Foreign Languages

Foreign Languages

Subject Leader: Mrs V Dare

Statement of Intent for MFL:

At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary school, we aim for all children to broaden their understanding and appreciation for other cultures and languages. We want them to learn the language of Italian through speaking, reading and writing. We want them to embrace the Italian culture and look at similarities and differences between their way of living and that of their own including links in both languages.


Since 2014 it has been a statutory requirement to teach a modern foreign language at Key Stage 2. From improving literacy skills, to developing self-esteem and widening cultural awareness, introducing a language at an early age has many benefits.

At St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School we teach the modern foreign language of Italian to children in KS2. This should be a useful foundation for the children when they move to secondary school

We believe:

  • The learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for pupils.
  • There is good evidence that the earlier a child is exposed to a foreign language, the faster the language is acquired and the learning becomes deeper and longer lasting.
  • We also believe that it is a good idea to introduce a new language to children when they are at primary school, as they tend to be less self-conscious about speaking aloud at this stage of their development.
  • It is widely believed that the early acquisition of a foreign language facilitates the learning of other languages later in life.
  • The learning of a foreign language provides a medium for cross-curricular links and for the reinforcement of knowledge, skills and understanding developed in other subjects.

Aims and objectives

The aims and objectives of learning a modern foreign language in St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School are:

  • To foster an interest in learning other languages.
  • To introduce young children to another language in a way that is enjoyable and fun.
  • To make young children aware that language has structure, and that the structure differs from one language to another.
  • To help children develop their awareness and interest of cultural differences in other countries.
  • To develop confidence in speaking, listening, reading and writing in another language.
  • To lay the foundations for future study.


We teach Italian to children in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 for a 30 minutes lesson each week. The lesson is taught by a professional Italian speaking teacher. The children learn speaking and listening and reading skills in the language but also have a book to record written work.

Teaching and The Curriculum:

We use a variety of techniques to encourage the children to engage actively in the modern foreign language: these include games, role-play and songs (particularly action songs). Initially we place more emphasis on listening and speaking skills than on reading and writing skills. We also use a multi-sensory and kinaesthetic approach to teaching, i.e. we try to introduce a physical element into some of the games, as we believe that this serves to reinforce memory.

We make the lessons as entertaining and enjoyable as possible, as we realise that this approach serves to develop a positive attitude in the children to the learning of modern foreign languages. We build children’s confidence through constant praise for any contribution they make in the foreign language, however tentative.

Our curriculum is based on the guidance given in the revised National Curriculum. We apply the four attainment targets for MFL to Key Stage 2. These are:

  • AT1: Listening and responding
  • AT2: Speaking
  • AT3: Reading and responding
  • AT4: Writing

We teach the children to know and understand how to:

  • ask and answer questions;
  • use correct pronunciation and intonation;
  • memorise words;
  • interpret meaning;
  • understand basic grammar;
  • use dictionaries;
  • work in pairs, and groups to communicate in the other language;
  • look at life in another culture.


Italian long-term plan 2024

Policy: Modern Foreign Languages  – March 2024