Modern Foreign Languages

“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” – Rita Mae Brown.

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 should 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 should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and 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 multilingual 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 Catherine Cheater programme of study to teach French, along with other resources including music, singing, reading and rhymes.  The Catherine Cheater programme provides parcel lessons for frequent immersion in the language in context.

It also 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
  • word mats to support their learning and recap previous knowledge.

Our French curriculum will ensure all pupils develop key language learning skills as well as a love of languages and learning about other cultures.  Children recognise and apply key vocabulary verbally and are able to write a limited amount in French.