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French

Introduction

At Wimbledon Park School, French is taught in a weekly lesson by a specialist teacher to children from Year 1 to Year 6. Our aim is to immerse the children into the language and culture at an early age when their language learning skills are at their best. We engage them with a fun and challenging scheme of work developed to build up their level of language gradually, whilst promoting their curiosity in how language works.

We want learning languages to be exciting and we stress the links between French and other areas of the curriculum. We aim to celebrate this during our annual European Day of Language festivities, where the school immerses itself in language and cultural activities throughout the curriculum, enjoying French Breakfasts. Children and staff dress up in a French or World theme to celebrate the cultural diversity of our school, and parents come in to share stories, language or food from a variety of countries.

In KS1, the children are taught with a focus on songs, stories and games, where structures are reinforced through the use of mime and gestures to help retain high frequency words and phrases. From Year 3, they begin greater exposure to the written form although the emphasis is still on listening and speaking skills.

We also have a strong focus on pronunciation learning phonemes through actions and games to enable children to recognise the link between sound and spelling.

In KS2, the structures of the language are reinforced further and the children are exposed to some basic grammar rules alongside interactive language learning through a wide range of topics, complementing where possible class topics and themes.

Enrichment

To complement the work the children do in class, we have run a highly popular two-day trip to Boulogne-Sur-Mer, France for year 5 in the Spring term. On the first day, the children visit a traditional bakery and a snail farm. On the second day they visit a market and carry out language tasks as well as shopping for snacks, followed by a trail of the Old Town and Ramparts. They have lunch in a restaurant in Le Touquet before the return journey home. 

We have a popular after school French club for Reception and KS1 children with a focus on songs and stories to engage them in the language learning process, and build their confidence in an authentic environment. 

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