Modern Foreign Languages
St Paul's C of E Primary School
Modern Foreign Languages Policy
As part of a new primary National Curriculum, taking effect from September 2014, learning a foreign language has become a requirement for children within KS2. At St Paul’s, we strongly believe that learning a foreign language is a valuable, lifelong skill for all our pupils. Pupils use languages to communicate information responsibly and creatively. They learn how to use languages to enable access to ideas and experiences from a wide range of people, communities and cultures. In addition, understanding a modern foreign language increases a child’s understanding of his/her own language. The process of learning a foreign language reinforces fluency and understanding of grammar, syntax, sentence structure and verbal precision. Increased ability in the use of languages can also promote initiative and independent learning as well as encouraging diversity within society.
Through our teaching of a foreign language the school aims to:
• Introduce young children to another language in a way that is enjoyable and fun;
• Foster pupils’ curiosity about language and how it works;
• To develop their understanding of what they hear and read and to enable them to express themselves in speech and writing in the foreign language;
• Extend their knowledge of how language works and explore differences between the foreign language and English;
• Lay the foundations for future study;
• To strengthen the pupils’ sense of identity through learning about cultures in other countries and comparing these with their own culture;
We also aim to develop teachers’ confidence and competence to teach languages and embed languages across the Curriculum.
Teaching and Learning Styles
French is the modern foreign language that is currently taught in our school. We use a variety of techniques to encourage the children to have an active engagement in the modern foreign language these include:
• Games, role-play and songs (particularly action songs).
• We often use puppets and soft toys in KS1 to introduce the foreign language.
• We frequently use mime to accompany new vocabulary in the foreign language, as this serves to demonstrate the foreign language without the need for translation.
• We are working within the new National Curriculum guidance to emphasise listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.
• We also use a multisensory and kinaesthetic approach to teaching, i.e. we endeavour to introduce a physical element into some of the games, as we believe that this serves to reinforce memory.
• We make the lessons as entertaining and enjoyable as possible, as we realise that this approach serves to develop a positive attitude in the children to the learning of modern foreign languages.
• We build children’s confidence through constant praise for any contribution they make in the foreign language, however tentative.
MFL curriculum organisation
In line with Framework guidelines, all pupils learn languages for approximately 60 minutes per week. This time allocation is made up of a combination of dedicated language lessons, lasting 30 to 40 minutes, teaching language through other subject areas and using language for real purposes in daily classroom routines.
The Foundation Stage and KS1
Our Infant children may receive MFL teaching as a cross-curricular subject, enhancing both the EYFS and the KS1 National Curriculum. Infants may take part in any activities – and in any languages - at this stage. Language songs, games and activities are highly enjoyable, motivational and inclusive, and also develop other literacy skills.
At St Paul’s we teach a modern foreign language to all children, whatever their ability and individual needs. MFL forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education for all children. Through our MFL teaching we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make good progress. We strive hard to meet the needs of those pupils with special educational needs, those with disabilities, those with special gifts and talents and those learning English as an additional language, and we take all reasonable steps to achieve this.
Assessment and record keeping
Most assessment is formative and is used to support teaching and learning and inform future planning.
When a piece of written work is produced, it is marked in line with the school policy on marking.
An assessment of the child’s language level will be recorded in their end-of-year report (Below expected, Expected and Exceeding) in order to inform the future class teachers.
Review and monitoring
Monitoring is carried out by the languages coordinator with support from the head teacher, in the following ways:
• Informal discussion with staff and pupils;
• Observation of language displays;
• Work sampling;
• Team teaching and classroom observation.
• Periodic meetings with secondary schools both for training purposes and to discuss transition.
We have recently acquired a good number of resources linked to the topics taught in the different year groups. Many of these resources facilitate the learning of a foreign language through play and interaction in class. We also use songs and stories from different publications as well as Early Start French which not only provides a great number of audio-visual resources for the children delivered by native speakers, but also offers teaching ideas for the teachers who want to use the programme.
We have established a link with the Head of Languages at our local secondary school, and our MFL coordinator has links with other language teachers, both secondary and primary, to network and share good practice and resources.
The MFL Coordinator is responsible for developing the resources available in school, including any displays, promotions or parent information for their notice-board
The Development of MFL at St Paul’s
The school will develop the teaching of MFL through:
• Appropriate INSET for individual teachers, as well as for the staff as a whole;
• Development of appropriate resources;
• Taking opportunities to raise the profile of MFL;
• Establishing links with other schools, particularly specialist status secondary schools;
• Establishing 'taster' courses for Year 6 in the summer term at secondary schools;
• Careful monitoring of the policy and introduction of MFL into the curriculum.
St Paul's Primary School Modern Foreign Languages Policy