Our Languages subject leader is Mme Mulley
At BJS, we want our children to be aware of and appreciate different languages and cultures and to become confident, active and increasingly independent language learners. We have a dedicated specialist MFL teacher, Madame Mulley, who is also the MFL subject leader. Madame Mulley teaches each class French for one, hour-long, lesson a week starting in Year 3 continuously all the way through to Year 6. In this way, the children are able to make considerable and sustained progress in their language learning and in their skills, as required by the Key Stage 2 Programme of Study for MFL.
We aim to provide our children with language learning experiences which will enable them to:
Know that different languages are spoken in different countries.
Recognise similarities and differences between English, French and other Modern Foreign Languages.
Recognise links between Modern Foreign Languages other than English (mostly French, Spanish, Italian, German).
Understand why it is useful and important to have some knowledge of other languages.
Develop a positive attitude towards language learning and, ideally, an enjoyable experience of it.
Develop language learning skills which are transferable to other languages they may meet at secondary school and in other contexts.
Understand and appreciate the variety of cultures and customs/traditions.
All the key skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing are developed through a variety of engaging and active learning experiences appropriate to each Year group.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development (SMSC) is woven through the curriculum for every year group. All the year groups do their learning in contexts which are spiritually relevant at particular times of the year (especially Christmas and Easter but also around Remembrance Day) . Children learn morally what is right and wrong through the many behaviour management strategies which are in place in French lessons both every week and on a half-termly basis (table points, "la feuille d'or" for the best behaved class each week and invitations to a French breakfast for those who always doing the right thing in their French lessons.) Children learn social skills in French by working with a partner or in a small group to accomplish a task (e.g. a role play) or play a game. And cultural education almost speaks for itself - there are numerous opportunities to taste French food, listen to and sing French songs and authentic resources (e.g. newspapers/stories) are used wherever they will best serve the intended learning outcome.
In Year 3, the children learn French phonics, single words and short phrases such as greetings, numbers, colours, days of the week and so on.
Even at this early stage, they are encouraged, supported and challenged to pronounce sounds and words accurately and to memorise them, too. Speaking (or singing) and listening (showing understanding) forms the majority of what the children are doing in class.
In Year 4, the children progress to learning at simple sentence level. This includes the concept of the gender of nouns, simple verbs and the position of adjectives, for example, encountered through various contexts such as parts of the body (monsters are popular), time and animals/pets.
In Year 5, learning activities progress again to encompass complex sentence structures such as main and subordinate clauses, greater use of bilingual dictionaries to aid spelling and grammatical accuracy and short presentations to class in French, for example making a weather forecast. Children learn to express their opinions in the context of types of music and instruments they might play plus food is a very exciting topic for the children in Year 5!
In Year 6, children's learning is aimed towards activities that provide the opportunity to exercise the four keys skills at greater length and levels of complexity. Children are expected to write a series of complex sentences expressing their opinions about school subjects or films, for example, and to be able to justify their opinions. Increasingly, they are tasked to produce spoken language relevant to real-life scenarios (ordering food and drinks and paying in euros) and to show their understanding of gist and some detail. Children in Year 6 also have the opportunity to go on a residential trip to Normandy in France for a week in June and put their language learning into real-life practice. Children who do not go to France enjoy the week in school doing a variety of other, French-themed, learning activities such as cooking (and eating) French food, art-based projects and French games.
In addition to the Languages curriculum at BJS, we offer a range of extra-curricular opportunities linked to French and MFL more widely.
At 8 a.m. on the final Wednesday of each half term, Madame Mulley hosts a French breakfast to reward one child from each class who has shown excellent behaviour or effort over the course of that half term. These are children who may be quiet in class but who always try their very best and deserve to be acknowledged - their special, hand-made invitations are given out in celebration assembly and their names are printed in the BJS bulletin.
Also in celebration assembly there is a French award given out on a weekly basis for one child who has either impressed Madame Mulley through a significant improvement in effort or behaviour in lessons or achieved something quite outstanding. Again, the winner of the French award is given a certificate to take home and their name (plus the reason for their accomplishment) is acknowledged in the BJS bulletin.
There are two MFL after-school clubs at BJS offering extra language learning opportunities in French (Mondays), Spanish (Thursday.)
French phonics - great for developing accurate pronunciation and sound/spelling links, key forall four key skills
Reading single words and showing understanding
Year 4 children practising first and second person of "être" with puppets.
"Je suis un cochon rose et blanc", " Tu es une souris grise".
Adjectives after nouns, sometimes also with agreement
Year 5 children drew and wrote about a meal they would like for lunch.
Year 5 children asking for drinks they would like - accurate pronunciation leads to effective communication. You're more likely to get what you ask for!
Year 6 children creating a role play to order food and drinks from a menu in French.
A good, real-life learning experience!
Celebrating BJS children who speak languages other than English in assembly for the European Day of Languages - what a talented lot!
There are a whole host of websites you can use to support your child's language development in French and also in other modern foreign languages - either for extra practice or just for fun.
Great sites for multiple languages
In addition to French, the websites below will help either you or your child to learn lots of different languages and they're totally free. Why not learn something as a family before your next holiday? Just take your pick - German, Spanish, Turkish, Polish....