We truly value the importance of learning a foreign language and the benefits this can provide to a pupil’s overall development. We understand that through learning French, not only does this develop an appreciation and understanding of another language and culture, but also allows for reflection and development of our own language. Additionally, through learning languages from an early age, this is a skill that will broaden the opportunities for our pupils growing up in Cornwall.
Pencoys Primary School intends to use the Language Angels scheme of work and resources to ensure we offer a relevant, broad, vibrant and ambitious foreign languages 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 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 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 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. The intention is that they will be working towards becoming life-long language learners.
The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:
- understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.
All classes will have access to a very high-quality foreign languages curriculum using the Language Angels scheme of work and resources. This will progressively develop pupil skills in foreign languages through regularly taught and well-planned weekly lessons in key stage 2 which will be taught by class teachers or HLTAs.
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.
All teachers will know where every child is at any point in their foreign 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 language(s) they are learning.
Language Angels are categorised by ‘Teaching Type’ to make it easier for teachers to choose units that will offer the appropriate level of challenge and stretch for the classes they are teaching.
Early Language units are entry level units and are most appropriate for KS1 and Year 3 pupils or pupils with little or no previous foreign language learning. Intermediate units increase the level of challenge by increasing the amount and complexity (including foreign language grammar concepts) of the foreign language presented to pupils. Intermediate units are suitable for Year 4-5 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 6 pupils or pupils with a good understanding of the basics of the language they are learning. Grouping units into these Teaching Type categories ensures that the language 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.
Units, where possible and appropriate, will be linked to class topics and cross curricular themes. Children will build on previous knowledge gradually as their foreign 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. Teachers are provided with a Progression Map and Grammar Grid (downloadable from the “Curriculum Guidance” area of the Language Angels website) to ensure all children are progressing their foreign 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
- 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
- We end with opinions and introduce the concept of whole high frequency irregular verb conjugation in Progressive
Grammar is integrated and taught discreetly throughout all appropriate units. Teachers can also use the specific Grammar Explained units to ensure pupils are exposed to all of the appropriate grammar so they are able to create their own accurate and personalised responses to complex authentic foreign 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’.
The school has a unit planner in place which will serve as an overall ‘teaching map’ outlining for all teachers within the school what each class in each year group will be taught and when it will be taught. Each class in each year group will have an overview of units to be taught during the academic year to ensure substantial progress and learning is achieved. Each teaching unit is divided into 6 fully planned lessons.
- Each unit and lesson will have clearly defined objectives and aims.
- Each lesson will incorporate interactive whiteboard materials to include ample speaking and listening tasks within a lesson.
- Lessons will incorporate challenge sections and desk-based activities that will be offered will three levels of stretch and differentiation. These may be sent home as homework if not completed in class.
- 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.
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 language they use. We think of the progression within the 6 lessons in a unit as ‘language Lego’. We provide blocks of language knowledge 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 will be assessed at regular intervals in line with school policy. Teachers will aim to assess each language skill (speaking, listening, reading and writing) twice throughout each scholastic year 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, teachers are encouraged to also do some of the following:
- Foreign language celebration assemblies.
- Cookery sessions of traditional foods from the country of the language being studied.
- Child-friendly newspapers and websites linked to curriculum.
- Weather forecasts based on maps from the country of the language being studied.
- School celebrations of national feast days from the country of the language being studied when appropriate to facilitate a whole school approach to foreign language learning along with improved cultural awareness.
Long Term Plan
Through pupil conferencing, lesson observations, staff feedback and book looks we find:
Pupils enjoy learning a new language.
Pupils are able to retain knowledge of the language learnt and build upon previous learning.
Pupils can make links between the language learnt and their own language.
Pupils respect and value diversity.
By the end of their primary education:
Pupils leave Pencoys Primary School…
able to communicate with others in French.
aware that a language has a structure, and that the structure differs from one language to another.
being able to use the four key skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing.
developing an understanding of the French culture.
knowing how language skills can be applied to a range of languages.
being able to transfer to KS3 effectively and successfully and will be well prepared to continue and develop their language skills.
Find out more…
Feel free contact the school to find out more about how we teach this subject or how you can further support your child in this subject area.
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