Fern Hill French Rationale
Love of Learning
Through the nurturing of a growth mindset - a belief in their own ability to learn new things and their understanding that effort leads to success - the pupils at Fern Hill discover that learning a foreign language is both interesting and fun. Lessons are fast-paced and interactive, encouraging all children to participate and have a go. By making links and drawing similarities between French and their own mother tongue, our children are excited and motivated in lessons which drives their thirst for knowledge.
By providing a French curriculum which is progressive in terms of both knowledge, skills and vocabulary, the children acquire new knowledge, revisit this at intervals in order to help make it ‘stick’, and build connections within and across topics, thereby strengthening their ability to master what they learn. Pupils are given a chance to apply the knowledge and vocabulary and practise speaking and listening skills that they learn throughout KS2 as part of a two-day French trip in Year Six.
With good effort and a have-a-go attitude, even when things may appear a little daunting, the children regularly surprise themselves in what they can achieve. Through challenging French lessons, they learn important life-skills of resilience and perseverance, supporting their development as independent learners who begin to truly realise the link between effort and success.
We believe that learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. Through learning French, our pupils explore French culture and draw comparisons to their own. This provides an opportunity to understand, appreciate and celebrate diversity and promote respect and tolerance of others.
MFL at Fern Hill ensures that pupils leave with a firm foundation in learning languages, equipping pupils to continue their study of languages in secondary school.
French Curriculum Intent: what is taught and when
At Fern Hill, French is taught from the start of Year 3 by a French specialist teacher. Over the years at KS2, the children develop their listening skills, showing their understanding through joining in and responding.
Emphasis is placed on accurate pronunciation. Linking fun actions to images and spelling patterns supports the children’s confidence in speaking with a good accent and gives them the foundational tools to develop their independent spelling strategies later, at secondary school. In addition, learning French phonics, including the main rules for the pronunciation of consonants, is essential for reading and gives the children the ability to tackle also unfamiliar words.
Plenty of practise at listening, reading and speaking during each topic, form the necessary building blocks for writing. The children apply what they have learnt, using resources to support them if required, as well as bilingual dictionaries to innovate beyond vocabulary practised in lessons.
The children’s continued learning at home is encouraged (and highly recommended) through their use of the linguafun.eu website as well as the free language learning app, Duolingo.