At St. Augustine’s, children learn French beginning in Year 3 and continuing through until Year 6. French is an opportunity for children to discover a new language and to develop a curiosity for languages, as well as broadening children’s awareness of different cultures around the world. Children learn a range of topics, from hobbies to families to describing the weather. They are taught through a range of written, listening and oral activities, which aim to engage and inspire children. Children also learn to express themselves and how to communicate in a different language. The school uses La Jolie Ronde scheme of work, where children complete a range of oral, listening, reading and written activities. Lessons are structured so that children are exposed to new vocabulary (and through this, new pronunciation and grammar) or children have an opportunity to revise past learning. Children are given the chance to practise their French verbally and they then complete activities in workbooks. Lessons are delivered on a fortnightly basis across the school year.
Children start to learn French in Year 3. The topics covered in Year 3 are:
- Numbers from 1-10
- Greetings and basic questions
- Responding to and saying classroom instructions
- Food items, including fruit
- Days of the week and months of the year
- Christmas and Easter
Through these topics, children begin to build a basic knowledge of vocabulary. Children learn how to pronounce sounds and words, as well as recognising words in reading and spelling vocabulary. Children therefore start to develop their French speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Additionally, children begin to learn basic French grammar, which will enable them to start to write simple sentences independently.
In Year 4, children will cover the topics of:
- Parts of the body and face
- Zoo animals and pets
- Family members
- Numbers 11-31
- Weather expressions
- Items of clothing
During lessons, children develop their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, as well as their knowledge of basic French grammar. They also learn the pronunciation of different sounds and words.
Children in Year 5 revisit topics covered in Year 3 and Year 4 to ensure that children have a good knowledge of vocabulary. They also learn topics:
- Town and city landmarks
- Numbers up to 50
- Different times of the day
- New food items that have not already been covered.
Through these topics, children continue to develop key skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. They also learn more complex grammar, including the simple future tense and an increasing range of conjunctions and prepositions.
In Year 6, children learn:
- Classroom routines
- Items of clothing that have not already been covered
- Houses and how to say where they live
- Items of furniture
- Places to visit
Many topics covered in the previous years are also touched again to ensure that they have a good understanding as possible and that children are able to transfer skills across the different topics. They also continue to develop their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, with their ability to communicate becoming more complex.
This learning is implemented through the scheme of work that the school follows. Lessons are devoted to a particular topic, where children are exposed to new learning (such as vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar) or children may consolidate previous learning. The scheme of work provides children with the opportunity to verbally speak French, listen to sound recordings, read in French and to write short phrases or sentences.
French is assessed through lessons using assessment for learning, this enables teachers to identify any gaps in learning that may need to be revisited at the start of the following lesson. All pupils record key vocabulary in their vocabulary books and this stays within them throughout their KS2 journey. Teachers use the workbooks to assess children’s learning during the lesson. The workbook reflects the children’s development of vocabulary, grammar (such as whether the children can use correct determiners for masculine and feminine nouns), as well as children beginning to write in basic sentences. As a subject leader, I am able to assess children’s learning through the monitoring of books to check the children’s progress in learning and whether teachers are picking up on any errors.