French at Holbrook
Learning a language equips pupils to express themselves in new ways. This develops their immediate sense of belonging to the wider world and starts to prepare them for future opportunities in modern life. At Holbrook Primary School, we teach French as main foreign language in Years 3 to 5 and Spanish in Year 6. The aim is to develop pupils’ deep interest in and appreciation for another culture, as they learn to understand and express themselves with increasing confidence in a new language.
The focus is on practical communication: children are encouraged to hear and speak French through traditional French songs, rhymes, videos and stories. They learn to understand and communicate ideas and feelings in speech and writing, they are engaged in conversation, encouraged to join in and respond in French. Teachers use the foreign language to give simple classroom instructions (sit down, look, listen), to ask questions (‘What’s the date today?’) and take the register. In our school, it is very common to hear children greeting their teachers in French along the corridors!
As an addition to our scheme of work, we have recently introduced Physical French Phonics, which is a sound, action and spelling system that helps children develop accurate pronunciation and intonation in a fun way.
At Holbrook there are also opportunities for the learning of additional languages, like Italian and Spanish, during European Day of Languages, on 26th September and during a special themed week.
As a result, children leave Holbrook able to understand and respond to another language with the foundation for learning further languages.