MFL is led by Mrs Thomas
Learning a foreign language once again became compulsory with the introduction of the 2014 Primary National Curriculum and so at Nursteed the children begin to learn French at Key Stage 2 [Years 3-6]. However, the focus is much more about learning language skills than just a mastery of the French language alone. Our approach at Nursteed is through fun activities such as games, drama, story -telling, role play, songs, speaking and listening with less emphasis on the written word. This approach gives children a real sense of achievement from mastering and using key phrases. Studying a foreign language also gives children the opportunity to learn about different cultures and how to communicate with others.
From Years 3-6 there is a structured range of topics introduced as shown below and children are given opportunities to communicate orally, share and express ideas and feelings using speech and some writing and to compare English grammar and spelling with that of another language.
Range of topics introduced by year group
Year 3 Greetings and Name, Family, Age, Where I live, Classroom objects, Pencil case objects, Nationalities [European], Days of the week, Alphabet, Weather, Likes and dislikes, Numbers 0-31.
Year 4 Animals, Seasons, Time [on the hour], Days of the week, Months, Dates, Birthdays, Spring festivals, Countries [Europe and beyond], Nationalities, Compass points, Where I live, Where I am going, Numbers 0-70
Year 5 School subjects, Life in a French school, Time[minutes], Food and drink, Meal times, Quantities, Money[Euros], Sports, Parts of body.
Year 6 Time [quarter hour], French school, Places in school, Places in a town [past and present] Directions, Ask for a train ticket, School times and subjects, Café, Regional foods in France.
Children from Y3 to Y6 have a half hour lesson of French each week, made up of opportunities to listen to and join in learning everyday words and phrases. These are built into basic sentences, questions and answers which can be used to have conversations in another language and to share ideas and opinions. Reading texts and stories in another language is supported by collections of books from Wiltshire Learning and Resources Library and also from an increasingly wide selection of French story books within the school library. Children also love to learn familiar stories, rhymes, poems and songs in French using actions to help with vocabulary and these are often performed to others in assemblies. Some words and phrases are written to build up a word bank of learnt vocabulary, and by the end of Year4, children begin to form their own sentences using this.
In September each year we hold an in- school Languages event to coincide with European Languages Day. The children spend the day in mixed year group classes, learning about four European countries. They have the opportunity to explore a little of the geography, culture, history, food and traditions of the chosen countries and to have a try at a few simple words too.
In July we host the local cluster Primary Schools for a Modern Foreign Language Day event giving children from Years 3 to 5 an opportunity to explore other languages through story and song, and to work with others to analyse and compare the familiar story of ‘Greedy Jack’ in English with the same story in a range of other languages including Latin.