St Joseph'sCatholic Primary School


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Modern Foreign Languages

God said, ‘Let us make human-kind in our image, according to our likeness.’

Genesis 1:26


Subject Leader: Mrs Handford

Governor Link: Mrs Jarvie



Modern Foreign Languages


At St Joseph's, it is our intent that all of our children will develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages, finding them enjoyable and stimulating. Learning a second language will also offer our children the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them with a better awareness of self, others and cultural differences. Through this curriculum, they will be working towards becoming life-long language learners exploring opportunities for further study and opportunities of employment utilising this skill. 



Our pupils follow the Language Angels scheme of learning and resources. Our children begin the Language Angels programme in Year 3. However, in Reception and KS1, children are encouraged to learn some of the key French words such as answering the register and greeting each other. By following the Language Angels programme, we ensure that our children receive a relevant, broad, vibrant and ambitious foreign languages curriculum that will inspire and excite them using a wide variety of topics and themes. All children will be expected to achieve their full potential by encouraging high expectations and excellent standards in their foreign language learning - the ultimate aim being that St Joseph's children will feel inspired, confident and able to continue studying languages beyond Key Stage 2.


Substantive & Disciplinary Knowledge 

Substantive knowledge sets out the content that is to be learned. In learning French, it is based on the acquisition of the knowledge of how to listen, speak, read and write in the language. The substantive knowledge is carefully sequenced across units of study and year-on-year to support fluency in the spoken and written word. For example learning the key vocabulary to describe yourself physically. 


Disciplinary knowledge enables the children to adapt and use language creatively and purposefully. Being a linguist means that disciplinary and substantive knowledge complement each other well. By disciplinary knowledge we mean the linguistic skills necessary to use the substantive knowledge effectively, for example using the adjective agreement related to physical description.The MFL curriculum reflects careful thinking about what is to be taught, the rationale for it, the sequencing of learning and the relationships between the forms of knowledge. As a result, pupils know more, remember more and can do more.


Through the Language Angels programme all content will be continuously updated and reviewed annually, creating a dynamic programme of study that will be clearly outlined in both long-term and short-term planning. This will ensure that the foreign language knowledge of our children progresses within each academic year and is extended year upon year throughout the primary phase and, in so doing, will always be relevant and in line with meeting or exceeding national DfE requirements. 


The four key language learning skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing will be taught and all necessary grammar will be covered in an age-appropriate way across the primary phase. This will enable pupils to use and apply their learning in a variety of contexts, laying down solid foundations for future language learning and also helping our children improve overall attainment in other subject areas. In addition, our children will be taught the skills needed to research language they are unsure of and they will have a bank of reference materials to help them with their spoken and written tasks going forward. This bank of reference materials will develop into a reference library to help children recall and build on previous knowledge throughout their primary school language learning journey.



By the end of KS2 our children will:  


  • engage in conversations; ask and answer questions and express opinions 

  • write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly 

  • describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing 

  • understand basic French grammar and some of the ways it differs from English 

  • have a wider and deeper understanding of languages and culture within our school and across the world


Our children's progress will be assessed through: 

- low stake assessment with clearly identified purpose

- verbal feedback from the teacher to the child so that both will know what is working well and what areas need more focus 

- end of unit assessments to provide data informaion

- self and peer assessment at the end of a unit

- formal assessments to ensure understanding in reading, writing, speaking and listening skills 


As in all areas of our curriculum, there are high expectations of achievement and outcomes. 



Inclusive practice in MFL should enable all children to achieve their best possible standard; whatever their ability, and irrespective of gender, ethnic, social or cultural background, home language or any other aspect that could affect their participation in, or progress in their learning. We will promote equal opportunities and fair distribution of Languages resources. Children with other languages at home are encouraged to use them for educational benefit and parents are offered advice about what is appropriate. There is a solid plan and long-term overview that meets and can exceed the programme of study attainment targets.  All units taught, contain challenge and activities are provided to support adapted learning opportunities. 



Through our language topics, the children are provided with opportunities to recall previously learnt language but also allow pupils opportunities to use it in new contexts wherever possible. This encourages better memory skills with longer term retention and to also enhance a pupil’s overall language learning experience.



We teach MFL to all our children, whatever their ability. MFL forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all. Through our MFL teaching we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make progress. We do this by setting suitable learning challenges and responding to each child’s different needs. Assessment against the National Curriculum allows us to consider each child’s attainment and progress against expected levels.


Gifted & Talented

For our gifted and talented children, we will ensure: 

  • opportunities to work independently using the range of resources available
  • challenge is provided within each lesson 
  • integrating previously learnt language with new vocabulary to support higher order thinking skills
  • opportunities to develop a wider understanding of vocabulary and grammar concepts


Links to our other subjects. 



Learning a foreign language contributes to the development of our children’s listening and speaking skills. It also develops the children’s grasp of linguistic features such as rhyme, rhythm and emphasises the importance of knowing the role of different word types in sentence structure.


Children reinforce their Maths skills by playing time-related games in a foreign language. We play number games too that reinforce their counting and calculation skills, expand their understanding of date, and increase their knowledge about currencies.

Personal, social and health education (PSHE)

One of the main benefits from learning a modern foreign language at primary school level is a social one. It gives our children the opportunity to learn about cultures from a different country and for our children to share their own cultures and languages with their peers. Lessons also give children the opportunity to take part in paired/ group work.


In MFL lessons children will learn the names of cities and towns in France and will also begin to describe the weather and climate. Our children develop an awareness of the wider world around us as they explore other countries and languages through our Language of the term programme.