Howletch Lane
Primary School

Curriculum – MFL

In this section of the website, you will find information about our approach to teaching Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) at Howletch Lane Primary School.


At Howletch Lane Primary school we want all our pupils to

  • To build a MFL curriculum which develops learning and results in the acquisition of knowledge and skills which enables children access to wider curriculum and prepare children to be a global citizen now
  • Develop resilience in language learning, as well as an enjoyment of it through a progressive scheme of work focussing on all four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing
  • Foster an understanding of the relevance of and the benefit of learning another language in today’s world
  • Acquire language learning strategies for the memorisation and retrieval of the new language learnt
  • Develop the skill of how to use a bi-lingual dictionary to decode unfamiliar language
  • Be able to manipulate language to speak and write sentences creatively, using knowledge of grammar and key structures
  • Have a good grasp of the key sounds of the French language and their corresponding graphemes and be able to apply this knowledge when speaking, listening and reading aloud
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the cultural differences and similarities between their own country and the countries where the language is spoken
  • Demonstrate progress in learning French and work towards or meet the targets of the Key Stage 2 Programme of Study for Languages
  • Demonstrate a readiness for language learning in Key Stage 3

At Howletch Lane, we follow the Rachel Hawkes Scheme of work for French ( but adapt it to our curriculum and the needs of the children.


From September 2019, the MFL curriculum will be based on the French scheme of work devised and developed by Rachel Hawkes. The decision to implement this new scheme of work, in line with the National Curriculum,  has been based upon it being a more progressive scheme of work than the one previously in place, starting from a firm basis in phonics.

The teaching of the key sounds of the language and embedding them in the learner’s long term memory, will lead to the learner being able to pronounce unfamiliar language without applying English patterns of pronunciation. It will also make for more autonomous learners who are confident speaking and reading out loud in the foreign language and a learner who is able to make links between words and apply patterns. In MFL, skills in speaking, reading and writing French are developed through a multi-sensory approach, including rhymes, songs, stories and lots of repetition.

Children are introduced to French in formal lessons from Year 3 and receive a fortnightly 45 minute lesson, throughout their time in Key Stage 2.  Lessons across the Key Stages support the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing:  

  • Children are taught to listen attentively to spoken language and respond, joining in with songs, rhymes and games. These can be used in knowledge-based learning to reinforce and consolidate understanding of colour, number, the alphabet and basic greetings.  
  • Links have been developed with children from KS1, who the older children visit to perform and demonstrate their own language learning to, whether this is through song or story; this not only provides children to develop oracy skills from the beginning of their languages education, but also establishes a clear purpose to their learning.  
  • To ensure that the best practice is constantly implemented in classrooms, Howletch Primary School is actively engaged with an MFL Hub, formed of MFL Curriculum Coordinators from Primary Schools across County Durham. The Hub meets on a half-termly basis to share best practice, to discuss how to consistently progress children’s Primary language learning and to offer opportunities for CPD.   
  • To ensure that the best practice is constantly implemented in classrooms, Howletch Primary School is actively engaged with an MFL Hub, formed of MFL Curriculum Coordinators from Primary Schools across County Durham. The Hub meets on a half-termly basis to share best practice, to discuss how to consistently progress children’s Primary language learning and to offer opportunities for CPD.   
  • Conversational French is revisited each Year, on a cyclical basis, allowing children to gain confidence in speaking and listening in French. Pronunciation is also refined as the children revisit greetings, personal information and the fundamental basics of French conversation.  
  • Throughout the coming academic year, we are seeking to form a relationship with a KS3 Languages team in one of our local secondary schools, with the intention of fostering a curiosity and enthusiasm for language learning in our children. Furthermore, this prospective relationship will allow for teaching staff to ensure that their own languages teaching and planning will progress the children’s French learning to a position where they are prepared for Languages learning in Secondary School.  
  • In following the Rachel Hawkes scheme for Languages, cross curricular links with Topics across the Year groups ensure that the children are establishing a wide vocabulary throughout their languages learning and can apply their understanding of language to a variety of subjects such as history, food and nutrition, science and geography.  

Through the teaching of French at Howletch Lane Primary School, the children will have made good progress in all the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing, by the end of Key Stage 2, in readiness for their transition into Key Stage 3.

They will be encouraged to understand the relevance of what they are learning in French, how it relates to the wider world and their place in it, as well as to their own language.

Teachers will aim to foster an enjoyment of languages through a variety of interactive lessons so that children will automatically want to carry on learning languages in Key Stage 3.

The MFL co-ordinator will continually monitor the impact MFL teaching is having on the children’s learning. They will also ensure that the knowledge taught is retained by the children and continually revisited and that the learners are able to apply the skills they have been taught to a variety of settings, showing independence in their learning.

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