Expect More

At Barnes Primary we believe that it is of great importance for all people to master at least one other modern foreign language (MFL). The study of MFL enables children to develop the skills and confidence to consider themselves as ‘World Citizens’ who belong in a multicultural, mutually respectful world. Our view is that learning a language should start early and that it should be fun.  The priority is that pupils are keen to participate and make progress in being able to converse using useful sentences to communicate in other languages. We aim to support pupils to understand other countries and cultures so that they can be more open and adaptable to new experiences.  Ultimately, we wish for our pupils to have a love of languages and to become curious and respectful of the world around them.

In Key Stage 1 pupils are exposed to the French language throughout the daily routine.  Instructions will often be given in French, there are simple books to enjoy and share in the reading corners, and a weekly French assembly will teach them to enjoy and participate in familiar tales and songs in a language other than English.  These assemblies are led by Helen Leissle (Barnes Primary School MFL leader).

In Key Stage 2 pupils will participate in a weekly lesson of 30 minutes, delivered by our specialist language teacher, Zoubidha Bahlouli. The lessons will involve a variety of innovative approaches to teaching and learning, including speaking and listening activities, lots of opportunities to role play simple scenes and to consolidate new learning through a variety of authentic material to ensure all pupils are fully engaged. Our oldest pupils, in Upper Key Stage 2, will also do a small amount of writing.

We teach French in themes.  A copy of our curriculum map can be found here.

We will use a range of online resources including:

  • Linguascope
  • Rigolo on the London Grid for Learning platform
  • “Le Grand Mystère Français” – from La Jolie Ronde
  • “Storyplay*r – Raconte-moi une histoire”.

We are in the process of developing knowledge maps with key vocabulary for each theme.  These will be ready for January 2020.


During our On Camera film week, we have made several films in French.  Below is an example of a KS1 and a KS2 French film.


We make books in French, for example:

  • Le corps
  • Les animaux de la ferme
  • Les couleurs


We have a range of French songs that we sing with the children.

  • 1, 2, 3
  • Je sais compter (1 à 10)
  • 11 à 20
  • La Semaine
  • Comment t’appelles-tu? (x2)
  • La météo

French Club

Run by Helen Leissle for pupils in Key Stage 1, the weekly after school French club aims to get children started on their language-learning journey. Pupils are motivated to have a go at simple conversational French through the learning of songs and rhymes, the playing of games, and by engaging in simple stories.

In January 2020 we aim to extend our French club provision to Lower Key Stage 2 and in April 2020 we aim to extend our French club to Upper Key Stage 2

Here’s two films of some Year 6 children in a French travel agents.

Here’s a film of some Year 4 children reading the weather forecast in French (March 2018)

An overview of our French curriculum is available by clicking here. Feedback about French lessons from the pupils – obtained through semi-structured small group interviews during our cyclical internal reviews – is extremely positive. To improve pupils’ French we also host a couple of French student teachers for a four week period in the Spring Term.  In addition, French is one of the many community languages that is heard in our annual House Reading in a Language other than English competition which is held in the Spring Term. There are also after school French clubs. We have two skilled French teachers: Bida Bahlouli and Helen Leissle . Both of them really enjoy teaching French. Watch a further clip of some previous Year 6 pupils – in full costume – purchasing items at a shop.