Modern Foreign Languages
The intention of the Modern Foreign Language curriculum at Ponsbourne St Mary’s is that children are taught French in a way that is enjoyable and stimulating and provides an opening to other cultures. We have chosen French as this is the most popular language taught at our local secondary schools, and will therefore support children’s transition. We aim to foster a curiosity, not only in the vocabulary and language, but also in the culture of the country. We aim to embed the skills of listening and speaking primarily, so that children can communicate for practical purposes and express ideas, facts and feelings. We will also begin to develop reading skills in French, so that children may read children’s literature in the original language. We will teach children to write phrases from memory that they can then adapt to enable them to express simple ideas clearly. We hope to inspire children to appreciate foreign language acquisition and lay the foundations for enthusiastic future learning.
Children in Early Years and Key Stage 1 are exposed to other languages through simple activities such as counting or greetings. When children have home languages that are not English, this is celebrated through opportunities to use these languages in the classroom. We have a French day each year, where we celebrate the culture of France and use some simple French in classes.
All children in KS2 have a regular French lesson. Our curriculum is designed to progressively develop children’s skills in phonics, vocabulary and grammar, through regular taught lessons. Children learn, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary organised around topics, and we strive to revisit and refresh vocabulary and phonics in quick recap activities at the start of lessons to help with memory. Additionally themes are built on each year, through the rolling programme. Lessons are organised to allow children to appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language. Each half-term, children produce a finished product to demonstrate their learning, e.g. a story book. We use a variety of resources, including ‘Linguafun’, an online resource, and ‘Physical French Phonics’ to ensure coverage and progression across the school. As in Key Stage 1, children’s home languages and cultures are celebrated and children have opportunities to share similarities and contrasts between English, French and other home languages.
At Ponsbourne, we follow a two-year rolling programme of units:
Year A (Lower Key Stage Two)
Year B - Lower Key Stage Two
Year A (Upper Key Stage Two)
Year B (Upper Key Stage Two)
Liaison refers to the linking of the final consonant of one word with the beginning vowel (a, e, i, o, u) or vowel sound (generally, h and y) to the following word, as in the following example: vous imitez (voo zee‐mee‐tay).
Note how pronunciation of the final “s” of vous takes on the sound of “z” and combines with the pronunciation of the beginning “i” of imitez.
Elision (French apostrophe) usually occurs when two vowel sounds are pronounced: one at the end of a word and the other at the beginning of the next word. Drop the final vowel of the first word and replace it with an apostrophe. The two words then simply slide together: je + imite = j'imite (zhee‐meet).
Note how the final “e” (uh) sound of je (zhuh) is dropped.
French is monitored by subject leaders throughout KS2, using a variety of strategies such as lesson observations, book scrutinies, and pupil interviews.