At Weeth School, the intention of our Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) curriculum is for our children to develop an interest in other languages in a way that is enjoyable and stimulating. Children really enjoy learning to speak another language; it kindles their curiosity for different cultures. Learning a foreign language provides an opening to this, breaking down social barriers and encouraging cross-cultural understanding.
We introduce French at the start of KS2. Our French curriculum provides children with a firm foundation in learning another language which can be applied to other languages they may learn in KS3, and beyond. It is widely believed that the early acquisition of a foreign language facilitates the learning of other foreign languages later in life.
Our French curriculum allows children to participate actively in dialogue, modelled by the Virtual Teacher, ask and answer questions, responding appropriately, listening to the Virtual Teacher speak fluent French, writing French words and phrases including the correct use of spelling and reading words, phrases and sentences in French, considering its translation into English.
Our French curriculum also acknowledges and develops the 5 core skills at the heart of social and emotional learning: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making. Our French curriculum promotes self-confidence, appreciating diversity and respect for others, communication, team work and reflecting and evaluating their speaking and listening skills in an additional language.
Our delivery of French follows the National Curriculum and uses Rigolo as a scheme of learning. The aim of the scheme is to make French accessible to children in an exciting and engaging way. Rigolo features a central storyline of an English family moving to France, where they make new friends and learn about life in a different country. It contains a combination of traditional and new media, allowing the lessons to be taught using multimedia materials. It also features a Virtual Teacher who acts as a support assistant to the classroom teacher. The Virtual Teacher ensures children acquire good levels of pronunciation and intonation throughout the various interactive activities.
The teaching of French is timetabled flexibly dependent on the lesson task and outcome. Where possible, French should be taught weekly for 45 minutes, however, this may be taught for a longer period of time every other week to facilitate the stage of the process.
Rigolo is introduced in Year 3 where our children begin their journey in learning French. In Year 3, children begin with Rigolo 1. This is divided into 12 units. Children work through the curriculum at their own pace, ensuring the learning is embedded before moving on.
Each unit is based on an animated story, which introduced the new language of the unit in the context of the Rigolo storyline. Each lesson is framed by starter and plenary activities to refresh the children’s memory on what has been learnt. Most lessons proceed to introduce a set of new language, usually only five to eight words or short phrases at a time, in an interactive presentation. The new language is then practised in a mixture of whiteboard and class activities.
Cross-curricular opportunities are clearly highlighted throughout Rigolo.