Home Page

Margaret Wix Primary School


What does a linguist look like at Margaret Wix Primary School? 

  • The confidence to speak with good intonation and pronunciation.
  • Fluency in reading.
  • Fluency and imagination in writing.
  • A strong awareness of the culture of the countries where the language is spoken.
  • A passion for languages and commitment to the subject.
  • The ability to use language creatively and spontaneously.
  • Independence in their studies and the ability to draw upon a wide range of resources.

Intent – why are we teaching this?

We aspire for each child to develop a deep interest in, and love for learning so they are equipped with the knowledge and skills they will require to be successful, both now, as children, and in the future. We offer an ambitious MFL curriculum, which is shaped to reflect the unique needs of our pupils, and develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages, preparing them to be life-long language learners. We believe that learning a second language offers children the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them, with a better awareness of self, others and cultural differences.


We recognise the importance of children being given opportunities for ‘real life’ experiences in the subject, to develop their cultural capital, for example linking learning to local and wider localities.  We use a range of activities to reinforce learning in MFL and embed the language into everyday school life, for example, children answer the register and give their lunch choices in French and links are made to different areas of the curriculum, including outdoor learning opportunities.


Our teaching of MFL is supported by the use of Language Angels. This provides a high level of challenge for pupils and to support teachers who may not be as confident in delivering MFL. The resources include French spoken dialogue to support pronunciation.  The three pillars of progression – grammar, vocabulary and phonics build on prior understanding and are taught in a way that enables children to use and apply their learning in a variety of contexts, laying down solid foundations for future language learning and also helping the children improve overall attainment in other subject areas.


We promote positive mindset and resilience so that our children attain their best, are challenged to achieve their best and leave Margaret Wix Primary School ready for their secondary education and beyond. It enables them to want to learn and enjoy creating work that allows them to reach a high standard in all areas of the curriculum, with enough time given for researching, discussing, proofreading and redrafting. Having the confidence to ‘take risks’ is valued and ‘having a go’ encouraged in all areas of the MFL curriculum.


The Margaret Wix community is diverse and we understand the vital need for representation within our teaching. We ensure diversity across the curriculum: careful thought and planning has gone into selecting whose stories we tell and how they are told. Our curriculum has been re-examined and we have endeavoured to reduce the western bias. We strive to ensure that BAME pupils see themselves reflected in our curriculum, all year round. We call our personalised curriculum ‘The Wix Way’. In French, this includes learning about French culture and making comparisons with our own cultures.


The EEF 'five-a-day' underpins all we do for our SEND learners in French. As part of The Wix Way this means that small tweaks to the way we teach French for all children could make a significant, positive difference for the pupils with SEND in our school.


Implementation – how are we teaching this?

Our MFL curriculum progressively develop pupil skills in foreign languages through regularly taught and well-planned weekly lessons in all KS2 classes. Best practice is shared, and support and training offered to staff to ensure they are confident to teach a second language. Children progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary, language skills and grammatical knowledge organised around age-appropriate topics and themes - building blocks of language into more complex, fluent and authentic language.


Teachers carry out ongoing assessment and adapt lessons plans as required to meet the needs of all pupils. This enables them to offer appropriate levels of challenge and stretch for children of all abilities, continuously building their knowledge of and enthusiasm for the language they are learning.


Learning in MFL is linked to other subjects across the school curriculum and units from other subjects have been matched to MFL topics. Learning is grouped into phase appropriate plans, which ensures that the language taught is appropriate to the level of the class and introduced when the children are ready. Children are taught how to listen and read longer pieces of text gradually in the foreign language and they have ample opportunities to speak, listen to, read and write the language being taught with and without scaffolds, frames and varying levels of support.


Children build on previous knowledge gradually as their foreign language lessons continue to recycle, revise and consolidate previously learnt language whilst building on all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Knowledge and awareness of required and appropriate grammar concepts is taught throughout all units at all levels of challenge.


Teachers are provided with a Progression Map and Grammar Grid to ensure all children are progressing their foreign language learning skills and are taught the appropriate grammar at the right time in their foreign language learning journey. Grammar rules and patterns will be taught by level of challenge:

Nouns and articles and 1st person singular of high frequency verbs.

Use of the possessive, the concept of adjectives, use of the negative form, conjunctions/connectives and introduce the concept of whole regular verb conjugation.

Opinions and introduce the concept of whole high frequency irregular verb conjugation.


Grammar is integrated and taught discreetly throughout all appropriate units and children are exposed to all of the appropriate grammar, so they are able to create their own accurate and personalised responses to complex authentic foreign language questions by the end of KS2.


Real-life experiences enhance learning in MFL to develop cultural capital.  We value the importance of ‘real-life’ experiences, to develop cultural capital. Enrichment opportunities include foreign language celebration assemblies; cookery sessions of traditional foods from the country of the language being studied; school celebrations of national feast days from the country of the language being studied when appropriate to facilitate a whole school approach to foreign language learning along with improved cultural awareness.


