Learning a foreign language is a necessary part of being a member of a multi-cultural society and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster children's curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable children to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping children to study and work in other countries.
The main aim for language learning at Monks Risborough School is for the children to develop skills in the four areas of language learning - reading, writing, speaking and listening, to foster an enjoyment of language learning, to develop tolerance and understanding of different cultures.
In 2014 learning a foreign language became compulsory in Key Stage 2; at Monks Risborough we started our language learning journey in Year 3. Currently Years 4 and 5 are following the same scheme of work, to account for the change from German to French that occurred in the academic year 2019-2020 after the appointment of a specialist FL teacher. In Year 6 the children are continuing a second year of Spanish. Going forward, in the academic year 2021-2022, the children will all learn French throughout KS2, being taught by a specialist FL teacher.
The planning at Monks Risborough School is based on the National Curriculum and the progression of skills outlined in each year group to ensure full coverage across phases. The scheme of work is currently planned by the subject leader and given to class teachers to follow. As of September 2021, all lessons will be planned and delivered by a specialist teacher.
At Monks Risborough School, children are given the opportunity not only to learn about other cultures but, more importantly, to communicate with others too. It is also a thoroughly enjoyable subject to learn, with less emphasis on the written word and more on practical tasks, such as drama, games, story-telling, role-play, speaking and listening activities.
Children will be given opportunities to learn how to:
-share their ideas and feelings using speech
-compare their use of English grammar and spelling to another language
-express some ideas in writing
Assessment criteria has been developed, in line with National
Curriculum aims to enable teachers to assess the progress of children in their language learning as they move through Key Stage 2, ensuring that children are supported and challenged as appropriate.
Teachers assess children’s work in French and Spanish formatively, through observation during lessons and written work. All pupils are encouraged to evaluate their learning (use of KWL) and to suggest ways to further progress with their knowledge and understanding. Teachers record the progress made by children against the learning objectives for their session on a distance marking document. During the unit of work, teachers use core progression of skills statements to make a judgement against the band statements; ‘working towards’, ‘working at’ and ‘working at greater depth’. These records enable the teacher to make an annual assessment of progress for each child, as part of the school’s annual report to parents.
Pupil Voice is also used to further develop the MFL curriculum, through questioning of pupils' views and attitudes to learning a language. Information gathered informs further planning & curriculum reviews.