In line with the National Curriculum, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) at Cottage Grove provides opportunities for pupils that enable them to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing.

MFL lessons are delivered consistently to all KS2 classes. These lessons involve understanding and responding to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources.

Education as a whole,  and languages specifically, provide opportunities for our children that many would not experience otherwise. With our position in Europe as it is and our relations with the wider world, it is more important than ever that our children are able to communicate with other countries and cultures effectively; and that they understand the similarities and differences between those countries and cultures.

Learning languages in the classroom creates a level playing field for all, where children of all abilities, including those who use English as an additional language (EAL), can progress and succeed. The confidence and progress that we see in our MFL lessons is a pleasure to watch.

What others say about our MFL

We are very proud that MFL is recognised as an area of excellence in the school through the Challenge Partners programme. The report states: ‘The school has been developing the provision for French for some time. A highly competent member of staff is a fluent French speaker and is successfully training colleagues.’

In our Ofsted report from 3–4 February 2016, within the quality of teaching, learning and assessment section, it states:

  • Skilful French teaching gives pupils a secure grounding in vocabulary, with plenty of opportunities for pupils to practice speaking French.

The Challenge Partners Quality Assurance Review Written Report 1 – 3 March 2017 states:

  • The school is highly influential in promoting the subject locally. For example, the subject leader was instrumental in setting up an MFL hub in Portsmouth which was supported by the Association for Language Learning.
  • A support network for MFL teachers in other schools across the city has been established. Fifteen teachers attended the first meeting which focused on phonics and allowed an opportunity for collaboration and networking.
  • Teachers have a clear idea of how to present new vocabulary and how to develop memorisation through knowledge of phonics and repetition techniques. They are aware of the level of grammar that Year 5 and 6 pupils are capable of and can see, in practice, that students are able to write at text level, using conjunctions, pronouns, verbs in the present tense and adjectival agreements.
MFL Excellence and Innovation

Our MFL manager, Mrs Allen, also a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE), delivers a number of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) sessions for primary and secondary teachers across the south of England. She has been involved with setting up and running the ALL Primary Languages Hub. The hub meets once a term and organises CPD for any teachers that would like to attend.

Once a year, the school runs an event in conjunction with the University of Portsmouth. Trainee Teachers come to Cottage Grove and observe English lessons in KS2. This is followed by an afternoon of French and Art for our Year 5 children. Teachers from around the city are invited to observe and, for the last two last two years, we have opened the event up to other schools. Last year, Cottage Grove was the pilot school for a transition project in the city. The aim of this project was to produce units of learning to support effective transfer and transition in MFL between KS2 and KS3. In year 6, using the resource, ‘Un lion à Paris’, children were able to learn about landmarks in a major city and explore and express feelings, linked to change and the unknown.

The planned outcome was for children to create their own version of the storybook. The children were fully engaged in this and loved creating their own books using a book creator on our Google Cromebooks. These were then printed and bound for children to take to share with their new schools.

We then arranged for our local secondary school to send a teacher for the afternoon to meet their future pupils. Our children took the opportunity in their stride, sharing the wonderful work that they had created and exploring numerous questions about learning languages in their new school.