At Westacre Middle School we aim to provide pupils with a well-rounded understanding of the French language and culture through lessons and cultural experiences such as French days. Pupils develop communication and literacy skills that lay the foundation for future language learning.
Why learn languages?
Languages are part of the cultural richness of our society and the world in which we live and work. Learning languages helps us to develop a mutual understanding and appreciation of other cultures, communities and people and learning a language is key. Learning languages gives pupils opportunities to develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and to express themselves with increasing confidence, independence and creativity. They explore the similarities and differences between other languages and English and learn how language can be manipulated and applied in different ways. This also links to our 6Rs approach as language learning helps pupils to be responsible, resilient, ready, reflective, reasoned and resourceful learners.
What facilities can we offer pupils?
First and foremost at Westacre we are a dedicated and skilled staff who are passionate about language learning. We work hard to plan and teach creative lessons aimed at engaging pupils with French.
Last year the French department invested in new bilingual dictionaries for the whole school, so in lessons pupils can be independent and challenge themselves to translate, extend or create their own sentences. We have equally invested in a wider range of authentic native texts, which the pupils explore.
Also as a school we have invested in technology including installing new interactive whiteboards into every classroom, having a visualiser in every room and every year group having a class set of iPads as well as access to the ICT room and LRA computers. In languages, this allows the pupils to be creative in their language learning, for example creating comic strips of the French revolution in year 7 to demonstrating using a French dictionary using the visualiser.
Year 5 and 6
Pupils are taught to:
In addition to the above, to enable pupils to:
What do we teach?
Each year group is taught specific topics where they learn key skills and vocabulary, which are developed and expanded as they progress.These topics have been co-ordinated with our pyramid schools so that learning is consistent both during their time at Westacre and into the future.
We start with a quick revision of learning in the first school and move onto classroom instructions, classroom vocabulary and introducing the negative so pupils can express what they do and don't have in their classroom or pencil case.
We study 'All about me' learning to discuss family and pets and moving onto wild animals with the text 'Cher Zoo' and creating our own version of this story.
We look at school with subjects and timetable and pupils learn to give their opinion with reasons. We also look at the French school system and how it differs from our own.
We start by looking at hobbies and specifically musical instruments before we look into wider hobbies. We use the authentic text of 'Asterix' to create our own comic stories showing what we have learnt.
We study weather and look at appropriate clothing and introduce the third person. We also research the clothing culture of France with its world famous brands.
We study food and use the text 'La chenille qui fait des tous' to create our own version. After we open our own French menu complete with menu and practice our speaking skills.
We start by learning about body parts and create our own monster based on the authentic text 'Va-t'en Grand Monster Vert'. We also learn to conjugate present tense verbs and are introduced to irregular verbs 'etre' and 'avoir'. Linked to the Conflict topic taught in year 7, we look into the French revolution and create a comic strip based in the events.
We look at classic French fairy tales and discuss what makes a good story, looking at translation in detail before writing our own children's stories.
We then focus on town and learn about the vocabulary of facilities we do and don't have where we live before learning the conditional tense and creating a leaflet advertising our ideal town, which we have planned and created.
We learn about travel and modes of transport, the irregular verbs 'aller' and faire' and participate in a train ticket buying role play.
Then we become estate agents and learn room names and specific vocabulary of the objects in a bedroom before creating an advertisement to sell a house.
We also revise previous topics of describing and introducing myself, favourite food, hobbies and more with 'My life'. We expand on this with our daily routine and use the authentic text of 'Je n'ai pas fait res devoirs', where we get our first taste of the past tense.