The opportunity to learn a modern foreign language is a requirement of the National Curriculum for those children within Key Stage 2. However, at Ordsall Primary School we believe it is much more than a requirement. As a school we recognise the many benefits that our children gain from being introduced to languages at an early age and how learning a language best meets the learning and developmental needs of the children in our school, in line with the wider aims of the whole school curriculum.
Research shows us that there are 5 key benefits to children learning another language:
All of which are things that we want for the children of Ordsall Primary School.
French is our language of choice for those children in Key Stage 2, however other opportunities are incorporated within the wider curriculum plans to promote a love of language and make links to other countries, languages and cultures as well as teach the Fundamental British Values of tolerance and mutual respect.
We believe that an understanding of other cultures and languages is important for all children. At Ordsall Primary School these opportunities are delivered through exciting and engaging lessons, experiences and opportunities so children are exposed to different languages and cultures right from the start of their time in school. Through the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 our children build their intercultural understanding through the study of places, cultures and language as part of their contextualised curriculum. This learning prepares them to develop a positive attitude to the learning of modern foreign languages.Our formal language learning, as a coherent program of regular lessons, begins at the beginning of Key stage 2 in year 3 and uses the scheme La Jolie Rhonde.
The La Jolie Rhonde program ensures that children are meeting expectations in their learning and progressing from year to year across the 5 key strands of language learning – listening, speaking, reading, writing and grammar. Children begin their language learning at a single word level and progress through to phrases and sentences and then short passages. As with all subjects, the more able are challenged further to deepen their learning though combining strands within learning e.g. listening to a question and speaking a response whilst children who find aspects of their learning more difficult are appropriately supported by additional staff and resources so that they too are enabled to experience success.
National requirements and school requirements are mapped out as a whole school and then individual year groups plan the curriculum for their children accordingly. The skills and knowledge they are expected to have in each year group are broken into Milestones for each term and the end of the year so that our objectives and approach towards our languages curriculum is rigorous, systematic and for a clear purpose.
Assessments of children are made during lessons based on the objectives that are set and are recorded in order to support staff in identifying areas or specific children who need further support. These are then used to support further teaching and learning.
The approach to our teaching of a modern foreign language aligns very closely to the schools overall intent and vision because multilingualism empowers individuals and transforms societies. Learning a foreign language brings enhanced problem solving, attentional control and the ability to switch tasks. This links closely with the learning skills we are working to develop in our children through the curriculum and as part of the metacognition learning we do, in order to make them lifelong learners who develop their cultural capital so they are well placed for life in modern Britain.
It is therefore our intent that our languages curriculum should be focused not purely on knowledge of French but also on developing the key skills needed for language learning so that these can be applied to wider contexts beyond their French lessons.
It is our intention that the languages curriculum at Ordsall Primary School will be both stimulating and motivating in order to capture the children’s curiosity and fuel their motivation to learn. Learning, Playing and Growing Together in our languages curriculum provides the children at Ordsall Primary School with exciting learning opportunities so that they can enjoy acquiring and developing their skills, understanding and key knowledge so that they can commit it to long-term memory and apply it fluently in a range of contexts.
How do we measure the impact of our work in French?
At Ordsall Primary School we measure the impact of our work in French in a variety of ways. The school uses its knowledge and vocabulary progression map for French to compare the work that the children are doing with key points on the map. This allows the staff to assess where the children are, and check which elements are evident from the progression on the maps. In French this is done by observing the children completing or starting their work, through pupil discussion (when the children are asked about their work) the work in the children's books and on display and a scrutiny of social media posts about French. This assessment process, used within French, enables the school to evaluate the progress that the children are making, inform future work, measure the impact of what we teach and monitor specific groups. The process is tied together through the records of achievement at the end of the year that are shared with parents.
If you would like to see some of the work that we do in our languages curriculum please see our Twitter feed @Ordsallschool or our website, which are both used to share the work that we do with parents and carers, the local community and the wider community of Bassetlaw, Nottinghamshire, the region and the United Kingdom.
If you would like to know more about our languages curriculum at Ordsall Primary School please see the documents below. If you have any questions about the work we do in our languages curriculum please contact the Languages Subject Leader at the school.