Shaping Learning For Life

Stockbridge - Primary and Pre-school

French at Stockbridge

The national curriculum states that “Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures.”

At Stockbridge Primary school all children in Keystage 2 learn French in weekly lessons and children in lower school and EYFS engage with French through songs and rhymes as an early introduction. We are passionate about early language learning ensuring that children learn the structure of another language and also develop their cultural understanding. This supports children’s transition into secondary school and provides a basis for learning other languages.

Practice makes perfect!

The children in Horsebridge, Mottisfont and Clatford classes all have a weekly French lesson on Mondays. In years 4, 5 and 6 this is taught by Mrs McClue who has been teaching French at our school for a number of years. She knows all the children well and is in a unique position to ensure progression of skills across the keystage. Children look forward to this weekly French lesson and love to share their developing knowledge.

French lessons ensure coverage of the key language skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Lessons are fun and active making use of songs, games, rhymes and role plays throughout the year groups. Children have access to native French speakers using audio and video, as well as French texts such as stories and menus. From performing a poem with finger puppets in year 3 to creating a French café in year 6, we ensure that children are given varied opportunities to use their developing language skills.

At Stockbridge we make sure our French lessons are not just about learning a new language but also allow the children to embrace a new culture. Children get the opportunity to find out about life in France and explore similarities and differences.

Becoming experts

We are very lucky to also have the support of one of our school governors, Madame Mantell, who lived in France for many years; she is a real expert! She works with small groups across the classes to support children with their pronunciation skills. Her wealth of knowledge also helps to develop children’s understanding of the French culture and way of life.

During 2022, we also linked up with penpals at École Primaire Pierre de Coubertin in Mainvilliers and used our French skills to write letters and cards to them. This was set up in the latter part of the pandemic lockdowns as we were aware that children had had less opportunities to go on foreign holidays and encounter the language in context.

In addition to this, we have had support from our local secondary school, whose specialist French teacher has visited our school with her MFL ambassadors to work with our pupils.