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St Robert Southwell

Catholic Primary School

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Modern Foreign Languages - French


At St Robert Southwell we want to enable our children to celebrate and welcome differences in our world and to do so it is vital they have an understanding of different languages and cultures. As they progress through the school, they will build upon previous knowledge and skills and be able to express their ideas in thoughts and listening, speaking, reading and writing, in order to communicate to others.

In Key Stage 1 and Lower Key Stage 2, the children acquire basic skills and understanding of language, with a strong emphasis placed on developing their Speaking and Listening skills. These will be embedded and further developed in Upper Key Stage 2, alongside Reading and Writing; gradually progressing onto more complex language concepts and greater learning autonomy.



At St Robert Southwell we learn French as our taught Modern Foreign Language. Each class from Year 1 to Year 6 has a weekly French lesson with the French specialist teacher Madame Hudson.  

The children develop their language skills and are given the chance to use it in real life experiences eg performing a fashion show in Year 4 and ordering a real ice cream at the end of their topic in Year 3.


Years 2 to 4: the emphasis within language learning is on developing the key skills of speaking and listening. We develop these skills through the use of repetition, conversation, games, songs and videos.


Years 5 and 6: we continue to work on these skills but also begin to develop reading and writing skills too. The children learn how to read and comprehend basic texts and stories, using learnt language, cognates and inference techniques to help them.


Cultural lessons are also taught throughout the year which give children an insight into events and traditions that take place in France and other French speaking countries as well as lessons about the geography of these countries too.


We are fortunate at St Robert Southwell to have around 9 other languages spoken at home by our children. We love to celebrate the cultural diversity of our school and within French lessons the children regularly have the opportunity to teach their peers words from their first language as well as information about their culture and country they are from. 


We work closely with our Catholic secondary school, St Wilfrid's in Crawley and our children take part in the annual St Wilfrid's Language Festival. We also hold our own annual languages and cultures festival at St Roberts where children teach the rest of the school about a particular language and culture that is important to them through games, songs, food and other activities. 

The children in Years 5 and 6 are also taught Spanish during a fortnightly lesson which is delivered by a Spanish teacher from St Wilfrid's. 


We have recently implemented the Young Interpreters Scheme at St Robert Southwell where children in Year 5 and 6 who speak other languages are trained to become leaders in their language to help younger children and those recently arrived from other countries.



Our French curriculum ensures that at the end of Key Stage 2, children have a bank of transferable knowledge and skills for moving on to Key Stage 3. Using the full range of resources, videos, PowerPoints and including display materials, this will raise the profile of languages across the school. We want to ensure that Modern Foreign languages are loved by pupils across the school, therefore encouraging them to embark on further language studies. Impact can also be measured through key questioning skills built into lessons, child-led assessment such as success criteria grids and summative assessments aimed at targeting next steps in learning.


Please see below for the curriculum overview and skills progression throughout the school.