Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
— Nelson Mandela


The intention of the French curriculum at Saint Augustine Webster CVA is to provide children with the knowledge of linguistics as this will lay the foundation for children further language study in the future. This will, in turn, prepare pupils to participate in a rapidly changing community in which work and other activities are often carried out in languages other than English. We encourage children to develop a love of learning languages, and support them to make substantial progress with learning the French language.  Through our planning, we enable the children to develop a cultural awareness and respect for other cultures which is imperative for them to play a valuable part in our global society.


Our French curriculum is designed with six strands that run throughout.

  • Speaking and pronunciation
  • Listening
  • Reading and writing
  • Grammar
  • Intercultural understanding
  • Language detective skills

In French, pupils are given opportunities to communicate for practical purposes around familiar subjects and routines. It provides balanced opportunities for communication in both spoken and written French, although in Year 3 the focus is on developing oral skills, before incorporating written French in Year 4 and beyond. Key skills and vocabulary is revisited repeatedly with increasing complexity, allowing pupils to revise and build on their previous learning. Cross-curricular links are included throughout our French units, allowing children to make connections and apply their language skills to other areas of their learning. Lessons incorporate a range of teaching strategies from independent tasks, paired and group work including role-play, language games and language detective work. Our scheme of work focuses on developing what we term ‘language detective skills’ and developing an understanding of French grammar, rather than on committing to memory vast amounts of French vocabulary. Lessons are adapted to ensure access and enjoyment for all. All key stage 2 children will be taught French every week.

Teachers endeavour to provide opportunities to embed the French language not only in lessons but also at times throughout the normal school day such as times of greeting and when providing praise.


Formative assessment will support the teachers in adapting their planning to ensure maximum progress of the children through the scheme provided. Summative assessment is carried out every half term, where each child is assessed against a bespoke skills progression document. Teachers use this to inform their future planning. Alongside this, children access quizzes to refresh previous knowledge which are timetabled into the whole school long term plan, applying the principles of interleaving and spaced retrieval practice to ensure retention and prepare the children for the next stage of education.

The subject will be monitored by the subject lead through a range of methods such as planning and book scrutinies, staff interviews and pupil voice.

If you were to walk into MFL lessons at Saint Augustine Webster’s, you would see:

  • Children who are engaged in learning and teachers who create a learning buzz.
  • Teachers who are comfortable and confident in speaking French and are embedding language into lessons through praise and instruction.
  • Clear progression in skills and vocabulary.
  • Collaboration and support

Pupil Voice

Year 3 child: I love learning new French words – I like to take them home and teach my mum.

Year 5 child: I enjoy our French lessons because I like learning about another country and culture. I want to visit France and try out what I have learnt.

Year 6 child: French is my favourite subject! I really enjoyed the topic on football and sport!