French is taught throughout the school, from Reception through to Year 6. In reception and Key Stage 1 children learn good pronunciation and simple phrases through games, songs and listening to stories. In Key Stage 2 we begin to look at the written language and make links between sound and spelling in French. Wherever possible, we try to link language learning with the topic the children are studying that term.
For example, Year 4 have been studying La Météo/ Storms, while Year 5 have been looking at Le Roi Lion/ Africa and Le Système solaire/ Space.
In Year 6 we end with a joint French/Computing project, which last year involved clay model animation. Each September we celebrate the European Day of Languages as a whole school. Previous years have included Airport Day, Train Day, Cruise Day, Backpacking Day and On the Snail Trail, where the whole school is off timetable and immersed in activities celebrating different languages and cultures. This year we enjoyed Ghana Day, marking the fact that a teacher from our partner school in Ghana was visiting us for the week.
Key Stage 2 also have the opportunity to join Spanish Club and German Club, where they find out about the Spanish and German languages and cultures. This term, German Club have been acting out a shadow puppet version of Rotkäppchen (Little Red Riding Hood), which they performed to Year 1, as part of their topic on Traditional Tales.
Children with a particular talent in language-learning are offered the opportunity to compete in a national language competition, called Junior Language Challenge; last year, Shivanjaly and Goncalo reached the regional finals and narrowly missed out on the nationals. We're looking forward to see how our children get on with this year's language, Portuguese.
Last year we entered Poèmes Sans Frontières, a foreign-language poetry competition, organised by Merton and Kingston schools and won the prize for Best School, Best Performance, Best Animated poem and Best Presentation! You can see two of the winning entries by clicking here.