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Biggin Hill School, Bromley

Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

Curriculum Intent

The intention of the MFL curriculum at Biggin Hill Primary School is that children are taught to develop an interest in learning other languages in a way that is enjoyable and stimulating.

As a school situated in a monocultural area and with a largely monocultural demographic, we believe that it is imperative that our children gain exposure to and experiences of other languages and cultures.

We aim to heighten their awareness of other languages through specialised teaching and other language events integrated into the curriculum.

Covid Recovery

  • Re-build the profile of MFL into everyday life at school
  • Continue with ‘Language Lundi’ -taking the register using a different language each week. Children to respond in this language
  • Teachers to use previous year’s vocabulary in everyday classroom setting to reinforce/remind children of its importance/their previous learning
  • Take advantage of whole school gatherings such as assemblies to use MFL when addressing children
  • Teacher taking assembly to greet the children in the language selected and give a couple of facts about it, e.g. where in the world it is spoken and music that is traditionally listened to in that country. Play that music where possible as the children come into assembly
  • Labels around the school in French to raise the profile of written and spoken French
  • Some directions or phrases to be used in all classrooms (EYFS-Y6, age specific)
  • Resources around the room
  • French display in KS2 building
  • Take an assembly with a focus on MFL and the importance of learning languages and the opportunities it could lead to. Ask for staff and children participation on which languages they can speak
  • Audit staff, children and families for languages spoken at home to celebrate diversity -use these for Language Lundi and labels around school

Why learn another language?

Although English is the most spoken and understood universal language in the world, we believe that because children’s developing brains are more receptive to learning a new language than adults, it is very important we capitalise on this. Their developing speech and language centres can easily acquire and process new information about new languages. Once matured into adulthood it becomes much more difficult to acquire a new language. We believe capitalising on the plasticity of their developing brains is imperative and the gift of speaking/understanding a second language is one which they will cherish for life. Not only does it open their eyes to other languages/beliefs/cultures but it is a valuable job and life skill.

We believe in celebrating diversity and honoring that which is already present within our school community. As Biggin Hill is a monocultural area, it is imperative that children are exposed to different cultures and beliefs. We celebrate the cultures and languages spoken by our students with Language Lundi. This is a weekly rotation of key vocabulary (good morning, good afternoon, hello, goodbye), which runs through an audited list of languages spoken by children and families in our school. This vocabulary is used in classrooms and assemblies for the week and is also featured on our MFL displays and around the school. It is an important element of inclusion and makes sure our children feel valued and celebrated for their differences.

Why French?

French is the language we have chosen to teach as a primary second language in Biggin Hill Primary School.

The French language is spoken by approximately 270 million people in all areas across the world. This makes it a valuable language currency to be fluent in. As a close neighbour of England, France is also a country which is routinely visited by most of our families and the ability to interact with people and understand signage etc is key.

French is taught during a PPA rotation by our HLTA who is a fluent and confident French speaker. When KS2 children are not in the rotation for French teaching their class teacher will teach the weekly lessons. The Majority of our teachers were taught French lessons at secondary school and it is the language they felt the most confident teaching.?The majority of our Year 6 children go on to Charles Darwin Academy, French is the predominant second language taught here (as it is in the majority of other Secondary Schools in the South East of England). We believe that the early teaching of French skills and vocabulary sets our children up for success in furthering their learning in secondary school, giving them the greatest chances of developing fluency in an additional language.

Why Language Angels?

KS2 teaching is taken from Language Angels. We have chosen to subscribe to this scheme of work because it has strong cross-curricular links with our History, Geography and RE teaching. There is clear differentiation in each lesson and an End of Unit assessment is readily available. Language Angels closely follows the updated National Curriculum expectations and matches their program of study.

Implementation

There are four strands of learning that run throughout the children’s learning in French. These are:

  • Acquiring language as individual word vocabulary e.g. body parts
  • Applying understanding e.g. making the links between english vocabulary and French, using them simultaneously
  • Understanding spoken and written sentence structure e.g. French Grammar, male/female syntax
  • Reading/writing/speaking French

New skills and language are revisited in every unit of work taught. Language Angels allows children the opportunity to learn and practise skills both discreetly (acquiring new vocabulary) and in the abstract (reading/writing/understanding/speaking in sentences). The skills and knowledge from these units are then applied in the final unit of the year but revisited at the beginning of the subsequent one. Lessons are a mixture of practical in nature and encourage experimental and exploratory learning with language.

The curriculum develops children’s knowledge and understanding of the French language, allowing them to make links between the French language and their own.

We ensure that lessons can be accessed and enjoyed by all pupils and that there are opportunities to stretch the children’s learning.

MFL is implemented across the school. In EYFS and KS1 vocabulary is used verbally so that the children absorb some language before formal French teaching begins in KS2. Cross curricularly, in geography and RE children have learnt about traditional foods, celebrations and languages from countries all around the world including a French Day market.

MFL Curriculum Overview MFL Progression of Skills

Curriculum Quicklinks