At St. Ethelbert’s Catholic Primary School, French is taught a part of the curriculum. The subject is offered as a relevant and broad insight into French culture, the country as a whole, its history and geography. Our lessons are taught by a fluent French speaker, who inspires the pupils to express their curiosity in acquiring knowledge of a foreign language through achieving their full potential within their learning capabilities, with the support of the Mrs Donnelly-Gore and a teaching assistant. All the pupils, in every year group, are encouraged to show high expectation and excellent standard, in their speaking and writing, of the French language.
Each and every pupil is helped to build up self confidence in the language, throughout the academic year, to help each individual pupil to feel able to communicate in French, outside of the school setting and beyond their Primary school learning. As the French teacher, my intent for all the pupils, is to review and re-evaluate the content of each lesson to make sure that each pupil can access the learning task for each topic. This is carried out by three yearly quizzes that I set to pinpoint the gaps in the learning. If any are found, then following lessons can be structured around these shortfalls. Each lesson is kept fresh and interesting, to enable the pupils to extend their knowledge and interest each year, as they progress through the Juniors, in line with the National DfE requirements.
Our school values of “Knowledge, Inclusion and Thoughtfulness”, are implemented in our French lessons, to reflect the children’s learning and to follow our School Motto; “High Expectations for All, in the Light of Christ.”
Each French lesson is taught with the correct pronunciation, as a whole class and some individual pupils, to show their learning. Mrs Donnelly-Gore will say the word or phrase(s), so the children can hear the sounds and then repeat each time, to enable retention of each word or phrase. This repetition helps with the retention of the words/phrases in the French language. As well as repetition, all the words that are taught, are written down on the board, for the children to see the correct spelling of each word/phrase. This also helps with vocabulary, grammar and speaking skills. All sounds and words are explained in view of their articulation and positioning of the mouth, to get the right pronunciation for the word that is spoken. This is for fluency and authenticity of the spoken word. Songs, rhymes and sayings are also used for fluency.
The Topics that are taught, can be seen on the yearly planning overview and Termly planning. Each pupil, in each year group, may learn at a different rate and this is taken into account by a variety of different tasks; songs, worksheets, written and verbalised words. Each year group has a teaching assistant to support and Mrs Donnelly-Gore, to support where needed at each lesson. The lessons are varied, fun and exciting. I teach my subject in a friendly and fair way. I do my utmost to impart my love of France, its culture and language to the children from year three, all through to year six. Each lesson lasts an hour per week and a quiz is set, to help me establish the gaps in the learning. This is also a fun way for the children to recall past Topics.
Learning French in Primary education is helpful to give each pupil an insight into a Foreign language and the curiosity to go and visit another country. During the lessons, Mrs Donnelly-Gore incorporates role play for some Topics, to help the children with language, correct pronunciation with vocabulary and to build up on individual confidence in talking in a different language. As the children move up through the school years, each lesson builds on fluency of words, correct grammar, vocabulary and knowledge from previous lessons. Year after year, each pupil gains confidence with speaking French and their personnel reward is seen through their written work and self-confidence, in the classroom. The impact of having Mrs Donnelly-Gore as a fluent French speaker to teach the pupils, will help each child to access and widen their knowledge of life in France, to acquire first hand knowledge of French culture, which is imparted with love and enthusiasm at each lesson! Curiosity is instilled, to make the pupils want to visit, talk and immerse themselves in a new language.
Progress is recorded for each pupil, in the form of reports, every Autumn, Spring and Summer Terms. Senior management observations are carried out consistently, to assess the learning and teaching methods for the subject. Feedback is given to help with individual lessons and this is implemented for the improvement of future lessons.