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French Vision Statement

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

At St. John’s, we want to inspire all our pupils with a love and passion for languages and to open their eyes to other cultures and languages around the world. We feel that learning a language helps children to better understand their place as a citizen of this country and the world more generally, in a manner that goes far beyond basic word retention. Through exposure to the customs and traditions of other countries, we encourage our children to think about the world from a different point of view. In doing this, we aim to build cultural sensitivity and ignite a sense of awe and wonder about where languages can take our pupils, both now and in the future. 

As HUMANS, by learning that each language has its own style, idioms, cultural references and heritage, our children are challenged to think about how societies are formed and the interconnectedness of the world. We believe that learning a language can provide freedom from insularity and build empathy so that we can create a kind and compassionate world together. 

Research shows that language learning has multiple benefits on brain cognition and personal development; from academic performance, concentration, communication skills, memory and creativity – which is why we place a high value on language learning at St John’s. 

Our French curriculum is designed to be ambitious and engaging so that our children feel motivated and confident in their French learning, with a clear understanding of what to do next to improve. In line with the national curriculum aims, the ‘three pillars’ of language learning – phonics, vocabulary and grammar – are embedded in all of our lessons so that the children can become independent and confident communicators in French. 

Through their languages journey at St John’s, children gain a sound grasp of the sound-spelling-meaning link in French and build from oracy to literacy so that they have the tools to be able to say what they want to say, understand the ideas of others and respond to those in French, both in speech and in writing. Many of our children already speak another language at home and we regularly explore the similarities and differences between French and other languages in our learning. 

We use songs, stories and rhymes in all our lessons to engage and motivate pupils in lessons and there are many opportunities throughout their language journey at St John’s to learn about the French speaking world and celebrate the culture, traditions, customs and festivals of French speaking countries. In Year 5, our children start a pen pal exchange with our partner school in Cabanac-et-Villagrains, near Bordeaux in France where the children receive and write letters with a French child of their age and exchange information about life in France and the UK.

Our first pen pal letters have arrived from our French partner school in Cabanac-et-Viilagrains and the playground of our partner school in Cabanac-et-Viilagrains

Sharing a meal
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