We have great fun learning French here at Thurleigh Primary School. The French curriculum is run by Petite Etoile Ltd: a specialist French school for Primary and Secondary Languages in Beds, Bucks, Cambs and Northants. We have years of continuity with Madame Bentley who is fully part of our team. She is a specialist French teacher with over 20 years teaching experience who teaches French to Key Stage 2 pupils on a weekly basis.
Petite Etoile works closely with us to ensure that our school values are embedded into the lessons, and school policies regarding classwork and behaviour are followed. In Lower KS2, children acquire basic skills and understanding of French with a strong emphasis placed on their Speaking and Listening skills. These will be embedded and further developed in Upper KS2 alongside Reading and Writing, gradually progressing onto more complex language concepts and greater learning autonomy.
Subject Knowledge Overview: click on the document below for a Scheme of Work Overview for Stages 1-4 (years 1-4 of learning French with Petite Etoile)
Progression of Skills: click on the document below for a progression of skills for Stages 1-4. 3)
How do we teach French at Thurleigh Primary? French lessons are carefully planned, ensuring progressive coverage of the skills required by the National Curriculum. Petite Etoile French Curriculum fully supports The Primary KS2 Languages Programme of Study.
What do we want to achieve through the Languages Curriculum?
We want our children to develop an enthusiasm for language learning and an open minded and receptive attitude to other languages and cultures, and compare them to their own. We want to expand their horizons to other countries, cultures, and people. We aim to help our children grow into curious, confident, and reflective language learners who have a growth mindset and a detective-like approach to unfamiliar language. We want to develop teamwork and peer support in the classroom. We also want to enhance and reinforce our children’s literacy skills when acquiring new French vocabulary and grammar.
How do we teach our Languages Curriculum?
• Highly qualified teachers with subject expertise
• Carefully planned lessons that are sequenced so that prior learning is considered and opportunities for revision of language and grammar are built in. Learning is reviewed through informal and formal assessment as well as pupil self-assessment and lessons are adapted, and content revised as necessary.
• A clear lesson routine of (1) a story or a song which provides authentic cultural input (2) a Q&A session, followed by (3) the lesson objective. This ensures a regular revisit of vocabulary and in turn, children grow in confidence. Each half term some French cultural input will take place in addition to the vocabulary and grammar input.
• Cultural challenges: The children regularly take part in cultural challenges e.g. ‘the Croque Monsieur challenge’ or the ‘Francophone Monopoly Challenge’ and their work is celebrated and shared in the classroom, in school newsletters and on the Thurleigh Primary page on the Petite Etoile website.
• A website to reinforce and extend learning outside of the classroom: Petite Etoile has a ‘Thurleigh Primary page’ on their website specifically for the benefit of pupils at Thurleigh Primary. The childrens’ work is celebrated and shared in the gallery and pupils can watch videos that recap key language from their lessons whenever they wish. They can also extend their learning with links to other language websites such as BBC Bitesize and are encouraged to listen to French stories and songs at home.
• Language Ambassadors are chosen each term as role models for others in the class and whose main role is to support others. They also help to promote languages within the school through various school displays, competitions, assemblies, older and younger peer on peer activities and cultural events.
• A link with a French School and a penpal scheme: Petite Etoile links Thurleigh Primary to a school in Machecoul near the city of Nantes in France. Year 5 and 6 participate in a French penpal scheme and write letters in French during lesson time.
How do we know that our Languages Curriculum is taught effectively?
Progress of our pupils is carefully monitored through:
• Informal assessment: The class teacher regularly assesses informally in class through questioning, use of mini whiteboards and set tasks. Lesson content is adapted accordingly and next steps in learning are targeted.
• Summative assessment: The children complete a ‘checkpoint’ task at the end of each topic and next steps in learning are targeted and lessons adapted as necessary. In the summer term, all pupils in all stages complete a summative assessment in the key skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing.
• Child-led assessment: at the end of each term, children complete self-assessment bubbles which ask them to traffic light their learning in terms of (1) being confident & accurate, (2) accurate and (3) requiring further support. Lesson content is adapted and revised as necessary.
• Pupils’ participation in lessons is noted • Pupils’ work is celebrated and shared, and rewards given
• Parents regularly give positive feedback to Petite Etoile about their child’s learning experience of languages • We are constantly working to raise the profile of languages within Thurleigh Primary through displays, posters, celebratory assemblies and communications to parents. Whole school and parental engagement will improve through home learning tasks that provide opportunities for wider learning.
French is taught to Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 by specialist French teacher, Madame Bentley from Petite Etoile.
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The French ambassadors are as follows: