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"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart." - Nelson Mandela

The member of staff responsible for Languages is Mrs Jones.


How Dovecotes Primary School’s Languages Curriculum Promotes Our Core Values:

Be Ambitious - To ensure all children have the opportunity to learn a new language, regardless of ability or background. For our pupils to consider the use of languages in later life to support their work, study and travel.


Be Honest – To recognise that learning a new language is difficult. To be inquisitive about the French language, challenging their own understanding and pronunciation asking for help when necessary.


Be Kind – To develop an appreciation and respect for the culture in the country of which the language is spoken.

Be Creative - To begin to use new language creatively and spontaneously, reading, understanding and appreciating poems, songs and stories.


Be Brave - To build confidence and resilience in speaking words and sentences in French with accurate pronunciation and intonation.


Be Healthy – To appreciate that understanding language is one of the hardest things your brain does, making it the ultimate brain exercise to keep your mind sharp and healthy.


Intent – What Do We Aspire For Our Children?


At Dovecotes Primary School, we have high expectations for all our children to become confident, life-long language learners. Many of our children already have English as an additional Language and we believe that learning a foreign language is a valuable and necessary skill given the multi-cultural society that we live in. We intend to ignite a passion and love for learning languages and have designed our French curriculum with the intent of giving our children a well-rounded knowledge of listening, writing, speaking and reading in French. In Lower Key Stage 2, the children focus more heavily upon building speaking and listening skills so that they can engage in and understand simple conversations (including asking and answering questions), as well as present to an audience, and in Upper Key Stage 2 they develop reading and writing skills so that they begin to read with expression and understand relevant points in simple texts and also develop their abilities to write longer sentences and shorter paragraphs, using basic grammar correctly.


By the end of key stage 2, pupils should be able 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.


Implementation - How Will We Deliver The Curriculum?


Knowledge at the Heart of the Curriculum - Understanding Different Types of Knowledge in Languages


Substantive and Disciplinary Knowledge


Substantive knowledge is the key content of each unit, for example key vocabulary to describe yourself physically. Disciplinary knowledge is the linguistic skill necessary to use substantive knowledge effectively, for example adjective agreement related to physical description. Pupils will develop understanding of grammar and phonics as part of the disciplinary knowledge they need to become independent language learners.


French at Dovecotes is taught to all children in KS2 for at least half an hour a week. It is taught using the scheme ‘Language Angels’ to ensure continuity across KS2. The scheme works by providing a wide range of teaching units to cover all of the curriculum requirements. These units begin with 'Early Language', designed for children with no prior knowledge of French, moving on to 'Intermediate', suitable for Years 4 and 5, and finally ends with 'Progressive', designed for Year 6. Each unit of learning incorporates vocabulary, grammar and phonics knowledge and skills.


We teach French through four key strands: listening, speaking, reading and writing.


Listening: In the early stages of language learning, in Year 3 and 4, children will use actions to show understanding of new vocabulary when listening to French. For example, the teacher may call out ‘le chien’, and children listen and show understanding by completing the actions of a dog. In Year 5 and 6, listening and translating can be evidenced through the recording of key vocabulary and their translations using French dictionaries. They will be taught to understand longer, more complex passages of spoken language that is based on taught language with much more new and unfamiliar language weaved in to get the ‘gist’.


Speaking: Pupils are continuously exposed to core vocabulary with an emphasis on improved fluency, pronunciation and recall of this core language and, as they get more proficient, engage in longer conversations on a much wider range of topics. All children will have the opportunity to use iPads to practice pronunciation, recording themselves and listening back to identify any errors.


Reading: Pupils learn to gist read by “hunting” for key words in a sentence and by circling key nouns and articles in word puzzles and word searches; they move on to reading short passages of text based on the units they are studying. They will be able to understand most of what they read.


Writing: Children will have opportunities to write in French every lesson, beginning with words and phrases and developing into sentences by the end of a unit. In Year 5 and 6, children should begin to write more longer passages including nouns, articles and verbs but also now adding adjectives, opinions and justifications. Pupils will create and write their sentences with the aid of word banks and their French dictionaries.


All French lessons will follow the structure: Review and Revisit, Teach, Rehearse and Apply. Children will consolidate prior learning at the start of each lesson using their dictionary books as aide memoires. Each unit will also introduce new vocabulary, both topic-specific and transferrable language, that can be applied to other contexts. Each lesson, time will be allowed to rehearse and apply this new vocabulary as children learn to build sentences and address pronunciation.


There will also be opportunities for various enrichment activities, such as European Day of Languages, throughout the year.


Dovecotes Whole School Languages Curriculum 

Impact - How Do We Know Our History Curriculum Is Effective?


Pupil Voice


To assess the abilities and progress children have made, their views and opinions are highly valued in the further development of the Language curriculum. Children are able linguists when they can confidently explain their learning, speak with enthusiasm and demonstrate key skills.




Following the completion of a unit, time will be taken to assess the learning that has taken place across a half term using the Language Angels progression and tracking tools to assess pupils across all four key strands.

We will also measure the impact of our Langauges curriculum by the following:

  • Images and videos of the children’s practical learning;

  • Marking work in books and listening to responses to questions in class.


For further information about the Language curriculum please contact Miss. Davies our subject lead through the school email address.

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