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St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School

Modern Languages (French)

The study of a foreign language forms an intrinsic part of the broad curriculum offered at St Joseph’s. In addition to the linguistic knowledge gained, language learning provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils.  It helps them to develop communication skills including key skills of speaking and listening and extends their knowledge of how language works, which supports progress in English.   Learning another language gives children a new perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand and value their own cultures and those of others. In fostering a spirit of openness towards others, tolerance, respect and encouraging pupils to connect and communicate with their peers around the world, our mission to live out the Gospel Values in our learning journey is supported.

“They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak other languages.”

                                                                                                                        Acts 2:4

Our French curriculum is based upon the National Curriculum programme of study for modern languages and delivered via weekly specialist teaching across Key Stage 2. The curriculum is structured so as to enable learners to make substantial progress over four years and develop phonics awareness, listening, oracy and literacy skills. The topic areas covered (Listening, Reading, Speaking and Listening) enable learners to progressively broaden vocabulary and encounter grammatical concepts whilst providing opportunities to re-apply prior learning in new contexts.   Learning activities are designed to engage the full and active participation of all pupils through use of authentic materials, stories, songs, games, drama, collaborative working styles and ICT.  By the time they leave St Joseph’s, pupils will have developed a sound foundation in transferable language learning concepts and strategies that will prepare them for language learning at High School and beyond.

Alongside study of the French language, pupils learn about French culture and the wider French-speaking (francophone) world (Intercultural Understanding). Pupils show a keen interest in this aspect of the curriculum and enjoy sharing the similarities and difference they identify when comparing to their own culture.

This is further enhanced through contact with partner schools via e-twinning projects and to date St Joseph’s has been awarded three National Quality Labels, two of which were language projects.

Other successes include publication of selected pupils’ work in “Write Away”; an online languages magazine and our pupils’ participation in the utalk Language Games (formerly the Junior Language Challenge), in which we have reached the semi-final each year we have entered. With over 100 entrants this year, we look forward to building on this success and are proud of our pupils’ motivation to take their learning beyond the classroom.

For a more detailed breakdown of the aims and content of our French curriculum, please see the 'Curriculum Aims' and 'Knowledge and Skills Progression Ladder' documents below.