Foreign Languages at Bentinck Primary & Nursery school
At Bentinck Primary and Nursery School, the overarching aim of our Foreign Languages curriculum is to stimulate and promote pupils’ curiosity about language, identity and culture, and develop their confidence and creativity in communicating effectively with others. Learning a new language broadens pupils’ knowledge of the world and supports key elements of pupils’ Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development, helping to foster an understanding of and respect for cultural diversity. Furthermore, it reinforces key listening, speaking, reading and writing skills which can be applied in a variety of contexts, and lay the foundations for future language learning.
The programme for Foreign Languages, based on the National Curriculum, is designed to teach the progressive acquisition and mastery of simple vocabulary and grammatical structures to ensure that by the end of Key Stage 2, all pupils are developing their ability to:
In addition, learning a new language complements key aspects of personal development and citizenship education: pupils develop their independence and confidence in building relationships and communication; reflect on their own lives and communities; consider the experiences, values and customs of others; and learn how to recognise and challenge stereotypes.
Following the recent Covid-19 pandemic, and the subsequent necessity to prioritise missed learning in core subject areas, we will be relaunching our Foreign Languages curriculum in autumn 2022. From September, all Key Stage 2 pupils will begin their first year of comprehensive foreign language learning.
Across Key Stage 2, all children at Bentinck will have the opportunity to make substantial progress in one language, French, taught by the class teacher and supported by the Subject Leader. Class teaching of the target language will follow an approved scheme of work (TBC) and be supplemented with other authentic language resources, such as books, magazines, websites and videos.
In the 2022-23 academic year, foreign language learning will comprise a 3o minute lesson with additional discrete practice activities delivered through the week, accumulating a further 30 minutes and including input from the Subject Leader, a specialist, to be delivered entirely in the target language, for example through a fortnightly French assembly. In Key Stage 1, some basic French words and phrases will start to be introduced in summer 2023.
*Implementation will be reviewed in discussion with staff over the first year with a view to increasing provision, if possible, the following autumn.
The curriculum promotes a love of language through a wide range of engaging and enjoyable learning opportunities, including: rhymes, poems and songs; stories, role play and drama; games and ICT; and the use of high-quality, authentic and contemporary French resources. New vocabulary will be further embedded through whole school and classroom displays.
The core strands of the Foreign Languages curriculum – Oracy, Literacy and Intercultural Understanding – are underpinned by the teaching of Knowledge About Language and Language Learning Strategies, transferrable skills which are especially valuable in consolidating and deepening pupils’ understanding of English, particularly beneficial for our varied EAL learners.
The curriculum offers pupils many opportunities to:
Where possible, and purposeful, teachers will incorporate foreign language learning into other areas of the curriculum, for example learning about: countries, capital cities or major rivers in Geography; developing an understanding of identity, community and other cultures in PSHE or RE; or studying the origins of Impressionism or Realism in Art.
Early language learning focuses primarily on speaking and listening skills, and a multi-sensory and kinaesthetic approach to teaching makes lessons largely practical and therefore accessible to, and inclusive of, all pupils, including those already bi-/multilingual or those with Special Educational Needs.
All pupils at Bentinck Primary and Nursery School will have the opportunity to develop capability in a modern foreign language. Children with other languages at home are encouraged to embrace and celebrate these, for example sharing expertise of their mother tongue or sharing linguistic knowledge in lessons comparing the different word patterns and grammatical structures in languages.
At Bentinck, we aim to foster pupils’ love of language learning and appreciation of culture through enjoyable, immersive whole school activities, in which pupils have the opportunity to practise vocabulary in real-life contexts. This might include celebrations (European Languages Day, Bastille Day or Christmas), or themed French days, when pupils, try, and share opinions about, traditional foods or music. Pupils in Years 5 & 6 might set up a French café or experience a day in the life of a French student – learning about culture, history and art, and how their language and culture has influenced our own.
The Subject Leader also hopes to make links with a French primary school in order to set up some live video sessions and a future pen-pal scheme.
Bentinck School’s local community comprises a wide variety of different languages and countries of origin, and the Foreign Languages curriculum supports our whole school values, in particular, promoting respect and positive relationships. It seeks to improve all pupils’ cultural capital through their experience, understanding and appreciation of the multicultural and multilingual world in which they live. Furthermore, the Foreign Language curriculum supports our pupils in developing essential listening and oracy skills, such as the ability to memorise and recall key words/phrases; to articulate ideas clearly and fluently; and to adapt language structures for purpose. We aim to encourage all pupils to develop foreign language skills - to support learning at Key Stage 3 and to broaden their future career options.