Children are taught how to look up and research language they are unsure of and have a bank of reference materials to help them with their spoken and written tasks. These materials develop into a reference library to help pupils recall and build on previous knowledge throughout their language learning journey.


Regular opportunities for retrieval practice enables children to deliberately rehearse newly acquired skills and knowledge, transfer these across different contexts and identify gaps in their learning, ultimately strengthening long term memory.  Children are frequently given opportunities to ‘have a go’ at applying their learning in new contexts. Children are encouraged to recognise mistakes as a useful, positive part of the learning process. Our whole school culture promotes self-challenge, resilience, courage, questioning and deep thinking.


We implement the 'five-a-day' strategy from the EEF within the teaching of French in variety of ways. The five strategies identified as having strong evidence for their effectiveness in supporting pupils with SEND which we use to underpin The Wix Way:


1. Explicit instruction

Explicit instruction refers to a range of teacher-led approaches, focused on teacher demonstration followed by guided practice and independent practice. Explicit instruction is not just ​“teaching by telling” or ​“transmission teaching”


  • Worked examples with the teacher modelling self-regulation and thought processes is helpful. 
  • Using visual aids and speaking frames to promote discussion and links in learning.


2. Cognitive and metacognitive strategies

Cognitive strategies are skills like memorisation techniques or subject specific strategies such as knowledge organisers and working walls.

Metacognitive strategies help pupils plan and evaluate their learning


  • Chunking the task will support pupils with SEND – this may be through  instructions on a whiteboard, step by step modelling, real life examples  which helps reduce distractions to avoid overloading working memory.
  • Prompt sheets that help pupils to evaluate their progress, with ideas for further support.


3. Scaffolding

‘Scaffolding’ is a metaphor for temporary support that is removed when it is no longer required. Initially, a teacher would provide enough support so that pupils can successfully complete tasks that they could not do independently.


  • Support could be visual, verbal, or written. 
  • Include a variety of oracy rich opportunities throughout the lesson e.g. use of, sentence stems, speaking frames, discussions prompts and talk tactics to enable all pupils to access learning.
  • Partially completed examples, knowledge organisers and sentence starters can all be useful.
  • Reminders of what equipment is needed for each lesson and classroom routines can be useful.


4. Flexible grouping

Flexible grouping describes when pupils are allocated to smaller groups based on the individual needs that they currently share with other pupils. Such groups can be formed for an explicit purpose and disbanded when that purpose is met


  • Allocating temporary groups can allow teachers to set up opportunities for collaborative learning, for example to work with a learning partner, mixed ability group work, independently carry out a skill, developing a new concept.
  • Pre-teaching key vocabulary to be used in lessons to enhance group discussion is helpful when learning new vocabulary, grammar and phonics.


5. Use technology

Technology can assist teacher modelling. Through the use of Language Angels videos we can share a range of videos to introduce new phonics. Via the use of the internet a wealth of french stories can be shared with children to allow to access spoken french.


  • Use a visualizer to model worked examples, modelling or sharing good examples from peers.


Impact – what is the effect on the pupils?

The impact of our curriculum is the measure of how well our intent has been realised. It is demonstrated through the success of our learners and their confidence to demonstrate the knowledge they have retained over time as well as their readiness for the next stage in education and for life as an adult in the wider world.


Teachers assess each pillar (vocabulary, grammar and phonics) at the end of each term to provide reference points against which learning and progression in each skill can be demonstrated. Marking and feedback provides teachers with ongoing assessment information which is used to shape future planning. Children are aware of their own learning goals and progression as each unit offers a pupil friendly overview so that children can review their own learning at the start and at the end of each unit. Pupil voice questionnaires and conversations with pupils demonstrate the learning that has taken place and allow the subject leader to monitor the effectiveness of the curriculum. Progress is also evidenced in children’s books.


By the time our children leave Margaret Wix Primary School, we intend to:

Promote diversity and cultural appreciation through the learning of French. Our children will learn to speak French with increasing confidence, being able to recall words, phrases and sentences when required. Our children will make ambitious attempts to write in French to express their thinking.

Develop respect of other countries and create interested and inquisitive children who are keen to learn about French culture and lifestyle, leading to globally minded citizens.



Use of the EEF 'five-a-day' allows all the children to reach their full potential no matter their background. As a subject leader this ensures those with SEND learners are still able to work towards the same outcomes as their peers through the use of the 'five-a-day'.


Aspirations For The Future

Pupils develop an understanding of how subjects and specific skills are linked to future jobs. 

Here are some of the jobs you could aspire to do in the future as a Linguist: 

  • Attractions manager 
  • Teachers in other countries 
  • Chefs  
  • Hotel managers
  • Leisure and tourism 
  • International law  
  • Translator

French in action

Pupil Voice