Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) at Hillside:
Subject Leader: Miss Nelson
Subject Support Coach: Miss McCann
Link Governor: Sarah Else
At Hillside, we are determined to ensure each KS2 child receives high quality MFL teaching. We chose to teach the children French as this supports their transition into our local high schools that also teach French. Lessons should teach children the skills needed to communicate confidently in French. Children should also be able to express their thoughts and ideas both in speech and writing. We follow Rising Stars Euro Stars scheme of work across Key Stage 2. The children enjoy using the resources including video stories, songs and games. The children have the opportunity to learn French vocabulary linked to a range of topics including money, animals and school. Throughout the week, the children get the opportunity to practice what they have learned.
“I have enjoyed French. I have learnt how to say hello in French and how to say how are you? Hello in French is Bonjour and how are you is ça va ?” Year 3 child.
I am Miss Nelson, MFL subject leader here at Hillside Primary school. As MFL lead, my role is to support teachers, promote a love of language learning and to monitor the progress of the children. I can often be heard encouraging children to use their French skills outside of lessons. I believe early language learning is important as it gives children a good understanding of the structure of other languages and it gives children the opportunity to develop their cultural understanding. It also supports the children’s transition into local high schools which also teach French alongside other languages.
To support the progress children make across Key Stage 2, I have created a progression map focused on Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing and understanding of Grammar. It also shows the vocabulary learnt in each class and how it builds over the years.
In order to gain an understanding of how French is taught across the school, I ensure that my subject is monitored termly, gaining evidence from books and pupil voice. This informs the strengths and areas for development in my subject, which I share with staff individually. During the monitoring I also get feedback from staff on the areas they feel are strengths/ areas for development and will support them to the best of my ability.
My own passion for language learning stems back to high school. Now as an adult, I always try to learn some key phrases from the language of the countries I visit on holiday.
The objectives for MFL in KS2 are clearly set out for each year group in the National Curriculum:
Key Stage 2
Pupils should be taught about:
- 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*
- present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences*
- read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
- appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language
- 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 (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter 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
The starred (*) content above will not be applicable to ancient languages.
The contribution of MFL to teaching in other curriculum areas
The learning of a modern foreign language contributes to the development of our children’s listening and speaking skills. It also develops the children’s grasp of linguistic features such as rhyme, rhythm and emphasises the importance of knowing the role of different word types in sentence structure.
Children reinforce their time-telling skills by playing time-related games in the foreign language. We play number games, too, that reinforce their counting and calculation skills, expand their understanding of date, and increase their knowledge about money.
Personal, social and health education (PSHE)
One of the main benefits to the children of learning a modern foreign language at primary school level is a social one. It gives the children the opportunity to learn about cultures from a different country. Lessons also give children the opportunity to take part in paired/ group work.
We ask the children to do research on the different countries in which the French language is spoken after they have first found them on a map or a globe. In MFL lessons children will learn the names of cities and towns in France and will also begin to describe the weather.
Videos, games and programmes are used on the interactive whiteboard support and engage children in their French learning.
“French is one of my favourite subjects. We are learning how to say the names of planets. Some of them are hard to pronounce. I can’t wait to learn more French,” Year 5 child.
MFL and SMSC
MFL supports Spiritual development by getting the pupils excited about learning about the world around them.
MFL supports Moral development by encouraging pupils to recognise the importance of learning a MFL from another country to enable them to respect how difficult it is when people visit Britain and try to speak a new language.
MFL supports Social development by allowing children to work with a partner or as part of a group.
MFL Supports Cultural development by encouraging children to appreciate the similarities and differences between France and Britain.
Every year, we hold a French day to promote French/language learning throughout school. The Year 5 children hold a French market which links to the learning they complete in class. The other classes complete a range of activities to support their language learning and give them an increasing understanding of the History, Geography and Culture of France.
“I love it when we do the French Market because we get to ask and learn how to say food in French,” Year 6 child.
Assessment for learning
Children demonstrate their ability in French during lessons through conversations with other pupils/ teachers and work completed during lessons. On completion of a piece of work, the teacher assesses the work and the level of understanding shown by the child. Written feedback is given and children are encouraged to self-assess their own learning. At the end of each unit of work, teachers complete an Excel spreadsheet, in which units are broken down into four skill: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Children are assessed as to whether they are emerging, developing and securing within these areas. This is used to provide accurate information to other teachers, the MFL subject leader and learning support assistants termly and during times of transition. The MFL subject leader keeps samples of children’s work in a portfolio.