All pupils are expected to achieve their full potential in their language learning through the delivery of an excellent curriculum and by encouraging high expectations with the aim that pupils will wish to continue studying languages beyond key stage 2. At Ellison Boulters the language that is taught is French. We are working in partnership with the language department at one of the schools that our children attend in Year 7 to find ways to enrich and support language teaching to prepare for Y6 to Y7 transition.
The four key language learning skills are listening, speaking, reading and writing. These are taught alongside the necessary grammar in an age-appropriate way across key stage 2. This enables pupils to use and apply their learning in a variety of contexts, laying down solid foundations for future language learning. In addition, the children learn 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. 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 offers 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 and global citizens.
All Key Stage 2 classes have access to a high-quality foreign languages curriculum using the Language Angels scheme of work and resources for French; it inspires and excites our pupils by using a wide variety of topics and themes. Content is reviewed and updated annually creating a dynamic programme of study that is clearly outlined in planning. This ensures 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. We progressively develop pupil skills in foreign languages through regularly taught and well-planned weekly lessons in Key Stage 2. In addition to this, in Key Stage 1 an introduction to languages is taught by using opportunities to explore French words and culture such as through answering the register or singing Happy Birthday in French. Children also have the opportunity to attend a mini-lingual weekly extra- curricular club, which currently offers Spanish. By offering these early opportunities, children will begin to foster an inquisitive approach to languages in readiness to commence more formalised learning in Key Stage 2.
In KS2 children 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.
The units are categorised by ‘Teaching Type’ to offer the appropriate level of breadth, challenge and stretch. Early Language units are entry level units. 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. Progressive and Creative Curriculum units are the most challenging units.
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. Pupils will have access to Early and Intermediate units within Mile post 2 (Years 3 and 4) and as they move into Mile post 3 (Years 5 and 6) Intermediate units and also Progressive and Creative Curriculum units are used.. Lessons are adapted to support children’s access to the curriculum and to ensure appropriate levels of challenge to ensure pupils learn effectively, continuously building their knowledge of and enthusiasm for French.
Children learn to listen and read longer pieces of text and they have opportunities to speak, listen to, read and write the language being taught with and without scaffolds, frames and varying levels of support.
Teachers access the progression of skills documents and Grammar Grid to ensure all children are making progress.
Grammar rules and patterns are taught discreetly in this order:
- nouns and articles and 1st person singular of high frequency verbs in Early Learning units
- use of the possessive, the concept of adjectives, use of the negative form, conjunctions/connectives and introduce the concept of whole regular verb conjugation in Intermediate units
- opinions and introduce the concept of whole high frequency irregular verb conjugation in Progressive units
Each teaching unit is divided into 6 fully planned lessons.
- Each unit and lesson has clearly defined objectives and aims.
- Each lesson incorporates interactive whiteboard materials to include speaking and listening tasks within a lesson.
- Lessons will incorporate challenges
- Reading and writing activities are offered in all units. Some extended reading and writing activities are provided so that native speakers can also be catered for.
- Every unit will include a grammar concept, which will increase in complexity as pupils move from Early Language units, through Intermediate units and into Progressive units.
- Extended writing activities are provided to ensure that pupils are recalling previously learnt language and, by reusing it, are able to recall it and use it with greater ease and accuracy. These tasks help to link units together and show that pupils are retaining and recalling the language taught with increased fluency and ease.
Lessons provide blocks of language knowledge and, over the course of a 6-week unit, encourage pupils to build more complex and sophisticated language structures with their blocks of language knowledge.
In addition to following the lessons provided in the Language Angels scheme of work and resources, teachers are encouraged to use enhancement activities including:
- Celebration assemblies which have links to other cultures, countries and languages
- Cookery sessions of traditional foods from the country of the language being studied
- Weather forecasts based on maps from the country of the language being studied
- Drawing awareness of French speaking countries for example within topics or when teaching is focussed around sporting tournaments, facilitates a whole school approach to foreign language learning along with improved cultural awareness
As well as each subsequent lesson within a unit being progressive, the teaching type organisation of Language Angels units also directs, drives and guarantees progressive learning and challenge. Units increase in level of challenge, stretch and linguistic and grammatical complexity as pupils move from Early Learning units through Intermediate units and into the most challenging Progressive units. Units in each subsequent level of the teaching type categories require more knowledge and application of skills than the previous teaching type. Activities contain progressively more text (both in English and French) and lessons will have more content as the children become more confident and ambitious with the foreign language they are learning. The planning is carefully structured to ensure that learning is progressive and provides a variety of activities and challenge.
Children are expected to make good or better than good progress in their foreign language learning and their individual progress is tracked and reported to pupils and parents/carers using our school End of Year report system utilising Insight Tracker and a written report containing this and other curriculum end of year assessment information.