Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) at Shibden Head Primary Academy

At Shibden Head, French is the main language taught, with incidental opportunities for other languages provided occasionally within other learning experiences where appropriate.

Aims and Objectives of the MFL Curriculum:

  • To foster an interest in learning other languages.
  • To develop children’s linguistic competence.
  • To introduce children to another language in a way that is enjoyable and fun.
  • To stimulate and encourage children’s curiosity about language.
  • To encourage children to be aware that language has structure and that the structure differs from one language to another.
  • To help children to develop their awareness of cultural differences in other countries.
  • To develop their speaking and listening skills.
  • To lay the foundations for future study.
  • To extend language teaching beyond mother tongue learning.


Teaching and Learning   

French is taught as an ongoing and discrete subject, linking into other curriculum areas where possible. Teachers use the year-group expectations when planning, to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum and ensure progression through school.

The teaching is based on aims stated in the Languages section of The National Curriculum 2014, the guidance in the QCA scheme of work for Modern Foreign Languages (KS2) and supplementary material collected through training and development work within the local network of schools, Language Colleges and the Local Authority. Teachers use a graded approach to introduce vocabulary (mimes, listen several times, listen and repeat, using different voices and rhythms, yes/no answers, only repeat if correct, multiple choice answers, guessing games and then finally closed questions of the Qu-est-ce que c’est?- What is it? type).

Listening, responding and speaking skills are emphasised in the beginning with the gradual introduction of reading and writing skills. Teachers share language learning strategies with the children and discuss how the language works. Teachers try to make lessons as interactive and enjoyable as possible so that the children develop a positive attitude to the learning of Modern Foreign Languages. Teachers use a variety of techniques to encourage children to actively engage with language, including games, mimes, action songs and role play.

Where possible, school invites native speakers into the classroom to provide an excellent model of the spoken language, as well as to involve the children in learning about the culture of the country.

The children are taught to:

  • become increasingly familiar with the sounds and written form of a modern language,
  • understand and communicate in a new language,
  • ask and answer questions,
  • use correct pronunciation and grammar,
  • memorise words,
  • interpret meaning,
  • understand basic grammar,
  • use dictionaries,
  • work in pairs and groups and communicate in the target language,
  • look at life in another culture,

Children in KS2 are provided with a discrete 30 minute French lesson once a week.


Cross-Curricular Opportunities

Links to English and Maths are developed when possible. In addition, ICT is used as a teaching tool, through the internet, apps and software. Links are made with other subjects such as PE, wherever possible. Basic conversational French language is also encouraged within the school day e.g. the register, greetings, counting, classroom and behaviour management, labels, etc.


Formative assessment of work is ongoing through observations and dialogue with children.

Children’s assessment of their own work plays a key role in the assessment process. Where appropriate, teachers note next steps, however, most feedback is provided during lessons. In addition, positive critical appraisal of their own and other’s work forms part of the ongoing learning, through discussion as a class, group or individual.

Children are assessed against expectations for their year group. As an academy, we use our assessment system, O-Track, to record all foundation subjects. As a result, assessment information is updated termly to match the coding used for core subjects:  Below, Vulnerable, On Track and Greater Depth (B, V, O, GD).

A summative statement of each child’s progress in French over the year is provided in their end of year report.




There is a central store of resources, including flashcards, displays, storybooks, DVDs, maps and word mats. Electronic resources are also available on the school system. Espresso is also used in the ‘Languages’ section.

Inclusion / Equal Opportunities

All children are included in every aspect of MFL and there is no discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual identity or orientation, race, culture, background or ability. Provision is made to enable access to the curriculum according to strengths and/or needs, e.g. deployment of staff, use of additional resources, differentiated tasks.

French Intent Statement

French Long Term Overview

French Progression Document

French Vocabulary Progression