Oak Farm Junior School has a well-established language learning ethos in place. Besides the obvious benefits of speaking another language in our increasingly global society, we believe that learning another language makes pupils’ minds stronger and more flexible.
All pupils from Year 3 to Year 6 have a French lesson every week, taught by a specialist French teacher. Lessons contain a combination of all of the four essential skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Most lessons include elements of phonics, grammar, authentic resources (including songs and stories) and role-play. French lessons are often linked to other areas of the curriculum. As pupils progress throughout the school, the emphasis on written work develops. However, oral communication remains paramount. By exploring the way the French language works, pupils develop their knowledge and appreciation of languages in general. We strive to ensure that pupils develop their language learning strategies, in hope that pupils will leave Oak Farm Junior School feeling enthusiastic and well-equipped to take on whichever foreign language they have the opportunity to learn at secondary school and beyond. As fluency and spontaneity feature in the programmes of study, our use of the target language in lessons increases as pupils progress throughout the school, with some units of our Scheme of Work employing the CLIL approach (Content and Language Integrated Learning). For example, pupils learn about events in France during World War 2 through lessons taught mainly in French.
Pupils enrich their intercultural awareness with regular access to authentic Francophone resources. This is aided hugely by the long-standing link we have with our partner school, École Frédéric Joliot Curie, in Achères, France. This involves exchanging letters, work, videos and, more recently, school-to-school residential visits.
Curriculum Overview - French
By the end of Year 6, we want children to:
- Have an awareness of noun genders in French and their effect on adjectives and pronouns in sentences
- Be able to engage in short conversations in French using questions and responses in the affirmative and negative
- Express opinions in French, both orally and in writing, using complex sentences
- Understand the main parts of a simple written text in French
- Understand the gist of spoken French including familiar language, at a slow speed
- Have a basic awareness of various world languages and appreciate the benefits of learning languages