Learning a foreign language is a necessary part of being a member of a multi-cultural society and provides an opening to other cultures in all their diversity. A high-quality languages education should foster children's curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. At St Katherine’s Primary School, the intention of our MFL curriculum is to develop an interest in and thirst for learning other languages. We aim to introduce the learning of a MFL and the understanding of its culture in enjoyable and stimulating ways. We hope to embed the essential skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes and to learn new ways of thinking. We aim to build the children’s ‘culture capital’ so that they are aware of similarities and differences between cultures.
In short, we hope to lay the foundations for future language learning and awareness of diversity in the world.
Our German curriculum will ensure all pupils develop key language learning skills, as set out by the national curriculum.
These aims are as follows:
- understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
- speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
- write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
- discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied
At St Katherine’s
KS1 children are introduced to German through a variety of songs, rhymes and games at a weekly combined lesson of German and Music.
All children in KS2 are taught German in a weekly discreet lesson over the duration of a half term unit each term.
Areas covered include: numbers, colours, house and home, family, food and drink, the classroom, clothes and hobbies, the seasons, the weather, animals, writing letters to German pen pals and more.
It is our intention that when children leave St Katherine’s Primary School, they will have a natural curiosity and confidence to explore other countries, cultures and languages. In a multi-lingual society it is a valuable skill to be able to communicate effectively in another language and have a better appreciation of the diversity of languages.
Pupils are taught to:
- listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
- explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
- engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help
- speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures
- develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases
- present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences
- read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
- appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language
- broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
- write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly
- describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
- understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.
Our MFL curriculum has been designed to progressively develop skills in German. Our language leader has developed a well balanced curriculum which ensures children acquire a bank of vocabulary organized around topics. Each topic will offer opportunities to explore different environments found in Germany. In exploring how Christian festivals are celebrated in Germany there is an opportunity to teach about spirituality. Children are encouraged and supported to develop their speaking and listening skills through conversational work, singing activities and games. As confidence and skill grows, children record their work through pictures, captions and sentences. Development is progressive as it builds on previous knowledge from units already studied and provides possibilities for communicating using the language and a framework for future language learning.
Assessment criteria have been developed, in line with the national curriculum aims, to enable teachers to assess the progress of children in their language learning as they move through Key Stage 2. This ensures that children are supported and challenged as appropriate. This data is analysed on a termly basis, and an action plan drawn up to address any identified gaps. Pupil Voice is also used to further develop the MFL curriculum, through questioning of pupils' views and attitudes to learning a language.