Dartford Primary Academy is a vibrant, multicultural, diverse community built on mutual respect and strong shared values. We strongly believe that providing our students with the opportunity to learn a Modern Foreign Language is an invaluable educational, social and cultural experience that will constitute a strong foundation towards becoming open-minded and confident individuals in the future. Using the National Curriculum for Modern Foreign Languages, the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme and the three pillars of language learning: phonics, vocabulary and grammar, our aim is to nurture pupils’ enthusiasm, curiosity and open-mindedness. We plan the knowledge and skills the pupils need for the subject so that it is progressive and sequentially mapped. This makes it clear the end points that the children are building towards and what pupils need to know and be able to do to reach those endpoints. We want to give all children, regardless of ability or background, the opportunity to reflect on their own language and culture, learn about others’ and become responsible, caring, global citizens themselves. Embedded in our philosophy is the belief that internationalism and modern languages offer students an understanding of the world and their place in it. This in turn will help them to develop personal values that will allow them to become responsible, balanced, caring world citizens.
Our aims are:
- To foster positive attitudes and an early interest for languages and cultures of the world. To develop students’ communicative skills, confidence and competence in the language.
- To explore linguistic and cultural aspects of the Primary Years Programme for cross curricular opportunities.
- To foster children’s curiosity, enthusiasm and develop their IB learner profile attributes in the context of language learning.
- To encourage active and positive parental involvement and participation in the promotion of language acquisition and cultural discovery.
- To foster a problem solving approach, giving children opportunities to think about how languages work as a basis for future language learning and to become independent lifelong learners.
French is introduced informally at Key Stage 1. At Key Stage 2, students are provided with an opportunity to learn French in a weekly lesson.It is taught progressively and sequenced to develop the knowledge and skills for all to access. Therefore, we ensure that pupils embed key concepts in their long-term memory and apply them fluently. Linguistic, historical, geographic, artistic and cultural aspects are embedded wherever appropriate and relevant within the Primary Years Programme. This gives students a truly interdisciplinary experience. Phonics and grammar are explicitly taught in lessons. Emphasis is also placed upon the development of oracy and communicative skills; however, the teaching of languages covers the four key skills areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. As a school, we are using the Language Angels software programme to deliver our lesson content. Our teaching is delivered by a French native speaker, who regularly develops their knowledge of the subject through CPD, who offers opportunities for fun and engaging activities, encouraging individual, pair and group work, songs, games, competitions and hometasks for the children. They use assessment to check pupils’ understanding and address misconceptions in order to inform teaching, and to help pupils embed and use knowledge fluently and develop their understanding of the French language further. We strongly believe in using the target language routinely, encouraging students to immerse in the language learning experience from a young age. Furthermore, we have established a link with a French primary school which allows our students to form friendships and working relationships with their French counterparts. Our afterschool International cooking and French clubs also allow us to offer and broaden our linguistic and cultural development opportunities.
There are numerous opportunities for evaluation of children’s progress, based on the skills being taught. Children keep a record of their work in their French books and are able to self assess and reflect on their learning to inform future planning. All students have the opportunity to access the MFL curriculum, regardless of background or ability. There is a strong emphasis on developing students’ confidence and enjoyment using the target language effectively through rewards and positive reinforcement. Students are able to reflect, investigate, question and take ownership of their learning experience, thus developing oracy and agency. Therefore, as they know and remember more about the subject, they are able to do more. Students of all abilities develop an interest and curiosity about other cultures and acquire a strong linguistic and cultural knowledge that will form a solid foundation to a successful transition to Key Stage 3 and beyond. The Modern Foreign Languages and cultural provision at Dartford Primary Academy is vibrant, positive, thriving and based on a culture of celebrating individuals, communities, differences and commonalities, with the ultimate aim to promote respect, understanding and growth within our school, first and foremost, but also in our local and global environment.