Brookburn Primary intends to use the Language Angels French scheme of work and resources to ensure we offer a relevant, broad, vibrant and ambitious French curriculum that will inspire and excite our pupils using a wide variety of topics and themes. All pupils will be expected to achieve their full potential by encouraging high expectations and excellent standards in their foreign language learning – the ultimate aim being that pupils will feel willing and able to continue studying French and other languages beyond Key Stage 2.
The intent is that all content will be continuously updated and reviewed annually, creating a dynamic programme of study that will be clearly outlined in both long-term and short-term planning. This will ensure that the foreign language knowledge of our pupils progresses within each academic year and is extended year upon year throughout the primary phase and, in so doing, will always be relevant and in line with meeting or exceeding national DfE requirements.
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 enable our pupils to use and apply their learning in a variety of contexts, laying down solid foundations for future language learning and also helping the children improve overall attainment in other subject areas. In addition, the children will be taught how to look up and research language they are unsure of and they will have a bank of reference materials to help them with their spoken and written tasks going forward. This bank of reference materials will develop into a reference library to help pupils recall and build on previous knowledge throughout their primary school language learning journey.
The intent is that all pupils will develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about French, finding it 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. The intention is that they will be working towards becoming life-long language learners.
All Key Stage 2 classes will have access to a very high-quality French curriculum using the Language Angels scheme of work and resources as the main resource in addition to other ad-hoc resources. This will progressively develop pupil skills in French through regularly taught and well-planned weekly lessons in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 which is taught by the MFL Subject Leader (Madame Warrington) who is a French specialist and ex-secondary school teacher.
Children will progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary, language skills and grammatical knowledge organised around age-appropriate topics and themes – building blocks of language into more complex, fluent and authentic language.
Madame Warrington will know where every child is at any point in their French language learning journey.
The planning of different levels of challenge (as demonstrated in the various Language Angels Teaching Type categories) and which units to teach at each stage of the academic year will be addressed dynamically and will be reviewed in detail annually as units are updated and added to the scheme. Lessons offering appropriate levels of challenge and stretch will be taught at all times to ensure pupils learn effectively, continuously building their knowledge of and enthusiasm for the French.
Language Angels are categorised by ‘Teaching Type’ to make it easier for Madame Warrington to choose units that will offer the appropriate level of challenge and stretch for the classes she is teaching.
Early Language units are entry level units and are most appropriate for EYFS and KS1 pupils in addition to Year 3 pupils with little or no previous foreign language learning and on occasions, Madame Warrington may choose to use these when asked to cover a class in either EYFS or KS1 on with agreement from the respective class teacher. Intermediate units increase the level of challenge by increasing the amount and complexity (including French language grammar concepts). Intermediate units are suitable for Year 3-4 pupils or pupils with embedded basic knowledge of the foreign language. Progressive and Creative Curriculum units are the most challenging units and are suitable for Year 5-6 pupils or pupils with a good understanding of the basics of the language they are learning however creative units are also taught to other year groups where appropriate and adapted to suit the needs of the children. Grouping units into these Teaching Type categories ensures that the French taught is appropriate to the level of the class and introduced when the children are ready. Children will be taught how to listen and read longer pieces of text gradually in the foreign language and they will have ample opportunities to speak, listen to, read and write the language being taught with and without scaffolds, frames and varying levels of support.
Early Language Units (entry level) and Core Vocabulary lessons are designed to run for approximately 30 minutes. Intermediate, Progressive and Creative Curriculum units are designed to run for approximately 45 minutes however all children in Key Stage 2 will receive a maximum of up to 1 hour of French per week which is taught during PPA in the afternoons.
As mentioned, units, where possible and appropriate, will be linked to class topics and cross curricular themes. Children will build on previous knowledge gradually as their French language lessons continue to recycle, revise and consolidate previously learnt language whilst building on all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Knowledge and awareness of required and appropriate grammar concepts will be taught throughout all units at all levels of challenge. A Progression Map and Grammar Grid enable Madame Warrington to ensure all children are progressing their French language learning skills and are taught the appropriate grammar at the right time in their foreign language learning journey. Grammar rules and patterns will be taught by level of challenge:
- We start with nouns and articles and 1st person singular of high frequency verbs in Early Learning units.
- We move on to the use of the possessive, the concept of adjectives, use of the negative form, conjunctions/connectives and introduce the concept of whole regular verb conjugation in Intermediate units.
- We end with opinions and introduce the concept of whole high frequency irregular verb conjugation in Progressive units.
Grammar is integrated and taught discreetly throughout all appropriate units. Madame Warrington also uses the specific Grammar Explained units to ensure her pupils are exposed to all of the appropriate grammar so they are able to create their own accurate and personalised responses to complex authentic French language questions by the end of the primary phase.
The Progression Map shows precisely how pupil foreign language learning across the key skills of speaking, listening, reading, writing and grammar progresses within each Language Angels ‘Teaching Type’ and also how the level of learning and progression of each pupil is increased as pupils move across each subsequently more challenging Language Angels ‘Teaching Type’. It is a visual demonstration of the progression that takes place WITHIN a ‘Teaching Type’ and also ACROSS each ‘Teaching Type’.
Madame Warrington is responsible for planning all French lessons and details can be found in the staff work folder under “French” as well as on a portable drive. This outlines what is taught each half term for each year group for the entire year. Every child in each year group taught will have an overview of units to be taught during the academic year which is stuck inside their French book and details are also placed on the school website under the MFL section. Each teaching unit is divided into 6 fully planned lessons.
