Modern Foreign Languages

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela

Learning a foreign language is a necessary part of being a member of a multi-cultural society and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster children’s curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world.

It is our intent that the Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) curriculum at Southill primary School will provide children with the skills and knowledge to confidently communicate in a language other than their own.  The curriculum will enable children to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It will also provide opportunities for them to read great literature in the original language.

“Now I know some French, It will help me when I visit France.”

Year 5 pupil.

It is intended that when children leave Southill Primary School, they will have a natural curiosity and confidence to explore other countries, cultures and languages.  They will accept that in a multi-lingual society, it is a valuable skill to be able to communicate effectively with others in another language.  They will be engaged and prepared to continue language learning further in their future education and beyond.

“I like learning a new language and how to speak the accent.”

Year 3 pupil.

At Southill Primary School, the MFL curriculum is implemented using the Twinkl PlanIt Learning scheme to teach French, along with other resources including music, singing, reading and rhymes.  The Twinkl PlanIt French scheme provides planning and resources for frequent immersion in the language in relevant contexts.

It provides comprehensive, structured lessons enabling the children to:

  • listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
  • explore and appreciate the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
  • speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures
  • develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases
  • read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
  • write phrases from memory and adapt these to create new sentences
  • understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine forms; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.

Children are encouraged and supported to develop their speaking and listening skills through conversational work, singing activities and games.  As confidence and skill grows, children record their work through pictures, captions and sentences.

Our MFL curriculum is often also supported by:

  • practical activities, songs and games to help improve memory and recall
  • classroom instructions given in French to expose children to the language in day to day contexts
  • visual prompts to support children in translating new vocabulary

Our French curriculum will ensure all pupils develop key language learning skills as well as a love of languages and learning about other cultures.

We use pupil voice to measure and monitor the impact of the French curriculum on pupils, ensuring the children leave Southill School with an enthusiasm to further their knowledge of MFL and experience life in other cultures as part of their understanding of our wider world.  Children will recognise and apply key vocabulary verbally and will be able to write a limited amount in French.