French is taught from Year 1, culminating in a residential French trip for Year 6 children.



Many young minds are receptive to learning a second language. We aim to encourage the pupils to develop an enthusiasm for French and confidence in expressing themselves orally. If their first experiences are positive they should be eager to learn more.

By the end of Year 6 many pupils will have acquired a sound knowledge of basic vocabulary (e.g. common animals, foods and everyday objects). They will have an understanding of some simple conversational French and a knowledge of certain grammatical points.


Teaching Strategies

1.     The natural sequence of listening, speaking, reading then writing is usually followed.

2.     Since children learn to speak by speaking, oral question and answer work is the focal point of class lessons. Ample opportunities are provided for intensive practice in using the dialogue form of language in individual conversations with the teacher, work in pairs, group work, games, role playing and sketches.

3.     The use of correct pronunciation from the beginning is strongly encouraged since bad habits are difficult to eradicate later.

4.     To help pupils memorise the new vocabulary, games, songs, DVDs, CDRoms, flashcards and other forms of visual representation of the words are often used.

5.     In order to maintain interest, the pace of each lesson is quite fast with several changes of activity.



The audio-visual and oral-active approach taken at Heathfield does not ignore the teaching of grammar. The learning of grammatical points is involved from the outset. Pupils learn initially through example and usage rather than by precept. 

When do pupils start?

A small amount of French is introduced in Year 1 – e.g. counting to 20, colours, simple vocabulary and conversation



The Junior Years, also known as Key Stage 2, are from Year 3 to Year 6, and, as in Key Stage 1, pupils follow a broad and varied curriculum which encompasses the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum. This is enriched and extended by Specialist subject teaching, excellent resources and modern technology, which includes the IT Suite.

French continues from Year 1 until Year 6.

Year 3 and 4 pupils enjoy the opportunity to learn a range of Brass, Woodwind and String instruments as part of their Music lessons, all taught by Music Specialists.

Residential visits play an important part in the Curriculum for Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 involving various aspects of the curriculum as well as team building and co-operation skills


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