Modern Foreign Languages
Wychwood Primary School – MFL Vision Statement
At Wychwood, our Modern Foreign Languages curriculum aims to give students an awareness and understanding of other cultures and languages through the study of French and German. The study of phonics, vocabulary and grammar encourages learners to be analytical, ask questions, spot patterns and apply methodology. Being able to speak in another language helps develop courage, confidence, tenacity and resilience. An awareness of cultural differences promotes mutual respect, understanding of other people and tolerance. We cover a wide range of topics within each language, allowing students to build upon their knowledge in a fun and positive environment, helping them to develop vital linguistic skills, which they can then reapply across the wider curriculum and beyond.
Our curriculum begins with French in Lower Key Stage 2. We aim to get students speaking and listening to French as soon as possible by teaching some basic communication skills (mime, actions, cognates). Phonics are taught alongside new vocabulary, promoting independent writing, reading, listening and speaking skills at an early stage. We cover a range of topics, including ideas relevant and motivating to the children – talking about themselves, describing animals, naming colours, etc. Alongside topic work, we also teach grammar. Using examples we have met, students are encouraged to analyse the language, formulate their own ideas and then apply the rules they have investigated to the language across a variety of contexts. We also play lots of games, watch videos, sing songs and rhymes, and read French books as a class. Our teaching incorporates some of the most current MFL teaching ideas, such as the Conti method, which encourages fluency and confidence in our learners. Through Lower Key Stage 2 students progress from understanding single words and basic grammar structures (gender, plurals etc.) through to more complex sentences and verb formations.
In Upper Key Stage 2 we aim to give students a contrasting language experience through the study of German. Building on the knowledge they have already gained from studying French, we are able to compare the 2 languages and reapply much of what has already been learned to a new context, while exploring some of the differences. Beginning with the teaching of core phonics, we soon move on to more the challenging areas of German grammar within the topics of Where I Live or Talking about Myself. Students are encouraged to develop more complex sentence structures, including the use of verbs, conjunctions and word order, and being able to give opinions about a range of subjects.
At Wychwood, we aspire to developing confident, motivated linguists who have discovered a love of language-learning. Our teaching is inclusive of all students, ensuring that Languages are accessible to any learning style. We also promote challenge and independence, with all students able to access a bilingual dictionary and set their own language goals. We hope our students will become the global citizens of tomorrow.
Evidence of pupil progress can be found through a combination of student self-assessment, teacher observation and formal classroom tasks. Standards of formal classwork are also monitored by staff checking work kept in MFL folders. Pupil data is regularly updated and students needing additional support or challenge can be readily identified. Language skills are continually revisited across a range of contexts, encouraging deeper thinking and greater knowledge retention. Phonics form a key part of every lesson, helping students to revise and consolidate what they have learned – many are starting to recognise key sounds and apply them to new words accurately. By the end of Key Stage 2, students demonstrate a sound understanding of core grammar structures, such as gender, conjunctions and verbs, and have a broad range of vocabulary. They are able to use a bilingual dictionary and are starting to develop as more independent learners. They are able to appreciate the similarities and differences between the languages they have studied, and can use this to deepen their understanding of any further languages they may wish to study in the future.
Students at Wychwood are able to discuss why learning a language is an important skill. They have an enthusiasm for Languages and a set of core skills essential to take them on to the next level. Feedback from our local secondary school suggests that our students are notable for their skills, confidence and enthusiasm when they begin Key Stage 3.