Modern Foreign Languages
“Together, we believe, achieve and enjoy”
Through our vision, we serve our community by providing an inclusive, happy, secure and caring Christian environment where all are valued and respected. We believe that God loves all his children unconditionally and values the uniqueness of the individual and recognise the diversity and range of contributions that each child can make. At Queen’s Park CE/URC, we are committed to embedding a positive attitude to language learning amongst pupils and staff and developing an awareness and appreciation of cultural similarities and differences. With this in mind we aim to bring the world into the classroom by carrying out international projects and working with partner schools overseas, hereby widening the linguistic cultural capital of our pupils.
“Les limites de ma langue sont les limites de mon monde.”
The limits of my language are the limits of my world.
Following the Church of England's Vision for Education 'Life in all its fullness' John 10:10, we provide a high-quality education within a creative, stimulating, encouraging and mutually supportive environment where children are enabled to develop the skills they require to become successful in languages.
Our five Crown Principles drive our MFL curriculum.
Through the ‘challenge’ curriculum driver we want our children to relish the challenges that being a linguist can bring. We ensure that our children experience challenges in all disciplines of languages, within the four strands of MFL: listening, speaking, reading and writing with grammar and phonics interwoven throughout.
Through the ‘resilience’ curriculum driver, we promote optimism and determination in our language lessons. Through fun, meaningful lessons the children feel confident and safe to explore a new language. We provide the necessary tools of vocabulary, grammar, audience and purpose within a positive environment to ensure that pupils have an excellent attitude to all language learning.
Through ‘opportunities’, we raise aspirations to broaden our children’s horizons – opening their eyes to the myriad careers they might pursue. We believe in working with partner schools and presently enjoy a connection with Ecole de Velles so that our pupils may see purpose in their French learning as well as enabling them to learn about French culture. We teach our pupils that French is spoken in many countries around the world and carry out projects on ‘les pays francophones’. Whenever the opportunity arises, we invite French native speakers into school, to not only help with French language work but also for our children to understand the language learning journey of others. We want our pupils to have a clear understanding of the link between achieving well and having goals for the future.
At Queen’s Park, we understand that happiness is linked to personal growth, health and development. We ensure our children are happy, healthy individuals. Languages are delivered in a positive atmosphere where children are encouraged to ‘have a go’. Mindfulness sessions are also delivered through the resources provided by Primary Languages Network. As global citizens our children show tolerance and respect for other cultures and embrace EAL pupils by learning new languages through them. With ‘wellbeing’ as a curriculum driver, we give children the confidence to thrive in a diverse, global society and be respectful citizens with British and Christian Values at the core.
Through the ‘kNowledge’ curriculum driver, we encourage our children to be resourceful learners. It is uniquely challenging and coherent to our children. The knowledge imparted in MFL is crafted by our curriculum leader and MFL subject leader to ensure that all pupils achieve secure substantive and disciplinary knowledge in French. In KS2, lessons are delivered by a French specialist, but all our teachers teach with the aim to ensure pupils have sufficient knowledge to progress through primary school and beyond.
Being a linguist means that disciplinary and substantive knowledge complement each other harmoniously. Language disciplines and skills such as using a bilingual dictionary, translation strategies, pronunciation, intonation and awareness of gender and adjectival agreement are high profile within our MFL curriculum.
Our MFL curriculum very much intertwines with literacy in that we look at the etymology of words as they occur and pick out words of Latin/French origin to work on in guided reading lessons.
MFL LongTerm Plan
In EYFS and KS1 our pupils are exposed to language learning through songs, games, stories and cultural activities when it is possible. The pupils take part in celebration days such as European Day of Languages and have sessions with a specialist teacher or through PLN lessons using the VLE when the opportunity arises.
French is taught weekly in KS2 by a specialist French teacher. We subscribe to Primary Languages Network so that class teachers in all year groups are able to deliver French. Y6 have weekly Mandarin lessons provided by our feeder secondary school, Cowley International College.
