Modern Foreign Languages
The aim of MFL at Eastnor Primary School is to engender all children with a curiosity of other cultures and languages and to express their ideas and thoughts in a different language. We have chosen French as the predominant second language and topics build upon prior learning, offering increasing challenge to children as they move up through the school. The ultimate intent is that children will leave our school feeling willing and able to continue studying languages beyond Key Stage 2.
Statutory guidance (September 2013) states that ‘Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world’. At Eastnor Primary School the teaching of MFL is embedded across our curriculum, linking areas to consolidate and deepen children’s understanding. Whilst learning to say, read and write simple phrases and sentences in a modern language such as French is very important, we recognise the need to build on children’s knowledge of where words originate from and study root words further. By doing this we are supporting and developing children’s literacy skills even further.
Whilst languages are not a compulsory subject in Reception and Key Stage 1, French is taught in focused weekly sessions, with French being taught by a French speaking Teaching Assistant, as we realise the importance of engaging children from an early age. We have chosen Language Angles scheme of work and resources to ensure that we offer a relevant, broad, vibrant and ambitious foreign languages curriculum that will inspire and excite our children. We also draw on the experiences of all children whether it is their own language or a country they have visited on holiday, and build this into lessons such as geography or history. Young children at Eastnor School are encouraged, like older children, to explore simple root words such as tricycle and compare English spellings with other languages. When studying different countries, children are taught various informal greetings and how to introduce themselves, for example. Even answering during registration can involve speaking other languages! Parents volunteer to come and share stories with younger children in their own languages, such as Polish, which the children thoroughly enjoy. French clubs also help children, young and old, to explore a different language through songs, games, books and conversations.
In Key Stage 2, teachers at Eastnor Primary begin to set the solid foundation of languages that not only provides an opening to other cultures, but supports children when they move on to secondary school. Teachers are again supported by our skilled French speaking Teaching Assistant during timetabled lessons. In years 5 and 6, children are taught Latin when studying texts in English such as Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. At Eastnor Primary School, we recognise the importance of ancient as well as modern languages. French is taught to build upon the teaching in the previous year but also recognises and supports where individual children are at. This enables suitable language content to have been taught by the end of a child’s time at Eastnor Primary School. The intent is that all content will be continuously updated and reviewed annually to ensure a dynamic programme of study and that the foreign language knowledge of our pupils progresses within each academic year and is extended throughout the primary phrase. The four key language learning skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) will be taught and all necessary grammar will be covered in an age-appropriate way across the primary phase. This will ensure that children have solid foundations for future language learning and assist the children with improving overall attainment in other subject areas.
The intent at Eastnor Primary School is that all pupils will develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages, finding them enjoyable and stimulating. Learning a second language will also offer pupils the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them with a better awareness of self, others and cultural differences. Our intention at Eastnor Primary School is that they will be working towards becoming life-long language learners.