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National Curriculum in Foreign Languages


National Curriculum Content/guidance

Speaking and Pronunciation


Reading and Writing


Intercultural Understanding


Intercultural Understanding

Through the study of modern foreign children’s intercultural awareness is stimulated leading to the fostering of curiosity about and a deepening understanding of the world around them. Our French curriculum is designed to promote global citizenship and personal development by incorporating teaching about cultures, communities and people in France. Through experiencing this, and making comparisons, children gain a new insight into their own culture and society; they learn new ways of thinking, recognising that there are different ways of seeing and interpreting the world, developing a truly international outlook.


Speaking and pronunciation

National Curriculum

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Engage in conversations; ask and answer questions;

express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help.

Asking and/or answering simple questions

Forming simple statements with information including the negative

Practising speaking with a partner

Recognising and answering simple questions which involve giving personal information

Beginning to form opinion phrases

Beginning to use conversational phrases for purposeful dialogue

Forming a question in order to ask for information

Presenting factual information in extended sentences including


Developing extended sentences to justify a fact or opinion

Planning, asking and answering extended questions

Engaging in conversation and transactional language

Speak in sentences,

using familiar vocabulary, phrases

(and simple writing).

Using short phrases to give


Beginning to adapt phrases from a rhyme/song

Using a model to form a spoken sentence

Speaking in full sentences using known vocabulary

Rehearsing and recycling extended sentences orally

Planning and presenting a short descriptive text

Planning and presenting a short text

Modifying, expressing and

comparing opinions


Develop accurate

pronunciation and

intonation so that

others understand

when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases.

Repeating short phrases accurately, including liaison of final consonant before vowel

Listening and repeating key

phonemes with care

Comparing sounds and spelling

patterns with English

Listening and repeating further key phonemes with care

Using intonation and gesture to differentiate between statements and questions

Making realistic attempts at pronunciation of new, vocabulary

Listening and repeating key

phonemes with care applying pronunciation rules

Discussing strategies for

remembering and applying

pronunciation rules

Speaking and reading aloud with increasing confidence and fluency

Comparing and applying

pronunciation rules or patterns from known vocabulary

Present ideas and

information orally to a range of audiences.

Introducing self to a partner with simple phrases

Rehearsing and performing a short presentation

Adapting a story and retelling to the class

Giving a presentation drawing upon learning from a number of previous topics

Present ideas and

information orally to a range

of audiences.

Recognising and using adjectives

Choosing appropriate adjectives from a wider range of adjectives

Using adjectives with correct placement and agreement

Recognising and using a wide range of descriptive phrases








National Curriculum

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Listen attentively to

spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding.

Listening and responding to single words and short phrases

Following verbal instructions in French

Responding to objects or images with a phrase or other verbal response

Identifying items by colour and other adjectives

Listening and selecting information

Using language detective skills to decode vocabulary

Listening and gisting information from an extended text using language detective skills such as cognates

Listening and following the sequence of a story, song or text including some unfamiliar language

Using prepositions to indicate the location of objects relative to something

Understanding directional language and phrases and prepositions to describe how to get to places e.g. the route to school

Recognising present and near future tense sentences (using aller + infinitive)

Explore the patterns

and sounds of languages

through songs and rhymes and link to spelling, sound and meaning of words.

Listening and identifying key words in rhymes and songs and joining in

Beginning to identify vowel sounds and combinations

Listening and noticing rhyming words

Listening to songs, joining in with songs and noticing sound patterns

Noticing and beginning to predict key word patterns and spelling patterns

Matching unknown written words to new spoken words

Recognising blends of sounds and selecting words to recognise common spelling patterns

Recalling and performing an

extended song or rhyme

Listening to stories, songs or texts in French.


Reading and Writing

National Curriculum

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Read carefully and

show understanding

of words, phrases and simple writing.

Recognising some familiar words in written form

Noticing and discussing cognates and beginning to identify language detective strategies

Recognising features of different text types

Using a range of language detective strategies to decode new vocabulary including context and text type

Making increasingly accurate

attempts to read unfamiliar words and phrases

Reading and using language

detective skills to assess meaning including sentence structure

Appreciate stories,

songs, poems and rhymes in the language.

Reading aloud some words from simple songs, stories and rhymes

Following a short text or rhyme,

listening and reading at the same time

Reading and adapting a range

of different format short texts

Reading and responding to. an

extract from a story, an e-mail

message or song

Reading short authentic texts for enjoyment or information

Broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including

through using a dictionary.

Beginning to develop dictionary skills

Identifying cognates and near


Becoming familiar with format,

layout and simple use of a bilingual dictionary to find the meaning of unknown words and check the spelling of unfamiliar words Using cognates and near cognates along with other detective skills to

gist information

Confidently using a bilingual

dictionary to find the meaning of unknown words and check the spelling of unfamiliar words

Using contextual clues and cues to gist and make predictions about meanings

Gisting information from an

extended text

Using a bilingual dictionary to select alternative vocabulary for sentence building

Write phrases from

memory, and adapt

these to create new

sentences to express

ideas clearly.

