Modern Foreign Language (French/Mandarin Chinese) Curriculum
All pupils at All Saints have the right to a rich and deep learning experience that includes the learning of the basics of an additional language. The study of languages prepares pupils to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are increasingly carried out in languages other than English. Language learning provides an opening to other cultures and being able to communicate with people from around the world in person, rather than simply relying on technology to do it for them, is an invaluable skill for the 21st-century global citizen. Pupils will be encouraged to use language to communicate information responsibly and creatively; learning how to use languages to enable access to ideas and experiences from a wide range of people, communities and cultures across our school and wider world. In addition, understanding a modern foreign language increases a child’s understanding of their own language, and the building blocks which form this: the process of learning a foreign language reinforces fluency and understanding of grammar, syntax, sentence structure and verbal precision. Increased capability in the use of languages can also promote initiative and independent learning and encourages diversity within society. We teach a curriculum that enables our pupils to become effective communicators, to use language, and show an understanding and respect of different cultures in our local, national and global communities. To be Loving of All Our Neighbours, we must first be able to communicate with them and through communication we reach understanding and appreciation.
Since 2017, French has been the modern foreign language taught across the school. During the 2020-21 academic year, this was reviewed and we felt that a more ambitious programme of study was required to help our children to develop as 21st-century, global citizens. We recognise that the global stage is changing: the economic realities of Brexit and the pandemic, coupled with the rise of China, as an increasingly dominant world power, means that a lack of awareness of the Chinese people, their culture and language will leave our children increasingly disadvantaged as they grow up and move into the working world of the mid-21st century. Consequently, in common with some other forward-thinking primary schools in the area, we are incorporating Mandarin Chinese into our modern foreign languages curriculum in the 2021-22 academic year. Initially, this will be piloted in Upper School and, if considered a success, will be extended across the whole school in 2022-23. During the pilot year, French remains the modern foreign language taught in Lower School.
Through the teaching of French/Mandarin Chinese, at All Saints, we aim to:
All Lower School pupils, in 2021-22, will have access to a high-quality foreign languages curriculum using the Rigolo scheme of work and resources. Set in Château Rigolo, the children follow the adventures of Jake, Polly and Bof as they discover France through lively interactions and colourful stories.
All Upper School pupils, during the 2021-22 pilot year - and beyond, if successful - will be taught using an excellent range of resources developed by the Swire Chinese Language Centre Oxford.
These schemes will progressively develop pupil skills in a foreign language through regular, well-planned weekly lessons taught by Class Teachers to our usual Quality First Teaching standards.
Pupils and teachers involved in the study of French are supported in the pronunciation of vocabulary by the virtual teacher embedded in the Rigolo resources; in the case of the Mandarin Chinese lessons, children and staff will be supported by a Chinese Language Assistant, a native-speaker of Mandarin Chinese who will be in school every week to help truly bring the learning to life by introducing children to Mandarin (character-based script) writing, its pronunciation system (four tones) as well as Chinese calligraphy. In the event the pilot is a success and we continue teaching Mandarin Chinese, we hope that, once pupils have undertaken three of more years study, we will be able to enter them for the YCT Level 1 examination to formally ratify their learning.
Pupils will build on previous knowledge gradually as their foreign language lessons continue to recycle, revise and consolidate previously learnt language whilst building on all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Each class in each year group will have an overview of units to be taught during the academic year to ensure substantial progress and learning is achieved. Grammar is integrated and taught discreetly throughout all appropriate units. Pupil learning and progression will be assessed at regular intervals in line with school policy. Teachers and pupils are encouraged to use French/Mandarin Chinese in daily routines, for example, through answering the register. Alongside this, pupils will also have the opportunity to consolidate their learning of other cultures through planned activities marking events such as Bastille Day and Chinese New Year.
Our MFL curriculum is designed to be fun and enjoyed by learners, well-resourced and planned to demonstrate progression through Lower and Upper School, whether in French or Mandarin Chinese. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through:
Pupil discussions about their learning through the use of pupil voice;
Pupils are expected to make good or better than good progress in their foreign language learning and their individual progress is tracked and reported to pupils and parents / carers in line with school reporting expectation. If pupils are not progressing in line with expectations, this will be identified in the End of Unit Skills Assessments provided in the tracking & progression aspects of the associated schemes of work. This will enable teachers to address any areas that require attention in any of the language learning skills. The delivery of the modern foreign language curriculum is monitored by the MFL Subject Leader, who reports appropriately to Senior Leaders and Governors.
Please note that, while we are piloting the teaching of Mandarin Chinese in Upper School (Years 5 & 6) during the 2021-22 academic year, we will be starting all the Upper School pupils on the Year 3 units.
Please use this form to contact Mr Ali, the Modern Foreign Languages Leader.