Tansley Primary School

Learn, Lead, Achieve, Together We Succeed

Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)


At Tansley Primary, 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 the French language and the understanding of its culture in enjoyable and stimulating ways. We hope to embed the essential skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing. 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.


The national curriculum (2014) for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:

  •  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
  • can 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 Tansley Primary School we have opted to implement the National Curriculum requirements through the  language of French.   In most classes it comprises of a weekly 30 minute lesson, however this may be broken into multiple smaller sections (especially revision/practice) or larger blocks of time, for in depth lessons.   Due to the nature of our school set-up, we operate on a three-year rolling cycle.  This provides  opportunities for Tansley pupils to learn variety of topics within the language.  We ensure that our pupils progress within their French learning, as the same objectives are focused upon throughout the school simultainiously , but knowledge and skills are developed and deepened year on year to develop progression throughout the subject.  Where possible, links are made to the wider curriculum via topic theme/ Key question being taught at that time  (please refer to the French Curriculum overview (Cycle A, B & C).


Here at Tansley Primary, we also want to widen and deepen the cultural knowledge and understanding of our pupils, so alongside the learning the French language there will also be opportunities to learn about France as a country and French culture and customs, which may share similarities or differ to that experienced by our pupils.  This is imbedded within many of the half termly topics within the cycles. Teachers are able to use a range of resources including technology.  Practical teaching is encouraged with the use of audio, kinestetic, and visual learning styles being taken into account where children are actively engaged with their learning and the use of Kagan approaches are adopted. 



Even though learning a language is not compulsory in KS1, pupils are taught through various topics:

  • to recognise that French is another language
  • to listen attentively and show understanding through physical response 
  • to join in with traditional songs by performing actions then use words 
  • to repeat simple words 
  • to name individual actions, things and people 
  • to listen to stories, identifying links to their own language 
  • to respond to simple familiar questions 
  • to take part in short familiar exchanges


Sycamores and Elders:

The teaching should provide an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and should lay the foundations for further foreign language teaching at Key Stage 3. It should enable pupils to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing, focused on familiar and routine matters, using their knowledge of phonology, grammatical structures and vocabulary.

Pupils should be 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.



    Using the full range of resources, including display materials, will increase the profile of languages across school. The learning environment will be consistent with key French vocabulary displayed, spoken and used by all learners. Whole-school and parental engagement will improve through the use of language-specific home learning tasks and opportunities suggested in lessons and overviews for wider learning. We want to ensure that French is loved by teachers and pupils across school, therefore encouraging them to embark on further language studies. Impact can also be measured through key questioning skills built into lessons, child-led assessment such as success criteria grids, KWL grids and summative assessments aimed at targeting next steps in learning.


    We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

    • Observing children speaking and listening in another language.
    • Marking of written work.
    • Images and videos of children completing speaking and listening activities.
    • Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
    • Teachers assess French throughout lessons using ‘assessment through learning’. This helps teachers plan for future lessons.
    • Moderation staff meetings where pupil’s work is scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
    • Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum to parents.
    • Learning walks.
    • Subject tracking.


    The MFL subject leader will regularly monitor the impact MFL teaching is having on the children’s learning, through work scrutinies, to ensure the progress of knowledge and skills is being taught.  They will also ensure the knowledge taught is retained by the children and continually revisited and built upon and that the learners are able to apply the skills they have been taught to a variety of different settings, showing independence with their learning. 


    By the end of KS2: 

    • Children will be aware that a language has a structure, and that the structure differs from one language to another
    • Children will have developed their language and communication through development of the four key skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing.
    • Children will have enriched their language learning by developing an understanding of French culture.
    • Children will transfer to KS3 effectively and successfully and will be well prepared to continue and develop their language skills.