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The Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) department at Parkside Middle School teaches French in both key stage 2 and 3. When pupils arrive in Year 5, all pupils will begin their middle school education recapping the basics in French to ensure all pupils can achieve.
The development of communication skills, self-efficacy and retention of language is a strong focus of our curriculum. The 3 pillars of progression – phonology, vocabulary, and grammar – enables pupils to develop a strong phonetic awareness which promotes confidence to converse and pronounce new vocabulary. Pupils will learn to manipulate grammar to allow them to adapt, personalise and retain key phrases that can be recycled in different units. Through this knowledge, the pupils will become resilient and proficient linguists who can communicate in many real-life situations.
The languages department employs a range of strategies to ensure pupils learn in an enjoyable, positive, and inclusive environment. To enable our students to become successful language learners, we have developed our curriculum and created our own teaching resources to promote independence and confidence, through the use of resources such as The Sentence Builders books and The Language Gym.
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In the Autumn Term, pupils begin the topic Je me présent. This unit begins with the French alphabet before moving on to revise classroom greetings, saying how you are feeling, asking and answering questions, such as your name, age and birthday. A large emphasis is placed on listening and speaking, where key phonics are taught to enable the pupils to understand key sounds of the vocabulary they are learning.
In the Spring Term in, pupils will continue to develop their speaking and listening skills to introduce and describe family members in the topic Décris-moi. Here they will learn to describe their hair and eyes, before moving on to talk about their personality and physique, and that of their family. The key verbs être and avoir will be taught (first and third person) to ensure pupils understand their importance. This unit will also introduce adjective agreement. Pupils will also revise the vocabulary taught in the Autumn Term so that they can give a short presentation about themselves.
In the Summer Term, pupils will begin by talking about their pets using the key verb avoir. In this unit, pupils will begin to understand the indefinite articles un/une. This unit will allow them to revise descriptions as they will be able to say what their pets look like. The second half of the summer term will give the pupils the opportunity to talk about what they do in their free time, for example, talking about sports and other activities that they enjoy. This unit will encourage pupils to talk about their opinions and include reasons why they like/dislike something. All four skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking will be extensively practised to prepare them for Year 6.
French in Year 6 builds upon the vocabulary, structures and knowledge acquired in Year 5. Pupils will commence the Autumn Term with the topic of Les sentiments that begins with revising greetings, giving your name and age, and saying how you are feeling. Pupils will revise the key verbs être and avoir together with adjective agreement to explain why they are feeling as they do. Key phonics are continued to be taught to enable pupils to pronounce key vocabulary in this unit. Weather phrases are then taught to allow pupils to say how they feel with weather phrases. Here they will use quand and si to build adverb phrases.
In the Spring Term, pupils will continue to develop their listening and speaking skills in the unit Où habites-tu? The verb habiter is taught in first and third person, which allows pupils to say where they and others live. Pupils have previously been taught about adjective placement where colours come after the noun. In this unit, they will be introduced that some also come before the noun, as well as agreeing with gender and number. Next the pupils will move on to talk about what is in their town using the phrase il y a. A range of different places in the town will be taught emphasising the gender of nouns.
In the Summer Term, pupils will study the topic of À l’école, where they will first learn to say what items they have in their pencil case and school bag as well as their colour. Here they will revisit the use of j’ai/tu as, indefinite articles and word order (noun + adjective). To end, pupils will learn the names of different school subjects and be able to give an opinion of them. They will revisit gender of nouns when learning the different subjects and a selection of positive and negative adjectives to give their opinion. All four skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking will be extensively practised to prepare them for Year 7.
During the Autumn Term, pupils will begin the topic of Ma famille et moi. This topic allows the pupils to revise vocabulary and structures that they have already learned in Key Stage 2. We begin with introductions, name, age and birthday to ensure pupils feel confident talking about themselves, before recapping descriptions of hair, eyes, personality and physique. At this stage, pupils are also introduced to the imperfect tense to talk about what they used to be like.
We also introduce the vocabulary for family members while revisiting the phrase il y a. When talking about family members, pupils are introduced to the possessive adjectives mon, ma and mes. Pupils then go on to talk about how well they get on with family members, revisiting adjectives that they have previously learned. Each lesson begins with a recap of key French phonics that is relevant for the vocabulary of that topic.
In the Spring Term, pupils move onto the topic Mon Temps Libre which gives the pupils the opportunity to talk about sports they play using jouer and faire. They will extend their repertoire of adjectives to explain why they do some sports and not others. Pupils will also learn the names of musical instruments and be able to say how often or how long they have played them. They will also use the negative structures ne…pas and ne…jamais is say which sports or instruments they don’t play. Once pupils have a secure understanding of sports, they will then move on to talk about what they did in the past, and what they will do in the future. Key phrases will be used to help all pupils master the past and future tense.
In the Summer Term, pupils will learn to talk about food and drinks using the partitive article with manger, boire and prendre. They will also say why they like food and drink items using a range of adjectives. Next, pupils will learn how to talk about their daily routine. This includes the time and different activities using reflexive verbs. Pupils will use this term to revise everything they have learnt this year to ensure they are ready to move onto the curriculum in Year 8. All four skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking will also be extensively practised.
In the Autumn Term, pupils will begin the year with a recap of the topics they learnt about last year before moving onto their new topic of T’es branché? French phonics is a focus at the beginning of every lesson to ensure all pupils can pronounce new vocabulary and understand when others are talking. Pupils will learn to talk about their preferences of film/TV, books and how they use the internet. Throughout the different units, pupils will be able to give their opinions using familiar phrases and adjectives they have previously learnt. Pupils will also revisit the past and future tense so that they can talk about their preferences in 3 tenses.
In the Spring Term, pupils are taught the topic Vacances et Voyages. This topic allows the pupils to talk about different places they can go on holiday, how they travel there and where they stay. Pupils will express opinions about holidays and revisit phrases that they previously learned. To revise the past and future tense, pupils will talk about previous holidays they have been on and talk about ones they would like to participate in. Pupils will revisit the use of à, en and au when talking about countries they visit.
In the Summer Term, we finish the year with the topic En bonne santé. This unit will revise sports and activities that the pupils learn in Year 7. They will recap the verbs jouer, faire and aller and frequency phrases to say how often they do these activities. We then move onto modal verbs with key phrases using the infinitive to say how we can stay healthy. Towards the end of the term, we will revise all key structures to ensure all pupils are ready for the move to their High School. All four skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking will be extensively practised.