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St James's Catholic Primary School

St James's Catholic Primary School

‘Put out into the deep’

Our Approach

Our approach

  • Providing strong language foundations:

    • French is the main language taught throughout the school to provide continuity through to KS3 (as most of our local secondary schools offer French in Y7)

  • Putting forward a unique collaborative model of delivery where the specialist language teacher and class teachers are both involved in teaching French on a weekly basis. This has enabled our pupils to make accelerated progress and maintain high levels of motivation.

  • Exploring a variety of innovative approaches to teaching and learning: using drama, phonics, Makaton – an internationally recognised sign language – and a variety of authentic material to ensure all pupils are always fully engaged.

  • Making language learning purposeful:

    • French is fully embedded in the life of the school and supports our Catholic ethos:

  • Staff and pupils say familiar prayers in French and Makaton within the whole school environment: when gathering after lunch in the playground, in the hall after assembly and in classrooms.
  • KS2 pupils sing a selection of French carols in our Christmas Carol service. This year, we have introduced a French carol in the Y1 Nativity play – Douce Nuit

French is linked to the teaching of literacy, with a particular focus on phonics in KS1 and on grammar, spelling and punctuation in KS2. Children develop linguistic competence, extend their knowledge of how language works and explore differences and similarities between French and English. We encourage our EAL pupils to compare and contrast languages learnt at school with the language they speak at home.

  • French is integrated into the curriculum and fosters cross-curricular links with various subjects such as Art, PE, Geography as well as whole school initiatives such as our Thinking Curriculum, Take One Picture, etc. In the summer term, Y5 pupils create and take part in a French play.

  • We have developed a strong link with a French speaking Catholic school in Québec City – L’Institut St. Joseph. 

During the Spring term, Y6 pupils write letters in French to their penpals and have opportunities to develop their intercultural understanding.