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French (MFL)


Learning an additional language can open up opportunities for children in future employment and travel. In the multinational world we live and work in, it is a fantastic opportunity to broaden children’s horizons. In teaching French we aim to encourage curiosity about languages and the wider world. Teaching French provides opportunities to help children to understand the wider world we live in and see how people from different countries live and communicate. We aim to strengthen their sense of identity through learning about culture in Francophone countries and comparing it with British culture. 

In teaching French at St James’ we aim to enable children to: 

  • Enjoy learning an additional language and see the value in learning languages 
  • 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 the language studied and explore the differences between French and English 
  • Become increasing independent in the language learning, understanding the role of additional sources (dictionaries, books, internet, apps) to enable language learning


We follow a 4-year scheme of work that is in line with the National Curriculum, which progresses through the Key Stage building on prior learning each year. The French material is taught using a 4-stage method - listening, speaking, reading, writing. Children will first hear the language modelled by the teacher in the lesson (also with support from videos of native French speakers shown on the whiteboards). After they have heard the language modelled they will have the opportunity to speak mimicking the teacher using games and songs to enable extended repetition of each word/phrase. The children will then see the words/phrases written and the teacher will help them to read in French - discussing pronunciation of phonetics and looking at cognates. Finally the children, when confident hearing, speaking and reading, will have the opportunity to write in French. In Year 3 they begin with words and simple phrases progressing through the school until in Year 6 they will be able to write short paragraphs in French for a specific purpose. The children record their work in their French book which is passed through the school with the child and becomes a portfolio of their learning.


Pupils are taught to:

  1. Listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding.
  2. Explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words.
  3. Engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help. 
  4. 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.
  5. Read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing.
  6. Appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language.
  7. Broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary where appropriate
  8. Write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly.
  9. Describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
  10. 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 identify how these differ from or are similar to English.


Please click here to view our French long term overview.

Please click here to view our progression of knowledge and skills in French.