At Barming Primary School we believe learning different Languages prepares pupils to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are often carried out in languages other than English. The rise of international commerce means that pupils need to be equipped with the skills needed by the international workplace. The choice of which language to teach is secondary to the lifelong language learning skills that the pupils will be encouraged to develop. Skills that they will be able to access in the future will help them to learn new languages or to improve their competence in an existing language. Increased capability in the use of a variety of languages promotes initiative, confidence and independent learning and encourages diversity within society.
At Barming Primary School, French is taught to the children throughout Key Stage 2 although there are opportunities for Key Stage 1 to learn some basics during curriculum days. The French lessons we teach promote an interest in learning other languages, introducing the children to another language in a way that is enjoyable and fun, and encouraging an awareness of cultural differences in other countries, including understanding that the language is part of the culture and that learning the culture is a necessary part of learning the language. The purpose of the lessons are to also develop the speaking and listening skills of the children, making young children aware that language has a structure and that the structure differs from one language to another and to lay foundations for future study.
The curriculum that is followed is based on the guidance given in the National Curriculum, using scheme of work 'Mr French'. The children are taught to know and understand how to: ask and answer questions; use correct pronunciation and intonation; memorise words; interpret meaning; understand basic grammar; work in pairs and groups, and communicate in French and to look at life in another culture. During French sessions children are given the opportunity to work as a class, as individuals and as part of a group. The choice of class organisation is determined by the learning task. By its nature, languages will involve lots of interaction with visual, auditory and kinaesthetic prompts. We sing many songs and play lots of games to engage the children during each unit. At the end of the units, we assess the children's learning and keep a record of this to monitor their overall progress.