Languages (French) has been part of the full curriculum review and is now central to 'The Big Question' that is being asked in our Circle of Life curriculum. We have recently updated the subject action plan, ready for the second half of the year, and during leadership time have been analysing outcomes from our units of work.
We study French at KS2 and whilst the focus is upon the language itself, we aim to learn as much as possible about the culture of France alongside this. We see this as a perfect opportunity to look at similarities and differences between France and the United Kingdom. Our partnership with Tanzania also offers the children the chance to experience different languages and different cultures through our discussions in worship, and the 'Our Vision in Our Community' work is designed to consider diversity in our wider community - languages being central to this. Often the children are amazed to find so many first languages which are not English when given the chance to look beyond their immediate Crigglestone community and when we work with our All Saints partners across Wakefield. Language can be a barrier, we not only aim to teach a language but to teach the children about languages and how we must respect, recognise and understand difference so we can be part of a multi-cultural Wakefield.
During the two year curriculum cycle, the children and staff plan a French Café. Here the children are required to use their language skills to create a menu and service customers in French. The customers are drawn from the children's families. Extra-curricular French clubs have been run by the languages leader, whilst a selection of French books are currently being established within our Wizard of Oz library.
The children follow the Wakefield Syllabus for French at KS2. A balance of spoken and written language takes place, which allows the children to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in writing and in speech. We ask the children to listen with care, (joining in and responding is a regular feature of our teaching and learning - songs and rhymes are used to assist this). As confidence grows, the children gradually: engage in conversations; can ask and answer questions; offer simple opinions. We expect the children to speak in simple sentences, as the syllabus progresses, and we work upon accurate pronunciation and intonation. As outlined in our extra-curricular section, we plan for the children to have some opportunities to speak to different audiences in meaningful contexts - this includes describing people, places and everyday items. We talk about the basic grammar of the language (e.g. feminine/masculine and neuter), how this differs from English, and then use this to help the children build sentences both orally and in writing.