At Giffard Park School, our chosen modern foreign language is French. The National Curriculum states that a high-quality language education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. It should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.
Our French learning is supported by using the CGP ‘Salut!’ scheme of work. This enables us to foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world by sharing high quality resources such as:
- Phonics guides
- Grammar pronunciation guides
- Visual aids
We have an overview of what is taught in each year group, details of which you can find below.
In Year 3, children are beginning their French language journey so we start by becoming familiar with French phonetical sounds. At the start, we introduce some basic vocabulary which will enable them to count up to 10 and introduce themselves in French. They will learn a range of greetings and have opportunities to practise these in conversations. As well as talking about themselves, children will learn to introduce their immediate family in French. Throughout the year, we build on the initial knowledge, slowly introducing new learning such as days of the week, colours and numbers 11-20. As children learn more numbers and colours, it will enable them to start describing objects around them. To link with our geography learning, we introduce the French names for a selection of countries, and the likes and dislikes will enable children to start giving their opinions in French. Finally, we explore parts of the body, numbers 21 to 31, items of clothing and months of the year. All of the initial language acquisition is supported through books, listening, reading and writing tasks, games and songs. One of our favourites is the French version of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” — this familiar song makes learning French body parts fun for the children and should give them extra confidence when singing along. Some simple, everyday words are also taught and used across the school day. The learning in Year 3 will allow children to develop stronger language skills and confidence in using French as they move through KS2.
In Year 4, we aim to build on the knowledge and understanding from Year 3. Throughout the course of French lessons, children have the opportunity to develop the 4 main skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. As the language is still fairly new, they are encouraged to practice speaking and listening initially and we give them many opportunities to practice conversing with their peers in the target language. From Year 3 they will have an understanding of simple greetings and basic conversational language and we aim to build on this and develop their confidence so that they are able to fluently use simple language in short conversations. We use different topics as contexts to learn basic grammar and language conventions. The topics we cover include colours, pets/ animals, life at school, in the home and food. In these topics, children learn a great deal of vocabulary and are encouraged to practice and use this vocabulary in the target language as much as possible. We learn using different tools including online games, practical resources, iPads and books. The main focus at this stage in their language education is speaking and listening and so speaking in the target language is encouraged during lessons. Classroom instructions are all given in French and the children are taught what they mean and how to respond to them.
Year 5 continue to build on taught language by revising vocabulary from years 3 and 4. They will develop further conversational skills, ask and answer questions and be exposed to a range of texts, songs and short clips. The areas covered are being hobbies, eating out, seasons and the environment. Some of the favourite activities are games using ‘Salut!’ such as true or false, noughts and crosses and hangman where children need to use their listening skills to decide on the correct answers. This also inspires teamwork where French conversational skills are developed further. At the end of the eating out topic, the children created menus for a French cafe which they loved doing.
In Year 6, we start the year by consolidating earlier units. We revise greetings, colours, numbers, days of the week and months of the year, names of family members and countries. A favourite recap lesson is the one on body parts and the children still enjoy singing the French version of ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes’. We use the ‘Salut!’ programme and the children enjoy the songs, interactive games and worksheets that are used to introduce and practise new vocabulary and phrases. Later in the autumn term, we look at a French Christmas. The pupils enjoyed finding out about French traditions and comparing these to their own. They also enjoyed learning French Christmas Carols. In the spring term, we focus on going on holiday and cover areas such as going to the beach and visiting the zoo and a theme park. In the second half of the spring term, we continue with the theme of going out but focus on the area of food and drink instead, building on the language from Year 5. The pupils enjoy role playing café and restaurant scenes where they act out ordering food and drinks. In the summer term, we focus on extending vocabulary and conversation around hobbies and introduce school trips.