Modern Foreign Languages
Modern Foreign Languages at Thomas Whitehead C of E Academy
At Thomas Whitehead we follow the National Curriculum for Modern Foreign Languages (MFL). The purpose of MFL at Thomas Whitehead is to provide high quality provision of teaching and learning of a foreign language, which as the National Curriculum states, is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. We aim to provide a MFL education which fosters pupils’ curiosity and deepens their understanding of the world.
At Thomas Whitehead we teach French in Key Stage 2, from Year 3 to Year 6, and begin to introduce German in Spring Term with Year 6s. We have a specialist MFL language teacher, Madame Nathan, who leads the curriculum and teaches all KS2 children herself. The aim of our provision is an appropriate balance of spoken and written language which we hope lays the foundations for further foreign language teaching at key stage 3. We aim to enable pupils to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing, focused on familiar and routine matters, using their knowledge of phonology, grammatical structures and vocabulary.
French is taught through interactive activities including songs, games- individual and team, Powerpoint presentations, actions for words, rhymes, stories , worksheets and videos. Dictionaries are used to aid writing in year 6 and helpsheets with vocabulary on are given out for all new topics to assist independent learning.
The topics covered are numbers, colours, basic information questions, animals, classroom items and instructions, days of the week, months and birthdays and the Hungy caterpillar story , where children create a booklet of the story. Children are encouraged to join in with singing , pair work, answering in French and very basic writing of words and short phrases.
The topics studied are colour mixing and art, parts of the body, describing personality and appearance, going to the doctors, wild animals, shops and the high street and transport and holidays. Children are encouraged to play games like Jacques a dit ( Simon says) and dance to the songs Alouette and Tete, épaules, genoux, pieds ( head shoulder knees and toes 0, to learn the vocabulary. Fun is always a learning priority as words stick when children are having fun.
In year 5 we start the year learning about the weather and how to describe it and this leads to creating and presenting our own weather forecast. The next topic is Planets, where children learn how to describe the planets and write more complicated sentences to describe these, using adjectives and connectives and finisg off by completing a presentation sheet about what they have learnt. Food and drink are the final topics in the summer term and pupils experience a tasting lesson in which they may taste a variety of French foods including cheeses, bread and croissants and drink some diabolo menthe.
In year 6 the children start with the topic of where they live, which goes from describing the difference between living in a town or a village, by the sea or in a town, right down to the details of describing what houses look like, how many floors they have and which rooms there are in them before describing their rooms and furninture and learning prespositions to describe where items are situated within a room. In the spring term year 6 have a German taster half term , learning numbers, colours and basics in German. The year is then rounded off by learning about clothes and fashion and revisiting food and drink for another tasting session.
Pupils leave Thomas Whitehead Academy with a broad and enjoyable experience of learning the French language and they will be able to build on this to learn new languages at Upper school as well as continuing to succeed well in French.