Birkbeck Primary School

MFL - French


The Intent statement of our Modern Foreign Languages curriculum is:

To provide children with an opening to other cultures. To foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world and express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. To give opportunities for children 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.

At Birkbeck Primary school, we teach French from Year 1 onwards. We believe that the learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils.  It helps them to develop their ability to communicate, including key skills of speaking and listening and it gives children a new perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures and those of others.

We have adopted the La Jolie Ronde programme of study as a scheme of work to aid our delivery of the French curriculum. This programme offers comprehensive, carefully thought out progression which ensures that children build their knowledge through each unit of work systematically. Taking the programmes of study for each year group, we have identified three threads of concept that are consistently revisited. These are:

  • Oracy
  • Reading
  • Writing

As children move through the school, they develop their understanding of and use of these key threads, gradually increasing the complexity and sophistication of how they are applied. 

We have also cross referenced the National Curriculum programmes of study for Key Stage 1 and 2 against the programme we use and so we know that it fulfils all statutory requirements. details of the National Curriculum programmes of study are published on the DfE's website.

We focus primarily on spoken French for communication, developing children’s conversational skills and we believe this supports the foundation for their future written language learning. Children develop their linguistic competence through talk, games, singing and interactive activities.

Our curriculum coverage posters provide information about which units are taught in which year groups and the order in which they are taught. You can view the French one below:

french docx.pdf

 Below you can see the development of our key concept threads in grid form so that you can see how each one is progressed and developed as children move through the school.

french concept thread development docx.pdf


Lesson delivery

Every MFL lesson begins with a retrieval practice starter which has the aim of activating prior knowledge around the concept thread which the lesson to come is focused on.

Every lesson also includes clarification of any technical vocabulary to be used in the lesson. This always takes place before the main lesson content begins.

All MFL lessons are delivered in line with our principles of teaching and learning which are the same for all subjects. These are the principles that we believe underpin truly great teaching and learning. You can read about how these are applied to MFL lessons below. The Implementation guide also provides the curriculum map which tells you which units of work are taught in which terms of which year group.

birkbeck primary school french implementation guide 2 docx 1 .pdf



We assess MFL once per term. Teachers assess children's body of work against a set of descriptors which match the threads of concept that our MFL curriculum is designed by. As such, the curriculum is the model for progression that we follow and assess against. Assessment is reported to parents and carers every term at parents evening.