Do ALL UK schools teach French in Reception class???

(31 Posts)
ThePFJ Fri 25-Jan-13 01:04:52

MY 4 year old is a really good reader but is really struggling with the french lessons they are piling onto him at school. He has only just started school this year.
Goggle isn't really helping me find out if French is usually taught this early on, and how much they do.... can anyone shed some light on this for me?

Do you have kids in reception class doing alot of French?
Or is the headmistress at his school going a bit far here?

Don't get me wrong I am happy for him to be introduced to the subject.....

Thanks all xxxxx

Pyrrah Fri 25-Jan-13 01:23:06

I looked round 5 primary schools...

2 did no French at all (or any FML for that matter)
3 did do French - 1 started lessons in Y1, the other 2 started in the Nursery

That is central London, so not sure what is normal I'm afraid!

ThePFJ Fri 25-Jan-13 01:26:51

Thanks for that - that really helps! xxx for you xxx

deleted203 Fri 25-Jan-13 01:27:10

My child is in a Northern village primary (Y3) and they've never done French. Or any other language.

MerryCouthyMows Fri 25-Jan-13 01:32:17

Nope, my DS's Primary teaches Spanish from Reception.

ThePFJ Fri 25-Jan-13 01:32:50

I am in Derbyshire, near Chesterfield......

ThePFJ Fri 25-Jan-13 01:33:24

Spanish?! Wow smile

MerryCouthyMows Fri 25-Jan-13 01:34:04

North Essex town here.

MerryCouthyMows Fri 25-Jan-13 01:36:26

My DS1 was the first year group that started in Reception. He is now in Y6 and is able to read simple books in Spanish and translate them.

MerryCouthyMows Fri 25-Jan-13 01:37:22

And sing Spanish songs and understand them.

ThePFJ Fri 25-Jan-13 01:40:44

So how come there is such a variation in doing languages at primary school and starting in reception ...and in how much they do, up and down the country....

National curriculum must have it as an 'option' then at early stages... surely...

sashh Fri 25-Jan-13 04:08:21

So how come there is such a variation in doing languages at primary school and starting in reception

Because the government told the schools they should do MFL but did not provide extra funding or teachers.

So if you are lucky and you have an MFL secondary trained teacher in your school you will have more MFL.

If the only thing the school has is someone who did A Level 20 years ago you will have less.

If no one has even a GCSE in a language you might not get any.

And then secondary school teachers have to pick up this wide variety, with the added difficulty that the children may not have been taught correctly.

noramum Fri 25-Jan-13 10:31:07

Not in Reception but when they move to Juniors in Y3 they start with language but I don't know which one

I am all for early language skills, my DD is bi lingual from birth, but I want her to start with the school language first before getting things complicated.

BooksandaCuppa Fri 25-Jan-13 10:44:03

From y3-y6 French (Midlands small state primary). Taught by an external person (native French speaker), half an hour per week. Totally worthless though, and not really learned anything other than a few songs. Similar at most of our local primaries.

Secondary MFL teachers will tell you they'll even out by first half term of yr7 - except for unusual circumstances (bilingual parents/paid tuition at home/much more extension provision like at couthy's school)

iseenodust Fri 25-Jan-13 10:54:12

DS did a few words/phrases of Spanish in yr2, French in yr3 and is now back on Spanish in yr4. It's mainly been numbers, greetings, days of the week stuff and songs. Heads, shoulders, knees and toes in French in one assembly last year.

Houseworkprocrastinator Fri 25-Jan-13 11:22:46

My children have done welsh since playgroup (age 2) they attend an English speaking school but huge emphasis on welsh. But they don't do any other languages. Not sure about juniors but no french in infants.

KindleMum Fri 25-Jan-13 11:26:12

DS does Spanish in Reception but it's almost nothing, just a few words, nothing that would cause stress.

FantasticDay Fri 25-Jan-13 11:29:14

My kids both did French from reception, but only once a week. Taught by a native speaker. School also offers Spanish and Mandarin after school clubs for years one and two. (State school in socially/ethnically mixed area). Kids seem to love it and it's much better for their accents if they learn at an early age - much less self conscious and more likely to hear and copy than look at something on the page and try to pronounce it using English phonics. It's mainly fun stuff though - songs, learning about different customs, self introduction, numbers and bingo. One Spanish teacher did set written homework, but the new one doesn't seem to and I'm happy with that.

Ours do spanish too!

sheeplikessleep Fri 25-Jan-13 11:37:22

DS1 is in reception and doesn't get taught any French.
I think they teach it further up in his primary school.

Muddles2 Fri 25-Jan-13 19:20:28

It's such a shame there isn't more in all primary schools yet - hopefully it will come soon as it is so much better to start early. Google French and Spanish listening for kids and there's loads of free stuff for children to listen to at home.

CaseyShraeger Fri 25-Jan-13 19:23:13

DD does French (one of the TAs at the school is a native speaker) but I think they mostly just sing songs. Certainly DS has made it through to Y3 at the same school with no notable mastery of the language (although every so often he slips and reveals that he knows more vocabulary than he's letting on).

RiversideMum Fri 25-Jan-13 19:24:34

Our school does French in the juniors using all the normal class teachers - basic stuff, but would make a proper MFL teacher cringe. In reception I find that the children like Spanish because they watch Dora the Explorer. We do a bit of counting and a few words. We also learn to count in the various languages of the EAL children.

JeanBodel Fri 25-Jan-13 19:25:29

Mine will be taught French in Key Stage 2.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Fri 25-Jan-13 19:26:47

None at all AFAIK, though there are lunchtime clubs if you want.

Hulababy Fri 25-Jan-13 19:45:06

The state infants I work at doesn't teach French at all; no idea about the feeder juniors.
DD's prep school does French from reception, 1 or 2 lessons a week

Hulababy Fri 25-Jan-13 19:47:34

Actually my school does have a French ASC though

beaufranked Fri 25-Jan-13 20:06:57

DS is at a bilingual primary school with every lesson, lunchtime and assembly done in English and Spanish (bar maths/science). It's great to receive linguistic input from an early age. They process and learn it entirely differently to how adults would and learning it at an early age is much 'easier'! I'm obviously very pro education through language so would say generally it's a positive thing. Most of the world have bilingual education due to the prominence of English, just not maybe the norm in UK.

No French until Y3 at our school.

PenguinBear Fri 25-Jan-13 20:12:44

I am a Reception teacher and we don't teach French as a Seperate subject no. We teach greetings, numbers etc as and when appropriate but nothing like you describe. It's common practice in fee paying schools though!

beaufranked Fri 25-Jan-13 20:33:02

Just to clarify above, ours is a state school

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