Subject Leaders: Miss Burr & Miss Mercer

Curriculum Champions: Martha & Ruby

What is it like to study French at Witham St Hughs Academy?

At Witham St Hughs Academy, we believe that learning a language provides an opening to other cultures and deepens pupils’ understanding of the world. Pupils should have an opportunity to contribute to the development of their general linguistic competence through the learning of another language. We recognise the importance of this as a life-long skill.  Every pupil in Key Stage 2 has an entitlement to language learning.  

How is French planned?

We believe that high-quality French planning will enable pupils to access our detailed, ambitious curriculum. Our French curriculum is planned thoroughly to ensure that a wide range of French topics are covered whilst also giving our pupils an opportunity to learn about France and its culture. We follow the Language Angels scheme of work, which is a progressive program of study that has been created by Modern Foreign Language specialists. It is progressive and differentiated, and enables pupils to access a broad variety of vocabulary and grammar aspects as they move through school.

How is French taught at Witham St Hughs Academy?

Our French curriculum is taught through games, songs and tasks to ensure that the learning of languages at Witham St Hughs is interactive, enjoyable and enthusiastic. The language Angels scheme includes bespoke planning which contains sound bites of spoken French to improve accuracy of pronunciation and develop fluency.

Our main aim throughout KS1, where the teaching of languages is non-statutory, is that pupils will develop an awareness of other languages and cultures. As an Academy, we want pupils to develop an interest in language, as well as cultural capital through learning about other people and places. KS1 pupils are exposed to French at an introductory level, learning vocabulary for the numbers to 10, colours and French greetings. This allows pupils to gain a basic understanding of French as a language before progressing their knowledge further in KS2. During French lessons, Character Education lessons and Geography lessons, our KS1 pupils deepen their understanding of the world around them.

In KS2 at Witham St Hughs Academy, a wide range of topics are covered in the French curriculum to ensure a broad understanding of the language. In Years 3 and 4, we aim to focus on basic vocabulary and an understanding of conversational French, which would be useful when travelling to other countries. With this, a basic understanding of written French is introduced with children writing short phrases and sentences. All children are exposed to learning French through speaking, listening, reading and writing in their lessons. In Years 5 and 6, we aim to focus on core French vocabulary, introducing grammatical concepts and the skill of using a French dictionary for translation and gender recognition.

What about experiences?

As well as learning a new language, during French lessons in Witham St Hughs Academy, our pupils are able to explore French culture. In September 2023, pupils will have dedicated French lessons in certain topics that will be focused around learning about France. These lessons are a way to develop pupils’ ambition to find out more about cultures around the world, leading to increased opportunities of success as they progress through the Academy and life beyond school. Some examples of these experiences can be found below:

ExperienceFrench Topic
French food tastingAu salon de the
Learning about French musicians and musicLes instruments
A case study on the longest French RiversLe fleuves et le temps
Watching videos of home life and school life in FranceEn classe
Learning all about French fashion weekLes vêtements

Where can I see French around school?

Displays are consistent throughout the school; you will see French displayed in each KS2 classroom highlighting current learning. Our French displays include key vocabulary, a map of France and a space for pupils to showcase their writing in French. These displays are regularly updated to stay in line with the current topic of teaching and learning, and are referred to in lessons to support children. In KS2 classrooms, the French date is also displayed daily, and a French visual timetable is used in Years 5 and 6.