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Modern Foreign Languages


Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. (NC 2014)


At Osmotherley Primary School we strive to provide a high-quality Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) education, which engages, inspires and challenges pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to speak, listen, read and write in French.

There is a clear progression in the skills and knowledge taught throughout the school and deliberate practice allows children to improve fluency leading to mastery and an alteration to their long-term memory.   The MFL curriculum will prepare the children for the study of modern foreign languages at KS3.

We encourage our pupils to develop an understanding of the French language and culture.  The children will learn about France.  The study of MFL at Osmotherley School promotes diversity and helps children to express their own personal identity and culture.

We recognise that, as a rural school, some pupils have a limited opportunity to experience cultural diversity so we endeavour to bring other cultures into the classroom.

In KS1, the children learn colours and numbers to 10 and to use simple greetings by learning songs in French and dancing to French songs.  In KS2, children develop knowledge of the French language, expand their vocabulary in French and learn how to speak, listen, read and write in French. 


Although MFL is not taught at EYFS and KS1, the children join in with songs, rhymes and dancing in French to learn numbers, colours and simple greetings.


MFL National Curriculum Purpose of Study 2014


A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.


The national curriculum 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.


Attainment targets

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.

Subject content

Key stage 2

Foreign language Teaching may be of any modern or ancient foreign language and should focus on enabling pupils to make substantial progress in one language. 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. The focus of study in modern languages will be on practical communication. If an ancient language is chosen the focus will be to provide a linguistic foundation for reading comprehension and an appreciation of classical civilisation. Pupils studying ancient languages may take part in simple oral exchanges, while discussion of what they read will be conducted in English. A linguistic foundation in ancient languages may support the study of modern languages at key stage 3.

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.


How MFL will be taught at Osmotherley School?

MFL at Osmotherley will taught by delivering the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum for MFL in Key Stage 2.  Reception children and children in Key Stage 1 will learn numbers to 10, colours and simple greetings in French through games, activities and songs.  In KS2, French will be taught over a 4 year rolling programme ensuring that the curriculum is knowledge rich and sequential so that the children build on prior learning in small steps that do not overload the working memory.  As knowledge in French is hierarchical, the children have a French session every week, using resources from the North Yorkshire Scheme of Learning. The children complete pre-learning tasks at the start of each unit and they have opportunities for deliberate practise of new knowledge.  Low stakes quizzes (recalls) are completed at the end of the unit and repeated 2, 6 and 12 weeks later to ensure that knowledge is transferred to the long-term memory.
There will be and emphasis on the 4 key areas from the Programmes of Study: 

  • vocabulary
  • speaking and listening
  • reading and writing
  • awareness of different cultures