Modern Foreign Languages


Intent

Our curriculum starts in the Early Years and progresses sequentially through to Year Six. In every lesson we focus on threshold concepts that ties the ambitious body of knowledge together with the characteristics children are developing.

These essential characteristics of mastery in Languages are:

  • The confidence to speak with good intonation and pronunciation.

  • Fluency in reading.

  • Fluency and imagination in writing

  • A strong awareness of the culture of the countries where the language is spoken.

  • A passion for languages and a commitment to the subject.

  • The ability to use language creatively and spontaneously.

  • An independence in their studies and the ability to draw upon a wide range of resources.

Threshold concepts are taught repeatedly throughout the curriculum, linking learning into meaningful and rich semantic schemas.

In Languages, the threshold concepts are:

  • To read fluently - this concept involves recognising key vocabulary and phrases.

  • To write imaginatively - this concept involves using key vocabulary and phrases to write ideas.

  • To speak confidently - this concept involves using key vocabulary and phrases to verbally communicate ideas.

  • To understand the culture of the countries in which the language is spoken - this concept involves the background knowledge and cultural capital needed to infer meaning from interactions.

It is our vision to inspire a lifelong love of languages and appreciation of cultural diversity within our pupils. Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures, deepening children’s understanding of the world. This links to one of our curriculum drivers at Gorseland: Developing all children’s understanding of diversity by broadening their horizons.

We work hard to provide a rich and varied curriculum to challenge and meet the needs of our children. We believe all pupils, irrespective of needs, should be taught essential aspects of Languages by having the opportunity to communicate for practical purposes and to develop their cultural understanding.

Gorseland is located close to Ipswich which is a multicultural town with diverse communities. According to the Suffolk School Census 2018, more than a fifth of Ipswich pupils now speak a language other than English at home. Although Gorseland has a low proportion of pupils who have English as an Additional Language, there are still many languages spoken amongst family members at home including Afrikaans, Mandarin, Panjabi and Turkish. This highlights the importance of teaching Languages for societal inclusion.

Our Languages curriculum is carefully designed to provide vital background knowledge that broadens pupils’ experiences and enhances their cultural capital, to help pupils succeed in life. Therefore, at Gorseland, our aims are to ensure children experience a wide breadth of study and have, by the end of each key stage, long-term memory of an ambitious body of procedural and semantic knowledge. Our curriculum maps are carefully crafted and available in school. The curriculum content is available on our website.


Implementation

The Languages curriculum ensures that the threshold concepts are re-visited regularly through the teaching of French. French has been chosen as Gorseland's focus language as French is also taught at the local secondary schools in Suffolk. We therefore provide pupils with a solid foundation of skills and knowledge, enabling them to continue progressing their language learning during Key Stage Three and beyond.

There is a focus on developing speaking and listening skills initially during each learning unit, followed by reading and writing tasks. Gorseland’s skills progression links to the Languages Ladder statements and the knowledge progression enables French language skills to be developed systematically. This ensures that children move sequentially through their Languages education.

The National Curriculum requires pupils to learn a new language in Key Stage 2. However, because we value the teaching and learning of Languages and understand the multitude of skills it offers pupils, we also deliver French in Key Stage One. This is often carried out through songs, stories and kinaesthetic activities.

Although French is taught as the primary language to ensure progression and skills development, other languages are informally encouraged based on the children’s interests and personal experiences. This includes encouraging children to bring their home language into the classroom as something to be valued and learned about.

Rigolo Scheme of Work

Teachers have access to the Rigolo scheme of work by Nelson Thornes, a comprehensive and progressive scheme of work which covers all aspects of the Languages curriculum: speaking, listening, reading, writing and cultural understanding. Pupils will progress their skills and knowledge throughout the units in Key Stage Two, with adaptations made by teachers to meet and suit the needs of all pupils in their class.

Rigolo follows the engaging, interactive story of Jake, Polly and Bof the Magic Dragon as they discover France. A native French speaker is the onscreen ‘virtual teacher’ to model the new vocabulary with correct pronunciation and intonation. The lessons are mainly practical in focus and the content ensures knowledge of a wide variety of interesting and relevant topics by the end of Key Stage Two. Each unit contains key grammar and vocabulary, and gives opportunities to reflect on similarities and differences between people and countries where French is spoken. Pupils are able to work individually, in pairs, small groups and in whole class situations according to the task, and resources appeal to a variety of learning styles. Teachers are also encouraged to choose songs and kinaesthetic activities to supplement the Rigolo scheme to ensure all children are engaged and learning.

