Language learning is great fun and enables us to explore the wider world whilst learning a really useful life skill. We are fortunate here at St Olave’s to be able to offer pupils the opportunity to study French, German and Spanish. Modern foreign language lessons are exciting, creative and focused learning environments where pupils practise their skills through drama, art, role play, games, music, creative writing and a whole range of diverse activities.

Overview of Modern Foreign Languages at St Olave’s

In J1 and J2 (Years 4 and 5) pupils are taught French, German and Spanish as part of the Language Awareness programme. In J3 (Year 6) pupils follow a course entitled ‘Language & Culture’. Modules of eight weeks of French, German and Spanish are taught. Pupils are then invited to choose any two of the languages, which they will then study in Years 7, 8 (J4 and J5) and also Third Form (Year 9) when they move on to St Peter’s School. At present pupils at St Peter’s are required to study a minimum of one language to GCSE level.

Language Awareness – J1 and J2

The J1 and J2 language awareness course is designed to build pupil confidence with speaking in a new language through fun and lively lessons. Pupils study a term each of German, French and Spanish. Language games, singing, drama, animations and crafts are all used to engage pupils in this new area of study. Each term a central story provides inspiration for the vocabulary and language covered. For example, the ‘Three Little Pigs’ storybook enjoyed in Spanish in J1 offers the opportunity to learn family vocabulary and rooms in the house. Similarly, the storybook ‘Herzlichen Glückwunsch lieber Mond’ offers a great way to learn about birthdays, environment vocabulary and months in J2 German. The French courses in both J1 and J2 also have a particular phonics focus, to tackle this key skill from an early stage.

Language and Culture – J3

The Language and Culture course is very much about offering pupils a real context for their language studies. As they explore French, German and Spanish throughout the year, this is done through the study of a range of cultural elements. These will vary from language to language, but may include: study of a region, a popular festival, current music trends, a famous artist, film or sport. Pupils will also have the opportunity to practise useful transactional vocabulary (café/asking directions/shopping) through role play to build confidence with using their new languages when travelling abroad. The third term is designed to enable pupils to choose a particular area of personal interest from the course to explore in greater detail, through independent learning and research.

Pupils readingSt Olave's pupils talking

 

 

 

Modern Foreign Languages – J4 and J5

At this point pupils will study two foreign languages, from German, French and Spanish. This scheme has been introduced to give parity to the languages. French, German and Spanish have the same amount of curriculum time: two lessons of each language per week in J4 and three lessons in J5.

Across all three languages, the emphasis is initially very much on oral and aural skills, using games, role play and ICT to enhance language learning. The essence of language is communication and although the children are taught in mixed ability groups in J4 and J5, the key aim is that each child is comfortable and confident using their newly acquired skills. Reading skills are developed using authentic materials wherever possible, with supplementary materials available on the Olavi intranet for pupils to access independently. Writing is gradually introduced throughout the course and work can be seen displayed on the walls of the MFL area and in the classrooms. There is an annual spelling bee for J4 pupils to showcase their emerging spelling skills and to consolidate common items of vocabulary. In J5 all pupils take part in a reading competition in each language studied, to celebrate their developing accent and pronunciation skills.

French follows the Tricolore Total 1 course, German is structured around Echo books 1 & 2 and Spanish uses the new Viva 1 course.

We are fortunate to have three foreign language assistants, one assistant for each of the languages.  They work with pupils on an individual basis, in groups, or with the teacher in class. The assistants bring a valuable insight into their country and culture.

We use Languages Online and dedicated software in lessons both for teacher-led and also independent learning. Pupils are encouraged to use Olavi, the school intranet, to access teaching and learning materials, homework tasks, revision resources and extra opportunities for further practice.


Pupils readingThere is also the opportunity for all pupils to come along and enjoy their languages in a more informal setting at ‘International Club’. Here we watch films (usually with subtitles!), listen to current music from around the world, play international board games, prepare (and eat!) international food and enjoy a little bit of craft and drama too.

MFL Curriculum Summary

 

French

German

Spanish

J1

Term 3

Le petit chaperon rouge storybook – woodland vocabulary

French phonics – part 1

 

Learning habit: Embracing challenge

Term 1

Die kleine Raupe Nimmersatt storybook – food and fruits, days, numbers, basic greetings, butterfly life cycle.

 

Learning habit: Curiosity

Term 2

Los tres cerditos fairytale – family, house, basic greetings, Easter in Spain.

 

 

Learning habit: Initiative

J2

Term 1

French phonics – part 2

 

 

 

 

Learning habit: Perseverance

Term 2

Herzlichen Glückwunsch lieber Mond storybook – environment, birthdays, numbers to 31, months.

 

Learning habit: Creativity

Term 3

Blancanieves storybook – colours, clothes, adjective agreement.

 

 

Learning habit: Empathy

J3

8 week module:

Eating in a restaurant

Le rap français

Matisse

Alsace et Strasbourg

Le 14 juillet

La Rentrée

Azur et Asmar film study

 

Learning habit: Flexible Thinking

8 week module:

Buying ice creams & snacks

Bavaria & the Black Forest

Karneval

Handball

Paul Klee

Shopping for presents

Ostwind film study

 

Learning habit: Collaboration

8 week module:

Goudi

Buying tapas

Cantabría & the Picos mountains

Asking for directions

Flamenco

El Cid film study

 

 

Learning habit: Initiative

 

Summer term independent research project on one of the above modules in greater depth.

J4

Greetings, personal information, classroom language, numbers, alphabet, family, home, countries, pets, preferences, festivals, birthdays, presents, clothes, descriptions.

Film study: Kirikou or Petit Nicolas

 

Learning habits:

Autumn – Curiosity

Spring – Collaboration

Summer - Initiative

Introducing yourself, numbers, alphabet, classroom language, school subjects, opinions, time, food, clothes, family, pets, descriptions, sport, hobbies, making arrangements.

Film study: Fünf Freunde

 

 

Learning habits:

Autumn – Flexible Thinking

Spring – Creativity

Summer – Embracing challenge

Personal information, greetings, personality, family, numbers, alphabet, pets, activities, sport, weather, school subjects, opinions.

Film study: Zipi y Zape y el club de la canica

 

 

Learning habits:

Autumn – Empathy

Spring – Collaboration

Summer – Flexible Thinking

J5

Weather, months, seasons, sports, places in town, directions, tourist information, time, daily routine, school subjects, opinions, food, healthy eating, music and leisure activities.

Film study: Les choristes

 

 

Learning habits:

Autumn – Perseverance

Spring – Empathy

Summer - Creativity

Where you live, house, town description, directions, food, summer plans, describing a holiday, weather & seasons, shopping, café, picnics, pocket money, television programmes and leisure time.

Film study: Das Wunder von Bern

 

Learning habits:

Autumn – Collaboration

Spring – Perseverance

Summer - Initiative

School descriptions, break time, family, descriptions of self & others, where you live, carnival, town descriptions, time, ordering in a café, week-end plans

Film study: Voces inocentes

 

 

 

Learning habits:

Autumn – Perseverance

Spring – Embracing challenge

Summer - Creativity