Children often start school with an awareness that people communicate in more than one language; this may be through travel or family connections. Generally, at this young age, they have few inhibitions so relish the idea of experimenting with communication and mimicking adults in both spoken word and songs.
The aim at Airthrie is to promote an interest in other languages and cultures, and to make language learning fun and exciting. The interaction of language, culture, education and day-to-day life is mutually entwined, so our lessons draw no boundaries between information technology, ice creams, homes or hobbies. Where French inspires our pupils, we seek to help them find the reward and enjoyment from learning another language.
French is taught throughout the school from Acorn to Oak. Specialist teachers strive to develop our pupils’ knowledge through practical, fun and imaginative lessons using music, language games, storytelling and role-play. In older year groups, we encourage project research and extend pupils’ range of vocabulary with a focus on listening, speaking, reading and writing. We also encourage the practical use of language and an awareness of culture by holding school events such as French and other international days, and a French breakfast with pains au chocolat and croissants. In Year 5 we run a biennial week-long visit to Maison Claire Fontaine in Magny, France which is a school language and activity specialist in Burgundy situated two hours south of Paris.
Older pupils develop skills that are more formal during research projects when they increase their acquisition of vocabulary and related grammar. Thus, we seek to give the children a strong base on which to build when they move on to their senior schools.