Languages are very important to us at Elburton Primary School. We believe that they provide a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for all children. Language learning can help support all sorts of skills that the children use across the curriculum; especially speaking and listening, social skills and self-esteem. Learning a foreign language at Primary school awakens the child’s interest in other languages and cultures and lays the foundations for learning other languages later in life. This will be so important to our children who will live and work in a multicultural, multilingual global community.
How do we do this?
The main language learnt is French. This is because of our close links with France, as a school and city, and because French is offered locally at KS3. We are looking at developing a friendship with a partner school in Brest.
Every child receives a weekly lesson, which ranges from 30-45 minutes in length depending on age. French is delivered by the class teacher in years 3 and 4 and by a trained secondary MFL teacher in years 5 and 6. Starting language learning with the classroom teacher means that classroom instructions and other daily language can be instilled by the teachers outside of the specific language lesson.
What do they learn?
Children learn language that covers the themes that appeal to them and engage their interest, such as colours, numbers, family, animals and hobbies. This may also include topics that link to work in other curriculum areas, such as the weather in geography.
In KS2 the language learning centred around three areas of phonics, vocabulary and grammar of the language in order to develop the four areas of speaking, listening reading and writing skills. Much of what we do in the foreign language is based firmly on the skills development that underlies the rest of the curriculum, such as, listening attentively, picking up new patterns or memorising.
In language lessons the children are active and involved, singing, playing games or performing whenever possible. We use colourful resources, puppets, music, rhymes, stories and ICT. Activities and games also encourage the development of key skills, such as turn taking or confident communicating. In Foundation and KS1, the aim is a ‘training of the ear’ and we focus mainly on listening and then speaking skills.
As the children progress through KS2 there is an increasing focus on reading and then writing skills through using the Language Angels scheme. Celebration of Success The children have regular opportunities to celebrate their learning, both in class and through the wall displays. We encourage the children to be independent language learners and we assess their abilities against age related national expectations at KS2.