Recalling and writing simple words from memory

Selecting and writing short words and phrases

Using existing knowledge of

vocabulary and phrases to create new sentences

Completing a gapped text with key words/phrases

Choosing words, phrases and

sentences and writing as a text or captions

Use familiar vocabulary in phrases and simple writing.

Experimenting with simple writing, copying with accuracy

Making short phrases or sentences using word cards

Writing a short text using word and phrase cards to model or scaffold

Constructing a short text on a

familiar topic

Describe people, places and things and actions orally and in writing.

Recognising and using adjectives of colour and size

Using adapted phrases to describe an object or person

Using different adjectives, with correct positioning and agreement

Using language of metaphor and comparison

Using a wide range of descriptive phrases

Recognising and using verbs in

different tenses



National Curriculum

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

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 to build

sentences and how these differ from or are similar to English.

Beginning to recognise gender of nouns, definite and indefinite article

Identifying plurals of nouns

Recognising adjectives and

placement relative to the noun

Beginning to understand that

verbs have patterns

Noticing the negative form

Using indefinite article in the plural form

Recognising and using possessive adjective ‘my’ and pronouns he/she/it

Recognising and beginning to apply rules for placement and agreement of adjectives

Recognising and using the negative form

Using prepositions

Making comparisons of word order in French and English

Correct use of definite and indefinite article depending on gender and number of noun, and including partitive article for ‘some’

Applying placement and agreement rules for adjectives

Recognising and applying verb

endings for present regular ‘er’ verbs

Exploring verbs in infinitive form

Learning and using some high

frequency irregular verbs e.g. to

have, to be, to go

Using comparative language

Accurately applying placement and agreement rules for adjectives

Recognising and beginning to form some verbs in near future tense using aller

Recognising and applying verb

endings for present regular ‘er’ verbs

Learning and using some common irregular verbs, e.g. faire ‘to make/do’

Understanding how word order

differs between French and English

Identifying word classes within a


Feminine and masculine



(including articles, pronouns

and plural formation)

To understand that every French noun is either masculine or feminine

To know that the gender affects the form of the indefinite article un or une

To know that feminine nouns often (but not always) end in e

To know that when we turn the statement j'ai un/une (‘I have a…’) into a

negative je n'ai pas de (‘I don't have a…’) then we change the article from un/une

to de

To know that if a word is plural, we cannot use un or une and instead use des


To know that when talking about a specific noun in French we use the definite

article le (m.) la (f.) l' (m./f. before a vowel) or les (m./f. plural)

To know that I can find the gender of a noun by looking it up in the dictionary

where French nouns are followed by a gender indicator

To know whether to use the pronouns il or elle (he or she) when describing what

someone is wearing

To know that de translates as 'of' or 'some' and know that it changes when coupled with le to become du (not de le) and when coupled with les to become des (not de les)

To know that different prepositions are used to say going to a country: en if the country is feminine singular (en France) au if the country is masculine singular (au Canada)

aux if the country is plural (aux États-Unis d’Amérique)

To know a range of prepositions to describe the position of objects

When using the prepositions à côté de, près de or loin de, the de may change if followed by le or les: de+le = du, de + les = des

Feminine and masculine



(position and agreement)

To know that adjectives of size are positioned in front of the noun in French e.g.

un grand cercle

To know that adjectives of colour are positioned after the noun in French e.g. un

cercle bleu

To know that, in French, adjectives change if they describe a girl or a feminine

noun and that this is called adjectival agreement

To know that most (but not all) adjectives take an extra 'e' at the end of the word

to make it feminine

To know that most adjectives go after the noun in French

To know that if the noun in a sentence is plural then the adjective describing it

also becomes plural

To know that the feminine and masculine form of some adjectives can sound

quite different e.g. vert/verte heureux/heureuse

To know that, in French, the possessive adjective 'my' must agree with the

gender of the noun and that we use mon (m.), ma (f.) and mes (pl.)

To know that some adjectives do not change when describing a feminine noun

(orange, marron, à pois)

To know that if an adjective already ends in an 'e' in the masculine form, then it

doesn't take another 'e' in the feminine form (e.g. jaune / rose

To know that there are usually four forms of an adjective to describe- a noun that is singular masculine, a noun that is singular feminine, a noun that is plural masculine and a noun that is plural feminine

To revise that adjectives of size go before the noun and adjectives of colour go

after the noun

To know that when a singular noun begins with a vowel, the possessive adjective ma is difficult to pronounce, so mon is used (e.g. mon ami / mon amie)

To know that when standalone adjectives are used, such as when saying c'est amusant, we always use the singular masculine

Verbs (including

conjugation and negation)

To know that placing ne and pas around a verb makes the verb negative

To know that 'je aime' becomes 'j'aime' and 'je ne aime pas' becomes 'je n'aime pas' to help with pronunciation

To understand that French verbs take different forms.

