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Modern Foreign Languages

Our MFL Story

Bienvenue! Salut! Bonjour!

At Old Clee Academy, we aim to build happy, confident and fluent linguists!


National Curriculum Intent

The National Curriculum for Languages aims to ensure that all pupils:

Understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources.

Speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation.

Can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt.

Discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.


Our Intent

The vision for Modern Foreign languages at Old Clee Primary Academy is to ensure all key stage two students are able to access language teaching on a regular basis. Our students will learn a variety of different skills, based around core elements of language learning. We intend for students to read, write, speak and listen to in French so to immerse them in the subject. We aim to help children develop their awareness of cultural differences in other countries. Within our Academy we hope to foster an enjoyment of language and to teach French in a way that is enjoyable and fun. The knowledge of these four areas will prepare them for the transition to secondary school language learning.


Our Implementation

French is taught by a specialist language teacher at OCPA. The focus of language learning can be split in to four main sections, each of these are covered in our classrooms using a range of methods.

  • Speaking – students are taught how to speak the language through repetition and listening to a subject specialist. Alongside this students are given the opportunity to listen to native speakers in order to improve their own pronunciation.
  • Listening – as well as listening to an MFL specialist, students hear French from videos and clips online. They are encouraged to make notes and answer questions when listening to different passages.
  • Reading – written passages are used to encourage students to decipher new vocabulary. As students progress in their language learning, they start to look at grammar elements which can be identified in written passages.
  • Writing – as students progress through each topic, they build up vocabulary and grammar skills in order for them to do an extended written piece at the end of each term. These range from writing about their dream homes, to talking about family and friends


Criteria for progression sits within the MFL end points set out for each year group. These are the end points pupils should reach to show they are meeting the expectations of the curriculum. The route to achieving the goals includes creating a strong schema, based on rich knowledge, subject specific vocabulary and POP tasks (Proof of Progress). 

The Impact

At Old Clee, when the children talk about “Being a Linguist” we aim for them to understand that as well as learning a second language, they are also learning about a different culture.

If you were to walk into a MFL lesson at Old Clee, you would see:

  • Children expressing themselves in the foreign language through singing songs, engaging in conversation, role-plays and writing.    
  •  Children engaging in a variety of activities that promote the development of skills across speaking, listening, reading and writing.
  • A focus on active learning to build children’s confidence when using the foreign language through pronunciation games.  
  • Children discussing and exploring the culture of countries where the foreign language is spoken.
  • Children using resources to scaffold and support their learning, enabling all learners to make progress (for example word mats, sentence models and bilingual dictionaries.) e
  • Repetition of new vocabulary and sentence structures throughout the lesson in different ways to encourage retention.
  • Opportunities for children to apply new language and skills with motivating outcomes such as performing a role-play, designing their own board games, creating posters or writing fact files for other students to learn from.
  • Teacher modelling of language and phonic sounds, emphasising good, clear pronunciation.


Through monitoring:

Monitoring within lessons allows us to assess students’ knowledge through questioning and the students’ ability to complete classwork independently. It is also completed when marking books. This then allows us to pick up on areas we may need to cover again, as well as individual children who may need more support.

The majority of the children at OCPA are able to recall the information learnt in their lessons in the following weeks to come. Language learning is fluid, students expand on prior knowledge as weeks progress, therefore the student base knowledge is fundamental especially when starting to cover more complex elements of grammar. Students in year 4 focus primarily on building a firm bank of vocabulary and many of these are able to recount in detail what they have learnt. This links to the retrieval practice as students are constantly returning to vocabulary they have learnt in prior lessons.

Year upon year the language curriculum is planned to extend students understanding of vocabulary and grammar. Topics covered become more detailed including more complex aspects of language, such as understanding how verbs are manipulated into different tenses.

In regards to subject specific vocabulary, students understand the grammatical terms well. These are similar to those used in their SPAG lessons so they are used to this terminology. One of my main focuses for the subject this year is to ensure we use target language as often as possible in the classroom. Students are already used to this and follow instructions given with ease. 

Throughout the course of the year, students will be able to discuss what being a linguist involves. They will understand that a linguist is a person who learns one or more languages and will be able to identify areas where this would be useful to them in future career plans. Children will be able explain the 4 main skills that help them learn a language, discussing why each of them are important.


This has been further enhanced by our recent journey towards becoming a thinking school. Metacognition underpins everything that we do at Old Clee. We aim to develop creative thinkers, resilient problem solvers and reflective questioners who are equipped with the skills and knowledge to make a positive impact in the world around them.


Pupil Voice:

What does “Being a Linguist” mean?

Year 4 Pupil:It is the ability to speak another language and learn new things about another country. Being a linguist will help me talk to people from all over the World.”


What is your opinion of learning a language?

Year 6 Pupil: ‘I like communicating with each other in a different language and working as a team to understand new words. I especially like using dictionaries and being independent.



Successes in 22/23

  • Phonics knowledge- children at Old Clee are able to use their phonic knowledge independently in order to accurately pronounce new vocabulary they meet in each lesson. 
  • Vocabulary progression - students writing is less repetitive, they recognise the need to use a wider range of words and look for synonyms.
  • French clubs  - French club was introduced to children in key stage 1 with a good uptake. Children had an introduction to French using songs and games as teaching aids. 
  • German club - A key stage 2 German club was introduced, children in years 5 and 6 enjoyed learning an additional language in school.


Priorities for 23/24

  • French learning outside of the classroom - I aim to create opportunities for children to use their French knowledge outside of their classroom environment. After a successful French breakfast with our current year 6 children, I would like to implement further opportunities across the academy. 
  • Grammatical knowledge - continue to create links between French and English grammar, allowing the children to recognise both similarities and differences. 
  • Speaking - aid children to be confident with speaking in French. Termly topics to include a speaking element where children display their skills to each other.

French Phonics in Five - year 3 children

Les instructions! - Learning how to respond to classroom instructions in year 3.

Year 5 Preparing for their "Au Café" roleplays.

C’est moi!

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Children in 4CW describing their personality, appearance and family members.

Year 4 speaking about themselves.

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4PC speaking about themselves

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4PC speaking about themselves.

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4RT C’est moi!

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4RT speaking about their personalities.

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4RT speaking about their personality.

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