Early Start Languages - Primary French

Government policy

NEW National Curriculum from September 2014
for England

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From 2014, schools in England should teach a foreign language at KS2

Summary: any language(s) at KS2

Teaching may be of any modern or ancient foreign language and should focus on enabling pupils to make substantial progress in one language. The teaching should provide an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and should lay the foundations for further foreign language teaching at key stage 3. It should enable pupils to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing, focused on familiar and routine matters, using their knowledge of phonology, grammatical structures and vocabulary.

The focus of study in modern languages will be on practical communication.
Pupils should be taught to:

YES= included in the Early Start Programme

listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding


explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes


and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words


engage in conversations;


ask and answer questions


express opinions and respond to those of others


seek clarification and help*


speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures


develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases*


present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences*


read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing


appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language


broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary


write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly


describe people, places, things and actions orally* and in writing


understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.


Importance of continuity between KS 2 and 3

At KS3, teaching may also be of any modern foreign language and should build on the foundations of language learning laid at key stage 2, whether pupils continue with the same language or take up a new one. Teaching should focus on developing the breadth and depth of pupils' competence in listening, speaking, reading and writing, based on a sound foundation of core grammar and vocabulary.

Click on the links below to download the full documents (PDF):

Languages Programme of Study for KS2

Languages Programme of Study for KS3

Languages programmes of study at key stages 2 and 3:

Ancient languages
If an ancient language is chosen the focus will be to provide a linguistic foundation for reading comprehension and an appreciation of classical civilisation. Pupils studying ancient languages may take part in simple oral exchanges, while discussion of what they read will be conducted in English. A linguistic foundation in ancient languages may support the study of modern languages at key stage 3.

The starred (*) content above will not be applicable to ancient languages.

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