At St John’s all pupils enjoy learning French weekly. The benefits of starting to learn a language at primary school age are huge – not only do children learn to communicate in another language (a much needed skill in today’s global world), but they also deepen their understanding of the wider world and develop an appreciation of a culture different to their own. There is also much evidence to suggest that learning a second language helps children to improve their grammatical understanding of English.
In Key Stage 2 children focus on a different topic area each term. New vocabulary is taught through the use of flashcards, games and songs and lessons are very interactive. All children are encouraged to participate and the emphasis is mainly on speaking and understanding. As children progress, basic grammatical concepts are introduced and simple written exercises reinforce the learning taking place in the classroom. During the 4 years of Key Stage 2 children make excellent progress and become increasingly confident in their use of French.
By the time children are ready to move onto secondary school, they should have a sound understanding of the basics of the French language. This will enable them to approach the next stage of their language-learning journey with self-assurance and enthusiasm.
At St Johns every term we as a school learn a few words in a different language. We choose the language by looking at the most popular second languages our pupils speak. We have so far learnt some words in Romanian, Urdu and Russian. We do this to enable children who have English as an additional language to feel valued and included, as well as our giving other pupils opportunities to learn and appreciate other languages.