At Newton Farm, we have a specialist French teacher who offers lessons to all pupils from Reception through to Year 6.
The aims of the MFL Department are to expose children to a foreign language and to promote a cultural interest while developing good foreign language learning habits which will build a strong academic foundation for High school.
We believe that learning a new language provides an opportunity to communicate more effectively with others, helping children to understand what it is to be a global citizen. This includes the importance of tolerance and understanding which are crucial in today’s world.
Every child from Reception to 6 is taught French, we believe it gives our pupils an opportunity to acquire language learning skills from an early age. Children have 20 to 30 minutes sessions once a week at Reception and KS1 and 45 minutes to 1 hour at KS2.
At Reception and KS1 the language is mainly taught through songs, games and dances with the emphasis being very much on fun based activities. Children in Year 1 and 2 learn simple topics such as numbers, colours, shapes, days of the week, greetings together with a selected set of vocabulary. Simple phrases and easy grammatical concepts like action verbs and genders are also introduced through fun activities.
At KS2, our pupils follow a structured course which is a built up from KS1, children learning is focussed on the 3 main building blocks of language (phonics, grammar and vocabulary). Children get familiarised with a precise list of vocabulary, learn their spellings and use what they learn in different contexts. Pupils are now encouraged to communicate in French every week during the "warm up" session, phonics is introduced through action and songs. The course becomes challenging with the additions of role plays in year 4 and project works on France's geography, it's history and culture in year 5 and 6. Pupils learn all the main grammatical structures like sentence building, Present tense, main verbs, negative form, and phonics is also an important part of our teaching. Extended activity packs are added (talking about one's hobbies, feelings, family, shopping scenarios, describing objects and people, writing simple letters) to enable our high achieving pupils to excel in the language.
We believe it is essential to evaluate our pupils' progress in the four language skills : speaking, listening, reading and writing. Formative assessments are held every term in pupils' speaking, reading and listening skills and a written test is held once a year. The department also tests vocabulary acquisition once a term at all levels : using Flash cards in year 1 and 2 and giving a spelling Test at KS2.