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Ripley St. John’s CofE

Primary School & Nursery

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Modern Languages

Subject Information:



We aim to ensure that all pupils develop a love for learning a foreign language. We want children to find them enjoyable and stimulation. The Key elements of primary languages learning at St John’s are:

  • It is inclusive;
  • It is taught as a coherent programme from Year 3 to Year 6 and introduced in Year 2;
  • It is part of a broader curriculum involving language and culture;
  • It is expected that pupils reach recognised levels of this achievement.


The skills, knowledge and understanding gained through learning a new language make a major contribution to the development of children’s oracy and literacy and to their understanding of their own culture/s and those of others. Language also lies at the heart of ideas about individual identity and community, and learning another language can do a great deal to shape children’s ideas in this area as well as giving them a new perspective on their own language.



Pupils will continuously develop and build on their previous knowledge as they progress through their foreign language learning journey through the primary phase. Pupils will also have an appreciation of the culture and traditions of other countries


Both formative and summative assessment is used throughout Key Stage Two. Children are observed during lesson and their written work is evaluated to give them an outcome.


These judgements can be supported by a range of standardised or non-standardised assessment tasked linked to the National Curriculum, if the teacher/HLTA feels the children are able to access the format and language.


Teacher assessments are summarised during each year. These are recorded on school tracking grids and are used for mapping and analysing attainment.

Success criteria for each of the topics are discussed at the start of the terms and are referred to during each lesson.



Language teaching at St John’s CE Primary School aims to provide opportunities for the children to:

  • Express themselves creatively and imaginatively in another language;
  • Apply and develop their knowledge of languages and language learning;
  • Explore and apply strategies to improve their learning;
  • Explore their own cultural identities and those of others;
  • Gain enjoyment, pride and sense of achievement.


We teach a foreign language to children in Years 3 -6 in a timetabled weekly session of at least 30 minutes. Key Stage 1 are taught early French phrases, culture and customs through being part of MFL or Multicultural week. The class teacher/HLTA will deliver these sessions. The curriculum will be delivered using Twinkl Plan It scheme. Key Stage 2 will begin at the same point, during early adaption, and progress through the scheme according to the needs/age of the pupils.


Throughout Key Stage Two, French (MFL) is taught as an integral part of the curriculum which, where possible, is linked with other curriculum areas. Children are normally taught in their class groups with a variety of styles being adopted dependent on the activity, knowledge or development stage of the children. French should be placed within real-life, everyday contexts when delivered to the class and comparisons drawn between English and French lifestyles and culture as well as Language structures.


Activities are to be differentiated where possible to match the needs and abilities of the pupils and teachers’ planning shows differentiated outcomes for all French lessons. A French only environment should be encouraged in French lessons at all times from Year 5 upwards. Use of ICT to support work in French is essential to aid pronunciation and intonation.


It is the duty of all the classroom teachers to ensure that all children have equal access to MFL as described in the National Curriculum requirements. It is an inclusive curriculum.


What do MFL lessons look like in school?


Every lesson will have a strong emphasis on oracy with the children repeating and reciting words and phrases at every opportunity.

The lesson will then move on to the teaching of new French vocabulary, ensuring that this is repeated several times to embed the new vocabulary.


Children will take part in activities such as matching words, interactive games, speaking with a partner, etc.


Children will also have the opportunity to learn to sing simple French nursery rhymes and songs.


In Years 5 and 6, pupils will begin to gain a deeper understanding of French grammar and start to use this to write more complex sentences.


The lesson is then drawn together in the plenary, which is a chance for children to demonstrate their understanding, for teachers to address any misconceptions and to look forward to the future learning and skills.

What will the children be learning this year?

MFL at Home

There are several apps that could be used to support and develop your child’s understanding of the French language.


BBC Bitesize have several resources available including games, videos, craft activities or even some recipes to make. Many of the videos available explain aspects of French grammar, which can usually be tricky to understand. 


Duolingo is a free app with many different languages including French. It will take you through learning the vocabulary and if at any point you are not certain, you can click on the words and it will translate it for you.


Another interactive activity could be found on French Games where the children can select an interactive game based on the topic that they have been learning at school that week or term.