence of this delivery has been carefully mapped out (our French progression map can be found below) to support all pupils across the curriculum, and in their wider lives, as they move through their primary school years.
Our Languages curriculum focuses on providing all pupils with an understanding of how to communicate in French. All lessons are delivered in a practical context using digital resources to support where appropriate. French lessons are delivered through a mixture of aural rehearsal (using native French speakers as a model), written practice, songs and videos.
The Curriculum Lead and Subject Leads at Heathmere monitor the impact of the Languages curriculum, ensuring that all pupils successfully learn the curriculum through a range of monitoring arrangements including: curriculum progression and planning reviews, learning walks, books looks and pupil voice. Pupils’ progress in French is monitored by class teachers as part of our end of year assessment procedures; pupils’ also demonstrate the progress they have made in French by completing an end of unit knowledge and skill retention check.