Gilmour Infant School is committed to the provision of French teaching from Reception through to Year 2. We believe that learning French should be fun, challenging and practical with lots of praise and rewards for working hard! The skills, knowledge and understanding gained through learning French can make a major contribution to children’s understanding and respect for their own culture and those of others. Learning French provides an opportunity to understand, appreciate and celebrate diversity and promote respect and tolerance of others. We foster children’s curiosity, deepen their understanding of the world and promote a lifelong love of learning of languages. French lessons allow children’s self-confidence to develop through games, speaking and role play opportunities. We encourage children to participate and have go whilst celebrating their progress as they move through the school.
Led by a French specialist, we provide children with a broad and balanced French curriculum. We expect children to take part, and thrive in French lessons and develop an understanding of French culture. By the time children leave Year 2 they can confidently recognise and use a range of French words and sentences, sing a variety of French songs, and answer short questions. In Reception, children begin their French journey by learning simple greetings, talking about feelings and learning the names of colours. As children progress into Year 1, they learn to use simple vocabulary in short phrases, enabling them to hold short conversations. In Year 2, children revise all prior knowledge and build upon it. They broaden their vocabulary by learning colours, a broad range of animals, months of the year and numbers to 30. This vocabulary facilitates children to talk about their birthdays, pets and families. Children are given the opportunity to showcase their learning during their French assembly in Year 2.
Children discover that learning French is both interesting and fun. Weekly lessons are fast-paced and interactive, encouraging children to participate and have a go. We sing songs, play games and act out scenes to give children lots of opportunities to apply their new French knowledge and skills. Previous knowledge is recapped and built upon during each lesson. By making links and drawing similarities between French and their own mother tongue, children develop a deep understanding of French words and how to apply them. Teachers take part in French lessons led by our French specialist to develop their own French vocabulary and pedagogy.
Children develop great confidence in understanding and speaking French. Beginning learning a new language in the Early Years ensures that children leave Key Stage 1 with a solid foundation and the ability to continue their language journey in Key Stage 2. By the end of Year 2, children have the confidence to use the language, stand in front of their peers, listen and understand, as well as ask questions in French. With support from the French specialist, teachers learn, observe and support children speaking French. This ensures accuracy when modelling the language to the children.