In a modern, multicultural society, we have a duty to provide our children with an understanding of and respect for other cultures and languages. At King Street Primary, we believe strongly in the benefit of children learning a language other than English, to both enhance their understanding of language and to enrich their learning with a deeper understanding of, and respect for, other languages and cultures; we therefore implemented an overhaul of the teaching of French for all children from Year 3 to Year 6 from September 2018. We encourage a whole school approach which begins when children enter the school; Early Years and Key Stage 1 children will be prepared for the learning of a foreign language by the immersion in other cultures through games, songs and SMSC activities.
Learning a language enriches the curriculum, providing excitement, enjoyment and challenge for children and teachers, helping to create enthusiastic learners and to develop positive attitudes to language learning throughout life. The skills, knowledge and understanding gained make a major contribution to the development of children's oracy and literacy and to their understanding of their own culture/s and those of others. Language also lies at the heart of ideas about individual identity, respect and community.
Language learning supports oracy and literacy and stimulates children's creativity. Through carefully-sequenced learning opportunities, children progress along three 'pillars': phonics, vocabulary and grammar, and have regular, spaced opportunities to revisit their learning and practice these skills. Children enjoy taking an active part in language lessons. They take part in role-plays, conversations and question and answer work, as well as joining in with singing, reciting rhymes and poems, and respond to stories. They create mimes, sketches and role-play, imitating accurate intonation and pronunciation. They play games, take turns, make things, take the role of the teacher and experiment creatively with language.
Language learning supports and celebrates the international dimension. Although it enjoys much more linguistic diversity than in the past, England remains a place where the motivation to learn another language is affected by the position of English as a widely spoken, world language. This makes it even more important that we give all children the chance to learn a language, in order to gain insights into their own lives and those of others around the world. They need the chance to communicate with people in other countries and cultures and to reflect upon their own cultural identities and those of other people, which also prepares our children for further language learning at secondary school (even if they do not continue with French, they are well-prepared with an understanding of how languages are constructed, and can transfer this knowledge successfully).
Ultimately, we intend our children to be able to:
Understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
Speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
Write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
Discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.