Foreign languages

French Aims

Bonjour! Pupils in Year 3 to 6 take part in a French lesson, once a week. This prepares them for the language learning they will undertake at secondary school. We aim to design language learning that is fun, broadens pupils’ understanding of the world and develops their confidence. We cover the four skills of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing, prioritising oracy and learning about some of the cultural aspects of French speaking countries. C’est magnifique!
Our French curriculum enables our pupils to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings, focused on familiar and routine matters, using their knowledge of phonology, grammatical structures and vocabulary.
Through our French curriculum, we aim to ensure pupils:

  • understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources;
  • speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation;
  • write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt;
  • discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.

Teaching approaches

Our French lessons seek to engage pupils and are set in an authentic context, using purposeful resources and activities, from songs and picture books to games and role plays.
Pupils are taught to:

  • listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding;
  • explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words;
  • engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help;
  • speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures;
  • develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases;
  • broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary;
  • write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly;
  • describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing;
  • understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including: feminine, masculine forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.

Caring: In a school with families who have such a rich range of home languages and who use English as a second language, we want to use learning French as an opportunity for all our pupils to experience and appreciate what it feels like to communicate in a way that is not automatic to them.
Connections: We see learning a new language as a fantastic opportunity for our pupils to make connections between what they know and what they are learning, whether it be looking at grammar, the origins of words or simply connecting with each other in a different language is something we want our pupils to value.
Curiosity: We want our pupils to be curious about the unknown and not be reluctant to want to learn something new. We see learning French as laying down the foundations to be curious about and to positively engage with any language that they may choose to study later in life.  
Starting September 2023 we will be using Y3-Y6 iLanguages French Scheme of Work.

French Curriculum Overview

  Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Year 3 Respond in short phrases or actions to questions about greetings. Greetings. Names of family members. Introduce family members. Count up to 20. Numbers. Months of the year. Respond in short phrases or actions to questions. Say and read the words for body parts and colours. Ask and answer questions about hobbies and interests.
Year 4 Respond in short phrases or actions to questions about greetings/colours/ pets/numbers. Respond in short phrases or actions to questions about

weather/days of the week/numbers 0-20

Vocabulary about travel to other countries. Talk about their likes and dislikes of sports. Take part in a French story using actions and words. Understand and say the names of animals from le Carnaval des animaux.
Year 5 Use the alphabet to say/write name; recognise places in the locality. Use simple directions and new vocabulary to give simple directions and write simple sentences. Days of the week, months of the year, date.

Recognise and say foods on a lunch menu.

Weather and seasons. Describe the seasons using colours and antonyms. Use colours to give a simple description of a scene.
Year 6 Use knowledge of numbers to tell the time (o’clock and half past). Use knowledge of numbers to tell the time. Recognise lessons at school. Recognise the names of places in town and talk about them. Talk about my town in an extended sentence. Read and show knowledge of sentence construction. Follow instructions to understand a text. Use the language needed when ordering food.