Continuous Provision

At Gorseland, language learning is supported in a cross-curricular way and in short bursts during the teaching timetable. This is to provide pupils with further opportunities to transfer and embed knowledge into their long-term memory. Examples might include:

  • Registers taken in a different language

  • Key vocabulary displayed in classrooms

  • Languages spoken at home displayed in the school’s main entrance (greetings)

  • Languages spoken at home displayed in classrooms (greetings or key vocabulary)

  • Numbers, classroom instructions or other key vocabulary re-visited in PE warm-up games or during lessons.

  • Developing cultural awareness and an understanding of where languages are spoken through PSHE, Music, Geography, History and RE.

Curriculum implementation at Gorseland

We maintain a high level of subject knowledge of Languages in our school by regular training and professional development for teachers and subject leaders. Teachers create a positive attitude to Language learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in this subject.

Through our planning of problem-solving opportunities, children are encouraged to ask their own questions and use skills and research to discover the answers. This might include asking for translations, eagerness to make links with other languages and questions about where languages are spoken or cultural differences. Children’s curiosity is celebrated within the classroom.

Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, assessing children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning in order to plan for next steps.

We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, they become more proficient in using vocabulary, understanding grammar, speaking with good pronunciation and understanding different cultures.

Within each Milestone, students gradually progress in their procedural fluency and semantic strength through three cognitive domains: basic, advancing and deep.

Guidance from the framework of ‘Support and Challenge’ is used to plan a bespoke curriculum tailored to pupils’ individual needs to facilitate access to quality learning experiences and develop their Language knowledge, understanding and skills.

With effective subject leadership, we are a well-equipped and resourced school. Regular monitoring shows that our children understand and apply key principles within their work. At Gorseland, we have a rigorous monitoring process of the Languages curriculum that is kept up to date and contributes towards our school improvement plan.


Impact

The successful approach at Gorseland results in an engaging, high-quality languages education that provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world. Frequent, continuous and progressive learning is embedded throughout the Languages curriculum. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts and local organisations, children have the understanding that Languages has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity.

At Gorseland, we demonstrate the success of our ambitious Languages curriculum as follows:

  • Teachers have high ambitions for the progression of children’s knowledge and understanding of Languages.

  • Children develop the confidence to speak with good intonation and pronunciation.

  • Children become increasingly fluent in reading and writing.

  • Children develop a strong awareness of the culture of the countries where the language is spoken

  • Teaching staff will encourage children to have a passion for languages and a commitment to the subject.

  • Children are increasingly able to use language creatively and spontaneously.

  • Children demonstrate independence in their studies and the ability to draw upon a wide range of resources.

  • The school website regularly shares the language learning taking place across the school. This might be via the Twitter page or school blog.

  • The school website has home learning links for languages to encourage consolidation of vocabulary, to foster a passion for languages and encourage families to share their home language.

  • Key vocabulary is displayed around the school including languages spoken at home displayed in the school’s main entrance.

  • Children develop their cultural awareness and an understanding of where languages are spoken through lessons across the curriculum, including PSHE, Music, Geography, History and RE.

  • Standards in Languages are good and any issues arising are addressed effectively in school.

  • Our SLT and governors are updated with developments of our Languages curriculum with subject reports, action plans and review meetings.

We are also working towards:

  • Broadening children’s access to stories written in a different language to develop vocabulary, grammar and an appreciation for languages as well as enabling pupils to make comparisons between languages.

  • Further developing all children’s understanding of diversity by broadening their horizons through planned experiences such as workshops, visitors and events involving the local community.

Assessment of children's learning in Languages is an ongoing monitoring of children's understanding, knowledge and skills by the class teacher, throughout lessons. Pupils are also encouraged to evaluate their own learning and to suggest ways to progress further with their knowledge and understanding. Teachers record the progress made by children on assessment sheets, with photographic evidence of learning shared on the school’s Twitter page during the year and written work filed in the children’s Foundation Subject folders. These assessments then inform our bespoke plans for differentiation, support and challenge as required by the children. Languages are also monitored by the subject leader throughout the year in the form of book monitoring, looking at outcomes and pupil interviews to discuss their learning and understanding and to establish the impact of the teaching taking place.