The aim of the French curriculum at FJS is to provide every pupil with the opportunity to experience a foreign language. It is one of the few opportunities within the curriculum for all pupils to start something new together and we have found this can be a very motivating factor. Within our French curriculum, pupils will develop skills in the four key areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Embedded within the French curriculum is the explicit intention that pupils will discover the skills required to learn any language (and the skills they use automatically in their native tongue). We also place importance on making all our children aware of how cultures can differ around the world. In this way we enable children to reflect on what is particularly British about the way we live. Our choice of Modern Foreign Language focus was made in close discussion with The Burgate School which offers French as the first foreign language. We expect our curriculum to support all pupils in the next stage of education and to allow some pupils to excel.
Pupils at Fordingbridge Junior School participate in weekly French lessons, which provide opportunities to practise new vocabulary and grammar in motivating ways. Lessons prioritise vocal participation with engaging games and songs. We ensure a high quality of spoken French in these lessons by utilizing a programme called SALUT which uses a wide range of native speakers to introduce vocabulary (ensuring great accuracy in pronunciation). Each year group will work on a number of vocabulary areas, most of which relate to the main learning unit for the half term. These topics, such as animals, clothes, foods, etc. are revisited from year group to year group so that key knowledge is kept alive and built on with new learning. As well as this, children will regularly practise everyday conversations, asking and answering questions. These mini-conversations are built on over the four years so that children can maintain a conversation with a number of exchanges.
Over the years, we have worked with Hampshire Advisors and our local secondary schools (Burgate and Ringwood) to ensure the French curriculum introduces a useful range of vocabulary and grammar skills which can be drawn on again and again at different levels so that ‘new’ is always added to ‘known’. Our French curriculum links closely to our learning behaviours: resilience, motivation, creativity, teamwork, reflection and independence. Pupils are rewarded for effort and are allowed to gain confidence at their own pace. The curriculum allows for children to make progress as French speakers:
- They can hold mini-conversations on everyday topics.
- They can sing songs.
- They can listen with understanding to words, phrases and sentences.
- They can write words and sentences accurately.
- They can use dictionaries to clarify meaning or search for vocabulary.
- They can read words and sentences.
- They have the skills and confidence to learn other languages.