To know that the infinitive is the basic form of a verb which in English is usually expressed as 'to [do something]' (e.g. 'to run')

To know that there are three different endings for French verbs in the infinitive form: those that end -er, those that end -ir and those that end -re

To know that the ending of regular -er verbs changes to go with the subject pronoun.

To know that some verbs do not follow regular patterns, such as avoir (to have) and être (to be)

To know how to conjugate the verbs avoir (to have) and être (to be)

To know that we use the verb jouer (to play) with some sports

and faire (to make) with other sports

To know that the way verbs change to match the pronoun is called conjugation

To know each part of the verb aller - to go, depending on the


To know that the near future tense is formed by using the

present tense of the verb aller + the infinitive, eg je vais manger -

I am going to eat

To know how to distinguish between the present and the near future tense

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

To know that we can use connectives such as et (and) and mais (but) to join


To know that most nouns in French become plural by adding an 's' at the end, as

in English

To know that 'en' is usually used as a preposition when the mode of transport is

something you get into e.g. 'en train', whereas 'a' is usually used when you are

not getting into a form of transport e.g. 'a vélo' ( a bicycle)

To understand that I can use a model sentence as a guide for building other


To know that tone of voice can indicate a question

To know that a cedilla is the tail mark under the 'c' changes the pronunciation of

the c from a hard sound to a soft 's' sound

To know that a cognate is a word that is the same in both French and English e.g.

un triangle

To know that a near-cognate is a word that is very similar but not identical in

French and English e.g. un cercle

To understand that I can use known vocabulary, cognates and near cognates as

clues to help me understand a text in French

To know that sentences are often structured differently in French and English

To know that, in French, a space is needed before and after ? and !

To know that some American and English words are borrowed by the French such as le hot-dog and le hamburger

To know that when building 2 digit numbers in French, we say 'twenty and one'

or vingt-et-un

To know some language detective strategies such as: recognising cognates and near cognates,

guessing words by the layout of the page and using the words from before and after the

unknown word to help

To know that there is no possessive apostrophe in French but that to say 'my mother's father' the French would say Le père de ma mère (the father of my mother)

To know that the word order is sometimes different in French compared to English

To know that there are clues in the words for the multiples of 10, eg cinquante - 50

To know that the pattern of building larger numbers changes beyond 70 by adding the teen numbers to 60, eg soixante-dix (70), soixante-onze, soixante-douze

To know that the word for 80 means ‘four twenties’ - quatre-vingts, and numbers up to 100 are built by continuing to count on from quatre-vingt, e.g. quatre-vingt-neuf (89) quatre-vingt-dix

(90), quatre-vingt-onze (91)

To know that the French use guillemets << >> in the same way that the speech marks are used

in English

To understand that existing written sentences in French can be adapted

To know that when standalone adjectives are used, such as when saying c'est amusant, we always use the singular masculine


Intercultural Understanding

Year 3

Year 4

Year 6







Showing awareness of the

capital and identifying some key cultural landmarks

Recognising cultural

similarities and differences between customs and traditions in France and England

To know that in French there are formal and informal greetings and when it is appropriate to use each one

To know the names of some

Parisian landmarks

To know some French

playground games

To know that there are French speaking countries around the world

Comparing schools and

celebrations between France and the UK

Comparing shops and high streets of France and UK

Recognising and using the

Euro currency

Identifying some

French-speaking countries

To know some similarities and differences between French and English schools

To know some French festivals that happen throughout the year

To know some similarities and differences between French and English birthday celebrations

To know that the abbreviation

R.S.V.P, which is often used in English stands for 'Répondez s'il vous plaît' which translates as 'Reply, if you please'

To know that the currency

used in France is Euros and to recognise some of the notes and coins

To know that the Louvre is a famous French art gallery

Learning about France’s

sporting culture and events

Asking question and making insightful commentary on

cultural differences, including some understanding of


To know the French word for countries around the world

To know that the Tour de

France is a world famous

cycling race that takes place in

France each year

To know that pétanque is a popular French game

sometimes known as boules

To know different ways to

travel to and around France










Unlike other curriculum subjects, the word ‘vocabulary’ in language learning refers to the building blocks of the subject

itself rather than a simple list of relevant vocabulary. In other words, whereas vocabulary in other subjects helps develop a framework glossary of understanding, in French the vocabulary grows into more of a dictionary of knowledge chunks.

But language learning does not necessarily progress simply because our vocabulary widens. In our lessons, vocabulary is

taught discretely, but always with the aim of moving from simple recall of a word to a deeper understanding of how it is used in the context of sentence structure and grammar. Individual items of vocabulary need to be understood, learned, recalled, re-encountered and recycled in different topics and in different sentence forms as our learners progress in their understanding of language and grammar.