Bonjour! We love speaking French at Yorkley School! We have assemblies every other week and follow them up with in class activities, spending 30 minutes per week learning French. We strongly believe in providing pupils with a broad and balanced curriculum and provide children with themed days.
Contribution of MFL to the Primary School Curriculum
The learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for pupils. Pupils develop communication and literacy skills that lay the foundation for future language learning. They develop linguistic competence, extend their knowledge of how language works and explore differences and similarities between French and English. Learning another language raises awareness of the multilingual and multicultural world and introduces an international dimension to pupils’ learning, giving them an insight into their own culture and those of others. The learning of a foreign language provides a medium for cross-curricular links and for reinforcement of knowledge, skills and understanding developed in other subjects.
At Yorkley Primary School, children are taught French from Year 3 to Year 6. Lessons are once a week and last 30 minutes. This is supplemented wherever possible with short sessions within the routine class environment. Children also have the opportunity to join French club which is on Friday lunchtimes.
The children are taught how to:
- Ask and answer questions
- Use correct pronunciation and grammar
- Memorise words
- Interpret meaning
- Understand basic grammar
- Use dictionaries
- Work together to communicate in French
- Look at life in another culture
- Read short texts
- Write words and sentences in French, progressing to paragraphs
The overall focus for French is fun, involvement and enjoyment. The main emphasis initially is on the use of oracy, but as the children progress, literacy is introduced. The language is taught through interactive software, songs, games, rhymes and books, often involving toys, flashcards and other visual aids. Sessions introduce a new focus on a regular basis, as well as revising and practising previously taught structures and vocabulary. Emphasis is placed on providing maximum encouragement and participation, so that the children feel motivated. A variety of materials and resources are used.
Whole School French Days
Friday 28th September was a day full of French experiences for children at Yorkley. The school was dressed in red, white and blue, as were the children and staff. There were French signs up everywhere, including the menu for lunch and all school staff encouraged the children to use some French throughout the day.Children experienced four main areas of culture – art, people, sport and food. ART – the children studied the different styles of artists, including Renoir, Monet, Matisse and Magritte and then produced their own works of art emulating that style. The results were imaginative, colourful and unique.
PEOPLE – the children looked through information about famous French characters, including Asterix, Obelix, Jeanne D’Arc, Marie Curie, Coco Chanel, Napoleon, Louis Pasteur, Gustave Eiffel, Paul Pogba and Claude Monet. Then, they took on the role of one person and performed an interview which included the most interesting pieces of information.
SPORT – the children learnt the skills associated with the game of ‘Pétanque’ and then played the game outside. They used their social skills, numeracy skills and competitive natures to ensure that they enjoyed the experience to the full. They also had to beat Mr Berry!
FOOD – the children learnt how to say what they had for lunch in French and make a choice of vegetable from the menu. They also learnt about meals and food traditions in France and then tasted typical French snack food, noting their opinions in French for each item. What was most encouraging was that most children tried most items, even if they had not tried them before and were quite ‘professional’ with their food tasting.
At break time the children had the opportunity to have their photos taken as the characters Asterix or Obelix, either dressed in wigs and moustaches or with their heads through a painted board.
At lunch time, each KS2 class made a human Eiffel Tower which was photographed and videoed by a drone. Each child was allocated a number which represented a particular position on the tower and they then needed to lie perfectly still for the drone to get to work.
We all had ‘une journée formidable’ and the children are to be congratulated for their participation, effort and resilience, ensuring that they enjoyed the whole experience.
I liked every single bit of the day! Ashlee Class 3
The Eiffel Tower was best because it tested our minds. Enfys Class 4
I enjoyed the taste test – it was fun. Codie Class 4
I liked trying French food and finding out how many types of cheese there are in France. Bea Class 4
This was so good that nothing could be changed about French Day. Joshua Class 4
It was epic! Tad Class 4
Click the link below to view the video filmed by the drone:
Interview 1 – Coco Chanel
Interview 2 – Marie Curie
The children in Classes 1 and 2 were very excited to learn songs and dances in French. They particularly enjoyed the dancing potato and learning the French words for many body parts! The children then moved on to play some games such as souris, souris, chien. To learn to work with others, the children were split into houses across the key stage and completed different tasks in classes 1 and 2. The children in class 1 made the Eiffel Tower using straws, French flags and bunting. In Class 2 the children created paintings and drawings of the French flag with a sketch of the Eiffel Tower. To finish off our French day, we had a party and tasted some delicious food such as crepes, croissants and baguettes, followed by ‘The Gruffalo’ in French.