Our progression documents have been created by the Curriculum Leader and MFL Subject Leader, based on the scheme of work provided by Primary Languages Network, to ensure clear progress in the three pillars of language learning: vocabulary, grammar and phonics.
The progression documents show key knowledge (substantive knowledge), key vocabulary and key skills (disciplinary knowledge) and assessment outcomes from EYFS – Year 6.
Vocabulary is V.I.T.A.L in MFL
We value vocabulary in MFL and in everything we do.
French vocabulary is identified by the MFL subject leader and is explicitly planned for.
Vocabulary is explicitly taught in every lesson. Our Crown Planners are used as a teaching tool for key French vocabulary and the French Primary Languages Network medium term plans include additional vocabulary to be taught.
Once vocabulary is taught, it is applied. Children apply their vocabulary in their speaking and listening, writing and assessment outcomes in MFL.
Vocabulary is revisited and relearned. Vocabulary sticks in the children’s long-term memory. Lesson by lesson, year by year, children revisit and relearn key French vocabulary.
Through an ‘explosion of experiences’, our youngest linguists are exposed to the foundations of their language learning. Carefully planned language and cultural knowledge, skills and experiences are provided for our children by our MFL teacher at different points of the year. Stories and rhymes support our children in their earliest exposure to language. In recent years the number of families who speak additional languages have grown and we have responded to this by incorporating their home language in our provision. The foundations of French learning in EYFS link to Year 1 and beyond.
Year 1 to Year 6
Year on year, children will build upon their French knowledge, skills and vocabulary. The curriculum leader and MFL subject leader have created a meaningful, sequential learning journey through French language and culture. Careful curriculum thinking and planning ensures that our children have the subject knowledge and components embedded in their long-term memories.
Both our staff and children are enthusiastic about languages. Through ongoing CPD, we strive to ensure our teachers have expert knowledge of the French they teach. Our pedagogy is firmly based upon our curriculum intent of embedding concepts into long-term memory so that they are able to be recalled, to ensure substantive and disciplinary knowledge and skills can be applied fluently.
Our ‘Queen’s Park Quality First Teaching’ model ensures that lessons are effectively sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and towards defined end points.
We firmly believe that all children should have full access, including those with additional needs, to our Modern Foreign Language curriculum therefore lessons are scaffolded where appropriate in order to meet the needs of all our children
The sequence of lessons across MFL follows the same structure:
Each lesson, within the sequence, follows the structure so prior knowledge is constantly revisited and transferred to long term memory.
Our Crown Planners support our children with vocabulary and key knowledge (phonics, culture, geography). In French, the children are given them on a format of the French flag at the start of the year. They are told that the blue section, on both the vocabulary and knowledge crown planners, represents autumn term, the white represents spring term and the red is for summer term. They enhance children’s understanding of key concepts, present information clearly and promote appropriate discussion.
We understand that we may not see the true impact of our MFL curriculum on our children as our languages curriculum is just the beginning of a lifetime of learning.
Our well-constructed and well-taught MFL curriculum leads to great outcomes. Our results are a reflection of what our children have learnt. At Queen’s Park, our philosophy is that broad and balanced leads to great outcomes and meeting end points at the end of each key stage. National assessments are useful indicators of the outcomes our children achieve.
We ensure all groups of children are given the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. We strive to ensure that our children are equipped with the skills (through a growth mindset approach) to fluently be able to retrieve key facts and vocabulary from their semantic memory.
The quality of our children’s work, at every stage, is of a high standard. All learning is built towards an end point and at each stage of their education, we prepare our children for the next stage.
We ensure that any reading done in French is planned to a stage appropriate level and fluency. Reading is the beating heart of all that we do at Queen’s Park and we feel that the gift of learning a foreign language impacts the understanding of all areas of English language positively.
The impact of Queen’s Park primary languages curriculum is measured through the following:
- Assessment at the end of each unit of work
- Vocabulary and knowledge are assessed at the end of each lesson and at the end of each sequence
- Pupil voice
- Progress evident in children’s books and record of experiences
- Seeking views of parents where appropriate