Curriculum – MFL – French

Purpose of Study

Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an essential opening to other cultures. 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.

The learning of a foreign language can provide a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for pupils – providing them with:

  • Opportunities to communicate for practical purposes in the wider world.
  • A foundation for further learning of languages beyond KS2, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.
  • An essential opening to other cultures and a widening of experiences and aspiration.
  • A new perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures and those of others.

At our school, children in KS2 learn French.

Curriculum intent

We teach our children French to generate a fascination for words and how language works, a wider curiosity about the peoples and cultures of French speaking countries and the foundational knowledge to support confident communication in French.

Essential Knowledge

We teach three core strands of essential knowledge:

  1. Phonics – the key components of the sound-writing relationship
  2. Vocabulary – a set of the most frequently used words
  3. Grammar – the essential building blocks required to create simple sentences independently (including gender of nouns, singular and plural forms, adjectives (place and agreement), and the conjugation of key verbs)

Our French curriculum is designed to enable our children to:

  • Develop linguistic and communicative competence
  • Extend their knowledge of how language works
  • Explore similarities and differences between [name of language], any heritage languages our children have, and English

The teaching of a foreign language to every child in KS2 is a statutory requirement, as set out in the National Curriculum Programmes of Study (2014).

In line with the National Curriculum, our children learn to:

  • Listen and show understanding by joining in and responding
  • Link the sound, spelling and meaning of words
  • Read aloud with accurate pronunciation
  • Read and show understanding of phrases and simple texts
  • Speak in sentences
  • Describe people, places, things in speech and writing
  • Ask and answer questions
  • Express opinions
  • Write phrases from memory
  • Adapt phrases to create new sentences
  • Use a dictionary


Our children also learn key cultural and country-specific knowledge. For example, by the end of KS2, our children:

  • can name and locate on a map, countries where French is spoken
  • know the key geographical features of France including continent, surrounding seas and oceans, main mountains and rivers, capital city
  • know the name and some detail about at least one festival or tradition from France
  • know at least one typical food from France

Curriculum provision

Our KS2 children have a weekly French lesson of 30 minutes.  In addition, they re-visit and deepen their learning for 10 minutes three times a week with structured language tasks that practise retrieval, improve retention and embed learning in long-term memory. Further opportunities to recycle key vocabulary (e.g. numbers) and develop children’s confidence are often built into classroom routines including greetings, providing instructions, stating lunch preferences, registration, rewards and praise on a more regular basis, even just for a few minutes in the school day e.g. when children are lining up.

A detailed scheme of work with audio-enabled resources for every lesson is provided in order to minimise unnecessary teacher workload. Teachers may, if they wish, adapt the resources to support active engagement and meet the needs of different cohorts of children.

Equal Opportunities and SEND

All children irrespective of ability or special educational need, should be taught a foreign language. Every child has the statutory right to a broad and balanced curriculum.

Children with SEND are actively encouraged to participate fully in MFL lessons with any necessary support and adaptive teaching.

Teaching modern foreign languages is a vital way to directly address pupil perceptions and potential stereotypes. It allows us to actively promote positive attitudes and values towards cultural and or religious diversity and to directly tackle any form of cultural and negative stereotyping.

MFL- Curriculum Information September 2023