MFL Skills Progression

MFL Skills Progression

At Derwent Vale Primary and Nursery School, we are committed to providing all children with learning opportunities to engage in MFL. This policy sets out a framework within which teaching and non-teaching staff can work, and gives guidance on planning, teaching and assessment. It has been developed through a process of consultation with school staff and governors.


In French, we aim to instil a love of language learning and an awareness of other cultures. We want pupils to develop the confidence to communicate in French for practical purposes, using both written and spoken French. Through our scheme of work, we aim to give pupils a foundation for language learning that encourages and enables them to apply their skills to learning further languages, developing a strong understanding and, facilitating future study and opening opportunities to study and work in other countries in the future. Our French curriculum supports pupils to meet the National curriculum end of Key Stage 2 attainment targets (there are no Key Stage 1 attainment targets for Languages).


At Derwent Vale, we use Kapow to teach French. Kapow’s French scheme of work is designed with three knowledge strands that run throughout our units with knowledge building cumulatively. These are:

  • phonics
  • vocabulary
  • grammar.

This knowledge can then be applied within our skills strands, which also run throughout each unit in the scheme:

  • language comprehension (Listening and reading)
  • language production (Speaking and writing).

Kapow’s National Curriculum coverage maps show which units cover each of the National curriculum attainment targets, as well as each of the strands. Kapow’s progression of skills and knowledge document shows the skills and knowledge that are taught within each year group and how these skills develop to ensure that attainment targets are securely met by the end of Key Stage 2. Pupils are given opportunities to communicate for practical purposes around familiar subjects and routines. The scheme provides balanced opportunities for communication in both spoken and written French, although in Year 3 the focus is on developing oral skills, before incorporating written French in Year 4 and beyond.

The scheme utilises a spiral curriculum, with key skills and vocabulary revisited repeatedly with increasing complexity, allowing pupils to revise and build on their previous learning. Cross-curricular links are included throughout our French units, allowing children to make connections and apply their language skills to other areas of their learning. Lessons incorporate a range of teaching strategies from independent tasks, paired and group work including role-play, language games and language detective work.

Our scheme of work focuses on developing ‘language detective skills’ and developing an understanding of French grammar, and key vocabulary, rather than on committing to memory vast amounts of French vocabulary. Pronunciation is emphasised early on using the mouth mechanics videos to support pupils with phoneme pronunciation in French. Differentiated guidance is available for every lesson to ensure that lessons can be accessed and enjoyed by all.

French is taught twice a week with emphasis on listening and reading on the first day and then speaking and writing on the second day.

Examples of Knowledge Organisers and Knowledge Notes:


We monitor the impact of French using both formative and summative assessment. Each lesson includes guidance to support teachers in assessing pupils against the learning objectives and at the end of each unit, each child completes a ‘quiz’ to assess how much they have retained over the course of the topic. After the implementation of French, pupils should leave school equipped with a range of language-learning skills to enable them to study French, or any other language, with confidence at Key Stage 3.

The expected impact of following the French scheme of work is that children will:

  • Be able to engage in purposeful dialogue in practical situations (e.g. ordering in a cafe, following directions) and express an opinion.
  • Make increasingly accurate attempts to read unfamiliar words, phrases, and short texts.
  • Speak and read aloud with confidence and accuracy in pronunciation.
  • Demonstrate understanding of spoken language by listening and responding appropriately.
  • Use a bilingual dictionary to support their language learning.
  • Be able to identify word classes in a sentence and apply grammatical rules they have learnt.
  • Have developed an awareness of cognates and near-cognates and be able to use them to tackle unfamiliar words in French, English, and other languages.
  • Be able to construct short texts on familiar topics.
  • Meet the end of Key Stage 2 stage expectations outlined in the National curriculum for Languages.