Learning a foreign language provides children with an opportunity to access other cultures, deepening their understanding of the world. At West Hill we aim to teach the pupils to express themselves in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both orally, in reading and in writing. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries while also providing them with opportunities to communicate for practical purposes.
Although it is not compulsory to teach a modern foreign language at Key Stage 1, West Hill strives to create opportunities for children to be informally exposed to as many languages as possible. This is achieved through International Language days, availability of after-school language clubs and by completing daily routines, such as calling the register, in different languages.
Our Key Stage 2 children are introduced to French using a range of resources from “Tout le Monde” to Boardworks, an online learning resource. The teaching of French focuses on enabling substantial progress in this language by providing a balance of spoken and written language. This lays the foundation for foreign language teaching at Key Stage 3. Children will understand how to convey facts and feelings in speech and writing by focusing on familiar or routine matters and by using their learnt pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary. The main focus of study in modern languages will be on practical communication and therefore French is also spoken informally in KS2 when answering the register and greeting the teacher.
Through coverage of the various topics in French teaching, children experience links with Maths, Geography, Art and Music. For example singing songs in French or mental arithmetic activities using French vocabulary.