Purpose of study
Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils 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. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages.
The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:
The Department for Education (2013), Languages programmes of study: key stage 2 National curriculum in England.
At Bishop Henderson French is taught throughout KS2. Year 3 classes have 45 minute lessons once a week when children are encouraged to practise their speaking and listening skills through different activities including songs, rhymes, story-telling, games and role-play. Years 4, 5 and 6 have hour long lessons when, in addition to the above, reading and writing skills are also developed.
Year 4 have a link to a school on the island of La Réunion in the Indian Ocean with whom they exchange emails and work as they exchange information about the geography, wildlife and culture of their partner school. Years 5 and 6 also have links with pupils in two primary schools in Le Mans, providing them with an excellent opportunity to communicate for practical purposes.
Whole school French days and visiting native speakers to school provide fun opportunities for children to share their language skills and develop their cultural understanding.