Languages - French



It is our intent, at Barnehurst, to provide all of our children with a high-quality education in Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), which develops their love of learning about other languages and cultures. Language learning at Barnehurst is rooted in the school values of: Resilience, Courage, Equality and Kindness. This learning provides our children with an understanding of the world, supporting our Global Citizenship curriculum.

We aim to develop our children as “Global Citizens” so that they have a knowledge and understanding of the richness and diversity between cultures. All children will be expected to achieve their full potential in their foreign language learning by the end of KS2. Our MFL taught is French and we strive to provide children with opportunities to experience a range of other languages as well. We do this as part of our Global Citizenship curriculum, where children celebrate the growing diversity of our pupils and the languages they speak. We believe that learning another language gives children a new and broader perspective of the world. This enables our children to understand their own cultures and those of others, which feeds into our whole school value of equality.  We want our children to have the courage to engage in spoken French, develop skills in listening, reading and writing in the language. We hope that all children will develop their resilience when learning a language, finding them enjoyable and purposeful. Additionally, our children develop a genuine interest and curiosity about languages. The teaching of languages forms an important part of the school’s SMSC curriculum too, encouraging children to develop the skills of empathy and kindness, whilst becoming culturally and socially aware of non-English speaking people and practices. Our ultimate aim is that our children appreciate how important languages will be in their future and show a desire to continue their language learning beyond KS2.


Planning – Long term learning

We are currently in the thirds year of our implementation of French at Barnehurst. We have structured a 6 year plan in supporting children in closing the gaps due to lessons lost during covid.



Curriculum enhancement opportunities:

Beyond the classroom, it is vital that children experience a range of spoken languages. Members of the school community who speak a different language will be encouraged to share these with our children on cultural experience days to celebrate our community’s rich and ever-growing culture and diversity. Ultimately, we expect our children to believe, achieve and succeed in language learning at Barnehurst. During whole-school assemblies, we celebrate language learning through key events such as European Languages Day and International Languages Day.

Enquiry-based learning

At Barnehurst, we encourage our children to be enquiry-based learners, asking questions and learning through their own research. At the end of each unit of learning in French as part of the Rigolo curriculum, children are able to engage in a learning project related to French culture and language. For example, in Year 6, following their learning about characteristics and descriptions of people, children have the opportunity to engage in a project on researching and exploring French sports people and film stars.


French assessment is part of our Feedback Policy and children are assessed throughout every lesson through careful observation, questioning and feedback. After each lesson, books ae looked at as part of the school’s Feedback Policy and the teacher assesses in green pen as follows:


At the end of each unit of learning in French as part of the Rigolo curriculum, children are assessed using a combination of Rigolo end-of-unit assessment resources which include assessment on: reading, writing, speaking and listening in French.

These assessments are used, alongside teacher assessment, to inform the school’s half-termly assessments in French as part of the wider curriculum. These assessments are analysed by the French subject leader in relation to the percentage of children working at, above and below age-related expectations in French. Vulnerable groups are also analysed in relation to the following categories: Pupil Premium, SEN, children working at a greater depth and children whose additional language is English, as well as gender. Data analysis is then shared with class teachers and the HLTA responsible for teaching French, who then uses the outcomes of the data analysis to plan future lessons and to plan for any gaps in French learning. Learning is assessed against the building blocks (lesson objectives) for French. Areas for development within each class and year group are identified and used to plan for the next term. At the end of each academic year, the Languages Leader reviews the French curriculum with information provided by teachers and HLTA responsible for teaching French, and adapts the curriculum for the following year as required

Subject Implementation


  • Nationally, the teaching of MFL is statutory at KS2 and optional at KS1. At Barnehurst School we teach French throughout Year 3 – 6 using the Scheme of Work Rigolo.
  • The scheme is a progressive one which builds on previous learning and is taught in 3 key areas: Literacy - reading and writing in French,  Oracy - communicating by listening to and speaking French, and exploring French culture.
  • The children are taught specific skills, concepts and vocabulary in a weekly dedicated session, with the opportunity to practise and consolidate their skills at other times during the school week, registration for example.
  • Modelling is used throughout the teaching of French through the use of:

         I do, we do, you do.

