Learning a foreign language has never been more important as our international links expand and internet technology enables global communication. At Bishops Down we teach French as our curriculum subject in Key Stage 2, however our enriching curriculum enables us to study many other languages and cultures along the school journey. French is taught to all children throughout Key Stage 2 for a minimum of 25 minutes per week. Lessons are delivered with progression in mind: through songs, games, rhymes and stories. As the children progress through Years 3-6, more written French is introduced and lessons are more structured. This allows more emphasis to be put on understanding the similarities and differences between English and French and looking more closely at phonics, structure and grammar. Children are given opportunities to take part in short conversations, read authentic texts and form sentences using basic verbs and correct word order. Time is also spent looking at aspects of French culture and French speaking countries.
At Bishops Down we are fortunate to have invested in ‘La Jolie Ronde’ scheme of work. Each child has an activity book to accompany their learning each week and enables children to progress across the 4 skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. It has been written in accordance with the Key stage 2 framework and provides fun lessons where children learn through games, songs, poems and stories.
Can learning a language have other benefits? Yes, speaking another language has been found to improve the functionality of the brain by challenging it to recognise, negotiate meaning, and communicate in different language systems. This skill can boost your ability to negotiate meaning in other problem-solving tasks as well. Learning a language involves memorising rules and vocabulary, which helps strengthen that mental “muscle".
With regular lessons throughout the year and making French part of the daily routine in school, it is hoped that children develop an interest in languages and life in other countries, which will continue into secondary school and beyond.