Modern Foreign Languages
The study of Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) as part of the curriculum lays the foundations for successful language learning as well as promoting intercultural understanding. Through a rich and varied MFL curriculum we aim to foster enthusiasm for language learning and raise awareness of the multi-cultural and multi-linguistic world in which we live. Research shows that these early positive experiences lay the foundations for a more responsive learning of languages in the later stages of education.
Children are introduced to French in the Nursery and until the end of Year 2 they learn through lively activities such as songs and games. Speaking and listening form the main focus of lessons with children being encouraged to communicate effectively. Vocabulary is introduced through themes such as ‘Myself’ and ‘Animals’ with plenty of opportunity for using the language in a supportive environment.
An important aim of language learning from Year 3 onwards is to familiarise children with strategies which they can apply to learning any language. Children continue with their learning of French in Year 3 and are then introduced to Spanish in Year 4 and German in Year 5. In Year 6 children have lessons in both French and German. The curriculum allows children to draw on comparisons and similarities between languages as well as catering for the needs of different learners. For example, some children may find spelling or pronunciation in Spanish more intuitive.
In addition to interactive learning of the language itself, children learn about the culture of the countries in which each language is spoken. This raises levels of curiosity and motivation as well as providing a context for language learning. French is re-visited in Year 6 with the emphasis on learning to read and write using simple grammatical constructions. Children are encouraged to use French for a real purpose during a residential trip to France in their final term. Here they receive intensive language teaching which they then put into practice during activities such as shopping and cooking.
A Modern Foreign Languages day is held each year with a focus on French, German or Spanish. Children enjoy storytelling or a theatre production in the target language as well as celebrating the food and culture of the countries where these languages are spoken.