  • The structure of the lesson follows the school’s teaching sequence used across the wider curriculum: vocabulary, connect, explain, example, attempt, apply and challenge.
  • Children are encouraged to actively participate in French leaning by joining in using words, phrases, songs and actions to reinforce their language learning.
  • This integrated approach allows teachers to develop learning on a little-and-often basis and provides children with the opportunity to use and develop their language for communicating in real-life contexts.
  • Teaching follows regular routines with songs and games that our children find enjoyable and motivating.
  • Children in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 will be introduced to French through practical speaking and listening games and songs.
  • Primary language learning provides a basis for teaching and learning about other cultures and this may be incorporated into many areas of the curriculum including Personal, Health, Social and Emotional education and Global Citizenship, Geography, Religious Education, Design and Technology, Art and Dance. The non-specialist HLTA teaches French and uses the advice, skills and support of the Languages Leader.

Teacher subject knowledge

  • The French Curriculum leader, who oversees the French curriculum, is a French subject specialist trained to teach French to A-Level Standard.
  • The French subject specialist is responsible for ensuring the French long term-plan and medium-term plans are continually updated in relation to the current educational expectations.
  • As a result of the gaps identified due to remote learning, the school commenced teaching French using the Rigolo resource in September 2021.
  • Since the Rigolo scheme was introduced at Barnehurst in September 2021 for the teaching and learning of French across Years 3-6, early assessments showed that the restructure of the new French curriculum at Barnehurst has had a positive impact on teaching and learning across KS2.
  • There is a long-term plan for using Rigolo and it is anticipated that by September 2025, Years 5 and 6 will be using Rigolo 2.



At Barnehurst, we use a variety of resources to support language learning in French:

  • Rilgolo interactive computer resource – this is the primary resource used for planning and teaching French
  • Showbie – for recording and uploading language learning
  • BBC Bitesize - additional resources to enhance Rigolo
  • Le Jolie Ronde – flashcards and additional resources to enhance Rigolo
  • Knowledge Organisers – linked to Rigolo units of learning – these are written by the French Subject Leader and are introduced to the children at the start of every unit of learning in French and are used as a point of reference throughout the unit.
  • Where space permits in classrooms, there may be a display linked to French which includes key learning, vocabulary and images.
  • Every child in Years 3-6 has a French exercise book which includes all their French language learning.


Classroom displays

Expectations of learning in French books

Expectations in French books are as follows (in line with the school’s presentation and feedback policies):

  • All learning has a date written in English (and French once the children understand the French  months and days of the week) which is underlined with a pencil and a ruler
  • All learning has a learning objective, written in English and underlined with a pencil and a ruler.
  • Children are encouraged to use a high standard of presentation, as they would in other books across the curriculum.
  • French learning is written in pencil or pen (if the child has a pen licence), and children are expected to use a neat, legible and joined style of handwriting – as they would in their English books.
  • Rubbers and felt tipped pens are not permitted – as per the school’s presentation policy.
  • Where possible, the children are encouraged to use the lines in their French exercise books to write their learning.
  • Where Rigolo learning sheets are required, it is anticipated that, as much as possible, these are limited and children are encouraged to write on the pages in their books.
  • Each unit of learning from Rigolo begins with the introduction of the French Knowledge Organiser, which the children are encouraged to use throughout their learning for key words, information and grammar.
  • As children progress through the units of French learning, their learning becomes more progressive – beginning with key words and phrases in Years 3, moving on to sentences, then paragraphs, finally structuring information in a variety of ways in Year 6.


Knowledge Organisers




Mastery approach

As with all areas of the curriculum at Barnehurst, we believe in a mastery approach in French.

This is characterised by whole-class teaching. Depth of knowledge is valued over speed of learning, hence the thinking behind recently introducing Rigolo 1 to the whole of KS2. High expectations are crucial – at Barnehurst mastery is built on the belief that all children can achieve.


Subject Impact

By the time children leave our school, they will have become confident, curious life-long learners. They will enjoy the exploration of new vocabulary and making links across language and cultures. They will be eager to explore language and culture and will be open to the possibility of learning to communicate with others in their native language. The confidence that comes with both understanding and being understood, will prepare them well for life in the wider world.







Subject Impact  

By the time children leave our school, they will have become confident, curious life-long learners. They will enjoy the exploration of new vocabulary and making links across language and cultures. They will be eager to explore language and culture and will be open to the possibility of learning to communicate with others in their native language. The confidence that comes with both understanding and being understood, will prepare them well for life in the wider world.