Through our MFL curriculum, we encourage the children to embrace their role as a global citizen and recognise the value of language as a tool in building relationships, positive communication and showing respect for others.  The children are taught to develop an interest in learning another language in a way that is enjoyable and stimulating, developing their confidence in expressing themselves and understanding others.  We encourage children’s curiosity about language, different countries and a range of cultures from around the world.  The children explore and develop the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing to enable them to use and apply their French learning in a variety of contexts and lay the foundations for future language learning in KS3 and beyond.

Overview of curriculum

Intent Implementation
Key Stage 1
  • basic greetings
  • introduce themselves (My name is…)
  • explain how they are feeling
  • explore and learn range of songs and rhymes
  • develop interest in language and foreign countries, focusing on France
primarily Speaking and Listening based songs, rhymes, games, responding to teacher

15 minutes weekly (class teacher)

Lower Key Stage 2
  • develop knowledge of greetings
  • numbers up to 20
  • be able to say how to say how old they are
  • develop their vocabulary based on colours, animals and homes
  • explore vocabulary and phrases which will help them on holiday
  • respond to simple questions by the teacher, before progressing onto holding simple conversations (including questions and responses) with their peers
  • begin to think about singular and plural nouns in French
  • develop knowledge of France and other French-speaking countries
  • compare culture and way of life of France and the UK
Emphasis on Speaking and Listening initially

beginning to develop Reading and Writing

songs, rhymes, games, conversing with each other, oral recording, beginning to build written recording, phonics, dictionary work

1 hour weekly (30 mins native-speaker; 30 mins class teacher)

Upper Key Stage 2
  • learn and use numbers above 20
  • use days and months accurately 
  • discover how to tell the time in French, including explaining school days and timetables
  • explain the weather
  • develop knowledge of a wider range of questions
  • explore how to give and understand directions
  • investigate the gender of nouns
  • use singular and plural nouns with increasing accuracy
balanced range of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing

songs, rhymes, games, conversing with each other, oral and written recording, phonics, dictionary work, grammar

1 hour weekly (30 mins native-speaker; 30 mins class teacher)


Children who attend St. Cuthbert’s RC Primary School study French within their Modern Foreign Languages lessons.  

Our MFL curriculum is designed to progressively develop children skills in languages through weekly lessons. Whilst MFL is statutory only in KS2, we provide opportunities for language learning in KS1 to develop children’s curiosity regarding languages, encourage enthusiasm and engagement in the subject, and provide a foundation from which to build in KS2.  

In KS2, we use Le Culturethèque’s scheme ‘Le niveau – The Primary French Project’.  We chose this programme due to its clear progression of skills, range of engaging resources and the support provided for non-specialists to ensure quality language learning for our pupils.  We are supplementing this scheme with additional language opportunities for our children to ensure they receive an exciting and unique language experience tailored to them.  We are currently partnered with two French schools (one KS1 partnership and one KS2 partnership), with projects happening throughout the year.  We also have a range of opportunities for international learning through our British council ‘Connecting Classrooms’ link with Tanzanian schools, Chilean visitors working in school through our link with St. John’s RC School and Sixth Form College, and workshops being delivered by foreign students through a Durham County Council project.  We are also looking into renewing a past partnership with the Sanskriti School in India.

KS1 children access fifteen minutes of language learning weekly with the class teacher, whilst KS2 children have an hour of language learning a week, split between two 30 minute sessions, one of which is taught by a native French speaker, with the other being taught by their class teacher.  Children progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary organised around topics. Children are encouraged and supported to develop their speaking and listening skills to build their vocabulary into sentences through conversational work, singing activities and games. As confidence and skill grows, children record their work in writing. 

French phonics are taught throughout KS2 to ensure children’s pronunciation is accurate and they can begin to decode and pronounce French words in Y5 and Y6.  Children also use French/English dictionaries throughout KS2 to provide them with the relevant skills to understand and translate unknown vocabulary with increasing independence.  Songs, games and rhymes are also used throughout KS2 to consolidate language learning, making it enjoyable and memorable.

French is monitored by the subject leader throughout all year groups using a variety of strategies such as book scrutinies, lesson observations (drop ins) staff discussions and pupil interviews.  Feedback is given to teachers and the leader uses the information to see if the children know more and remember more. Assessments are conducted by our visiting French specialist and compiled by the MFL subject leader who monitors attainment and tracks progress.


  • Our French curriculum will ensure all pupils develop key language skills, as set out by the national curriculum
  • They will have a love of languages and learning about other cultures.
  • They will understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
  • They will speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
  • Children will be able to apply their cultural understanding and tolerance across society and culture
  • Our curriculum will ensure children are prepared for their next stage of learning. 

You can find our long term plan here