Learning is a change to long-term memory. Retrieval practice in all subjects ensure that concepts are frequently re-visited and not forgotten.
We wish to instill high expectations for written and spoken French in all year groups; children are encouraged to use full sentences to express their ideas in an articulate way and to demonstrate this through spoken and written presentations.
Our curriculum is taught through a 2-year cycle in Year 3 and 4, and then again from Year 5 to 6. This enables teachers to have an in-depth knowledge of the whole curriculum and draw explicit links across topics for children. St. Mark’s CE Primary School has its own foundation stage French curriculum which develops the building blocks for future learning.
Topics are used as a vehicle for subject specific key concepts so that children make progress towards curriculum end points.
The acquisition of French language is facilitated through games, songs, authentic videos, and lessons with a French native speaker.
Curriculum breadth for French is determined by the programme of study created at Warden Park Secondary Academy, and significant celebrations which occur in France such as La Saint Nicolas, Noël, Pâques, le 1er mai and la Fête nationale.
The key subject specific concepts taught through the topic cycles for French are: All about me, my family, my town, likes and dislikes, pets and animals, sports, food and photo description.
Progression through these key concepts is ensured as a subject progression document is used to plan learning.
Golden questions practiced from year 3 help pupils to relate each topic to previously studied topics and to form strong, meaningful schema.
Cognitive science tells us that working memory is limited and that cognitive load is too high if pupils are rushed through content. This limits the acquisition of long-term memory. Cognitive science also tells us that in order for pupils to become creative thinkers, or have a greater depth of understanding, they must first master the basics, which takes time. For this reason, adequate time is given to embedding learning within each subject.
Within the subject, pupils gradually progress through a basic, advancing and deep level of understanding. The goal for pupils is to display sustained mastery at the advancing stage of understanding by each curriculum end point and for the most able to have a greater depth of understanding at the deep stage.
We use POP tasks (Proof of Progress) and low-stakes retrieval practice which show the level of the children’s understanding and informs summative assessment of the subject.