MFL: French

Avonwood French Policy: click here

Subject Leader: Mrs Irvine

Senior Leadership Team Link: Mr Jackson-Taylor

Twitter: @AvonwoodMFL

Subject Intent 

French teaching at Avonwood Primary School aims to develop a love of language-learning and an appreciation of other cultures in the world, which sets the children on a journey to further language-learning at secondary school and beyond as well as an appreciation of the importance of language learning in the context of inter-cultural understanding, travel and employment in a global economy. 

We want the children to leave Avonwood with a range of skills as language-learners, such as knowledge of how to use cognates to understand unknown vocabulary and how to use a bilingual dictionary.  We want children at Avonwood to leave with a good grasp of age-appropriate grammatical concepts as well as a good grounding in phonics and a bank of key vocabulary, which is regularly revisited to ensure retention. 

At Avonwood, we seek to give the children the confidence to speak, listen, read and write in French, as well as an understanding of French culture, and also a sense of French as a global language and an appreciation of the diversity of the French-speaking world.   We do this through learning about cultural and sporting events in France and in the French speaking world, such as the Tour de France, La Fête des Rois and AFCON. 

Subject Implementation

In Key Stage 2 children have between 20 and 40 minutes of French learning most weeks.  The Avonwood French curriculum is adapted from the Rachel Hawkes French curriculum and is aligned to the National Curriculum languages programmes of study document 2013 for Key Stage 2.  

The Avonwood French curriculum sets out the units that should be covered in each year, but we do not move on to subsequent units until we are confident that children have grasped the key learning points from previous units.  Within each year, the units have been sequenced in such a way that the substantive knowledge and skills progresses from one to the next.  All lesson plans are based on Rosenshine principles and reflect best practice. Teachers use assessment for learning to tailor lessons around our children and help plan for subsequent sequences of lessons. 

All units include:   

  •  A knowledge organiser, so that children can see at a glance the key vocabulary for the unit
  • A booklet, with key phonics sounds for the children to refer back to and a range of listening, reading, speaking and writing activities for the children to complete during lessons
  • A learning objectives sheet (within the booklet) so that children can see what they will be learning in that unit and can refer back to it in order to assess their own progress throughout the unit
  •  A cycle of lessons for each subject, which carefully plans for progression and depth
  • Explicit presentation and practice of phonics
  • Continuous formative assessment through, for example, online and booklet activities to identify misconceptions and fill gaps in knowledge
  • Opportunities to apply ideas and knowledge through, for example, speaking challenges with partners to apply vocabulary and grammatical concepts taught in previous topics 

Subject Impact

Our French Curriculum is high quality and is planned to demonstrate progression. 

We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:   

  •  Tracking of knowledge in French booklets 
  • Tracking of knowledge in end of unit challenges
  • Performance of children in oral activities in class 

As well as the demonstrable tangible impacts of our teaching on the children’s French learning, we as language teachers at Avonwood are aware that research shows that learning a second language boosts problem-solving, critical-thinking, and listening skills, in addition to improving memory, concentration, and the ability to multitask.  The impact of language learning at Avonwood will therefore be felt across the curriculum.  

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