- Each unit and lesson has have clearly defined objectives and aims.
- All pupils are provided with a Knowledge Organizer for each unit which is stuck in their books in addition to a vocabulary sheet covering the new language for this unit thus enabling them to become more independent during class work activities.
- Each lesson will incorporate interactive whiteboard materials to include ample speaking and listening tasks within a lesson including sound files with recordings, songs and karaoke.
- Lessons will incorporate challenge sections and desk-based activities that will be offered will three levels of stretch and differentiation.
- Reading and writing activities will be offered in all units. Some extended reading and writing activities are provided so that native speakers can also be catered for.
- Every unit will include a grammar concept which will increase in complexity as pupils move from Early Language units, through Intermediate units and into Progressive units.
- Extending writing activities are provided to ensure that pupils are recalling previously learnt language and, by reusing it, will be able to recall it and use it with greater ease and accuracy. These tasks will help to link units together and show that pupils are retaining and recalling the language taught with increased fluency and ease.
- A new phonics and pronunciation unit has been written consisting of 4 consecutive lessons to be taught across Key Stage 2.
Units are progressive within themselves as subsequent lessons within a unit build on the language and knowledge taught in previous lessons. As pupils progress though the lessons in a unit they will build their knowledge and develop the complexity of the French language they use. The progression within the 6 lessons in a unit as ‘language Lego’. Blocks of language knowledge are provided and, over the course of a 6-week unit, encourage pupils to build more complex and sophisticated language structures with their blocks of language knowledge.
Pupil learning and progression is assessed at regular intervals usually at the end of each unit. Madame Warrington assesses each language skill (speaking, listening, reading and writing) after each unit of work to be able to provide reference points against which learning and progression in each skill can be demonstrated.
In addition to following the lessons provided in the Language Angels scheme of work and resources, Madame Warrington has also been responsible for the following initiatives to help raise the profile of French and the importance of language learning at Brookburn Primary School: –
- The recruitment of language angels across Key Stage 2 (2 children per class) to assist Madame Warrington to enhance the profile of French and other languages across the school.
- Children regularly encouraged to access the free online Language Angels games at home in addition to the French blog.
- French and language displays regularly updated either in classrooms (working walls) and shared areas to promote and re-enforce language learning.
- The French blog is regularly updated with exciting news about French language learning in the classroom. Twitter is also used to communicate learning in addition to the weekly newsletter.
- Regular correspondence and communication with our French partner school to partake in class projects such as letter writing
- French plays and songs
- Whole school celebration (international day) celebrating our diverse culture based around a different theme such as art, food, music and history.
As well as each subsequent lesson within a unit being progressive, the teaching type organisation of Language Angels units also directs, drives and guarantees progressive learning and challenge. Units increase in level of challenge, stretch and linguistic and grammatical complexity as pupils move from Early Learning units through Intermediate units and into the most challenging Progressive units. Units in each subsequent level of the teaching type categories require more knowledge and application of skills than the previous teaching type. Activities contain progressively more text (both in English and French) and lessons will have more content as the children become more confident and ambitious with their French language learning.
Early Learning units will start at basic noun and article level and will teach pupils how to formulate short phrases. By the time pupils reach Progressive units they will be exposed to much longer text and will be encouraged to formulate their own, more personalised responses based on a much wider bank of vocabulary, linguistic structures and grammatical knowledge. They will be able to create longer pieces of spoken and written language and are encouraged to use a variety of conjunctions, adverbs, adjectives, opinions and justifications.
Pupils will continuously build on their previous knowledge as they progress in their foreign language learning journey through the primary phase. Previous language will be recycled, revised, recalled and consolidated whenever possible and appropriate.
Madame Warrington has a clear overview of what she is working towards and if she is meeting these criteria. She will use the long-term planning documents provided in the form of Language Angels unit planners to ensure the correct units are being taught to the correct classes at each stage of the scholastic year. Short-term planning is also provided in the form of unit overviews (covering the learning targets for each 6-week unit) and individual lesson plans laying out the learning aims and intentions of each individual lesson within a unit. These planning documents ensure that Madame Warrington knows what to teach and how to teach it in each lesson, across whole units and across each scholastic term.
Pupils will be aware of their own learning goals and progression as each unit offers a pupil friendly overview so that all pupils can review their own learning at the start and at the end of each unit. They will know and will be able to articulate if they have or have not met their learning objectives and can keep their unit learning intention sheets and unit core vocabulary sheets as a record of what they have learnt from unit to unit and from year to year.
The opportunity to assess pupil learning and progression in the key language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) and against the 12 DfE Languages Programme of Study for Key Stage 2 attainment targets is provided at the end of each 6-week teaching unit. This information is recorded and monitored by Madame Warrington who uses this data to ensure teaching is targeted and appropriate for each pupil, class and year group as well as to feedback on progress to SLT and stakeholders. Madame Warrington is able to record, analyse and access this data easily using the Tracking and Progression Tool that will monitor school, class and individual progress in French. Pupils will also be offered self-assessment grids to ensure they are also aware of their own progress which they can keep as a record of their progress.
Children are expected to make good or better than good progress in their French language learning and their individual progress is tracked and reported to pupils and parents / carers in line with school recommendations.
If pupils are not progressing in line with expectations, this will be identified in the End of Unit Skills Assessments provided in the Language Angels Tracking & Progression Tool. This will enable Madame Warrington to put in place an early intervention programme to address any areas that require attention in any of the language learning skills.