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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, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.

The National Curriculum 









At Inkpen Primary School, we value French because the learning of a modern foreign language develops many transferable skills, for example:

  • Communication (spoken and written) and listening are an integral part of all lessons.
  • Appreciating and celebration of linguistic and cultural differences.
  • Pupils become more adept at focusing on relevant information and editing out the irrelevant.
  • Pupils develop their understanding of grammar.
  • Understand the purpose of learning a language through a wide range of materials.
  • Pupils regularly learn new vocabulary which helps them to recall information better and more quickly, as well as improving their range of vocabulary in English.
  • Pupils are also required to speak French for a range of purposes. They must think about what they want to say and have the confidence to deliver it.
  • Pupils often problem solve in language lessons, not only because of the nature of the tasks but also because of the nature of language learning.
  • Pupils often have to come up with creative and fun ways to express what they want to say using alternative methods.

We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in French lessons, with the aim to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding of French in the 4 skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Each year group in Key Stage 2 (years 3-6) receives one hour of French teaching from a specialist teacher Mrs Nighy every week. Children are required to understand and respond to increasingly complex spoken and written language. Work is differentiated according to the progress and needs of children. Infants also have exposure to French and take an active part in our annual European day of Languages Celebration.

Within the teaching of French, the aim is for all children to:

  • Understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
  • Speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
  • Write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
  • Discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.

French is assessed against the French Skills Progression grids and this feeds into future teaching. Assessment data is passed on between classes, so subsequent teaching can build on the skills and knowledge the child has already achieved.