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Dartford Bridge Primary

Modern Foreign Languages

All the pupils in the diverse DBCPS community, regardless of background and ability, will participate and engage in our exciting MFL curriculum.

The curriculum will be tailored to their needs and create life-long learners with a passion to learn more.  They will study a range of Spanish or French topics to enable all pupils to be able to communicate orally and in writing.  Throughout their time at DBCPS they will build on previous learning, which will aid them in the future.

Through MFL teaching at DBCPS we aim to:

  • Foster pupil’s curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world
  • Enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and understand and respond to its speakers (in speech and writing)
  • Provide opportunities for children to communicate practical purposes
  • Provide the foundation for learning further languages and equip pupils to study and work in other countries.

Staff at DBCPS teach French through the following key concepts:

  • Development of speech and communication skills so children can explain their ideas and articulate   their opinions, clearly with accurate pronunciation.
  • Ability to actively listen to spoken language and to respond to and show their understanding.
  • Read carefully and show understanding of words and phrases.
  • Children to write clearly and accurately for a range of context and purposes.

Within our MFL curriculum we cover the following core themes:

  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Reading – Fluency and comprehension
  • Writing grammatically correct phrases and sentences

By connecting our British Values through the teaching of languages, we explore issues that affect us all in our lives and this helps inform decisions that will shape our future, for example, mutual respect as children understand the importance and acceptance of different cultures and beliefs.

In EYFS and Key Stage One, we ensure that the children are exposed to Spanish and other languages and cultures through song, stories and games, and by sharing their home languages. This unstructured approach prepares them well to follow the National Curriculum from Year 3, in which there is clear progression in one language. (Spanish). In KS1 the children become familiar with simple greetings, and this connects with KS2 as a precursor to learning simple phrases.

Spanish is taught weekly in Year 3 and 4. This means that skills and knowledge are regularly practised which builds fluency. The programme of study for KS2 languages sets out a range of requirements and a level of intercultural understanding which should be achieved by the end of Year 6, and the following is an outline of how that progression through the school is delivered and represented.

Currently, Year 5 and 6 children learn French, instead of Spanish, as this is the language children have learned since the start of KS2. During the transition period Year 5 and 6 will gain the same intercultural understanding and knowledge and skills set out the in the national curriculum, building on their previous learning.

Throughout the school in language lessons, there are many opportunities to celebrate other cultures and traditions, especially from those countries represented in our school community. We learn that language is key in understanding and appreciating how people from other countries live.

In Year 3, children develop their understanding of language acquisition mainly through learning and writing vocabulary. The concept of gender in languages (masculine and feminine nouns) is introduced with a focus to develop accurate pronunciation and intonation. Their understanding is embedded through the use of songs, stories and using finger puppets for conversations in Spanish.

In Year 4, connecting to the word level work from Year 3, the children progress to full sentences in spoken and written work. This is supported by the use of a writing frame or a list of prompts. Some basic grammar rules, such as the 'colour comes after the noun' and 'adjectives have to agree' are embedded at this stage and children are challenged to extend their sentences using a greater range of vocabulary. Children learn to express their opinions at this stage, for example, conducting a survey of their class mates. This is carried out completely in the target language. Throughout the year children are developing a greater ability to write complex sentences.

In Year 5 we learn to communicate on a wider range of topics and themes. This builds on children’s knowledge of manipulation of nouns and adjectives in Years 3 and 4 and allows them to understand longer passages and start to decode meaning of unknown words.  In Year 5, we also learn to write a paragraph using familiar language incorporating connectives/conjunctions, a negative response and adjectival agreement where required.

In Year 6, the previous learning is connected with a heavy focus on grammar in preparation for transition to KS3. Where previously children were able to be adventurous with nouns and adjectives with the basic sentence structure including verbs, prepositions and determiners was scaffolded for them, they are now given the tools to build these sentences without support. The children start by learning terminology which will be useful for KS3, regardless of the language being learned, ie: infinitives/subject. They develop this further through learning how to conjugate regular verbs, and move onto irregular verbs in the present tense. The children add prepositions and learn to create the negative form. When the children have mastered these, they move onto writing a letter, poem or paragraph using all of their new skills.

All these skills are learnt through a range of creative and enjoyable tasks, with the aim of creating a love of learning a language so the children are ready to flourish when they reach secondary school.