LGfL Primary Modern Languages

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15th April 21
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Learning a foreign language in KS2 became compulsory across England in September 2014.  For many schools in Lancashire this is just the continuation of developing a subject, which already has a valued place on the school curriculum. For others it means starting over again.

Learning a language has a key role to play in KS2.  By teaching children earlier we can tap into their enthusiasm and lack of self -consciousness, their curiosity for new sounds and words and their willingness to learn about new people and places.  Children are excited to learn a new language and we owe it to them to make that learning enjoyable, fun and meaningful.

There are new statutory programmes of study and these will pose a challenge for specialist and non-specialist teachers alike since they are very broad descriptors covering the whole of the key stage.

It is important that teachers ensure children are learning well and making progress as well as enjoying the opportunity to learn a language.  If children are to meet the end of KS2 programmes of study then progression must be built into their learning across years 3-6.

New National Curriculum Programmes of Study September 2014 can be found here

Which language?

It is up to each school to decide which language to teach based on a number of factors such as staff expertise, local high school first language, parental input, availability of resources

However the programme of study makes it clear the expectation is children should be taught the same language over the four years of KS2 to enable them to make substantial progress in that language.

Who should do the teaching?

Any one, or any combination, of the following, may teach FL:

  • The class teacher
  • An ‘internal’ ‘specialist’ languages teacher, who rotates round classes
  • An (external) ‘specialist’ teacher who comes into school
  • A teaching assistant within school
  • A languages teacher from a secondary school
  • A volunteer/parent
  • A native speaker, who may be a foreign language assistant (FLA)


Funding for foreign languages at KS2 is included within the main school budget and is not earmarked or ring fenced specifically for languages.  It is for school heads in consultation with subject co-ordinators to decide on how best to deploy funding.

How much time?

There is no specified amount of time within the new national curriculum however if children are to meet the programme of study and make substantial progress in one language the recommended amount of time is approximately 40 minutes per week for all children across years 3 – 6

Do we have to assess?

There is an expectation that teacher led assessment will take place at the end of KS2 to show how far children have met the programmes of study. Schools and parents / carers need to know regularly how children are progressing so on going classroom assessment is a fundamental part of monitoring and tracking.

A Key Learning Document is available from Learning Excellence via http://www3.lancashire.gov.uk/lpds/publications.asp or telephone 01257 516100.

What training and support is available?

There is a programme of LA run courses ranging from getting started with FL to linguistic training, termly subject leader meetings and courses on developing the FL provision in your school.

Where can I get more information?

You will find information on

  • How to plan lessons,
  • How to get started,
  • Useful resources,
  • Schemes of work
  • Useful documents
  • Basic vocabulary and pronunciation resources for teachers

on the pages of this website.