Last Friday, I went to visit Year 6 at St Andrew’s C.E Primary School learning French with Janet Wallbank. It was the end of the half-term and the class was just finishing off the topic of ‘sports and how do you play this sport?’
As I walked in, the class was just getting organised for the lesson and I noticed straight away the neatly kept French books on the children’s table and Janet’s tracking sheets – I knew it was going to be a good lesson!
Whilst Janet was getting ready for the lesson she asked the children to work with their partners and practiced as many personal information questions and answers as they could remember – I listened to a few children and heard some interesting and details statement such as ‘Ça va bien car je suis en pleine forme mais j’ai faim’ – evidence that the children are learning to extend basic language and making (huge) progress.
Then the class warmed up to a really fun song that they seemed to be really familiar with
Throughout the lesson, Janet explained EVERYTHING in the target language: going through different slides on her powerpoint presentation and revisiting various questions and opinions about sports: Qui fait un sport ? (opportunities to recap jouer / faire ) Qui veut décrire un sport? Mon sport preféré est… car…
The class had a mini-debate amongst themselves about the sports they liked and disliked reacting to one another’s statements ‘J’adore la gymnastique car….’ Ah non, je déteste la gymnastique car…’ – evidence of children being able to relate their language learning to their own lives and using it for a real purpose: talking about themselves! To support themselves some children spontaneously opened their French book to refer back to previous work and to check words or opinions phrases for example.
Janet then invited volunteers to come to the front and read out descriptions of sport they had written the week before using the written sheet for this unit available on the VLE. These sheets have had excellent feedback both from primary and secondary colleagues.
The rest of the class had to guess which sport was being described and some children had put a lot thought into this activity, adding a lot of details to their description and so the children had to listen very carefully.
As a follow up to this activity Janet asked the children to work in pairs and play a card game describing sports to their partners who had to guess correctly which sport it was – the first step was to choose the correct verb: was it jouer or faire ? then the equipment, where to play the game, clothes, etc. The children appeared confident and fluent with the content of this unit and so the whole class was engaged, on task and …speaking French!
Finally as it was the very last lesson of the half-term the children referred back to their assessment cloud sheet (stuck at the front of their book) and highlighted what they had been learning during the half-term and managed to tick quite a few boxes. Well done Year 6!