Modern Foreign Languages (MfL)

Dear Subject Leader / Teacher / Teaching Assistant,

Welcome to the HEP Primary MfL home page. On this page, you will find a range of resources and information to support you if you are: the subject leader for MfL at your school and/or a classroom teacher/teaching assistant looking for advice and guidance to support your lesson planning.

One of the key aims of this resource is to ensure that pupils learn to be linguists as opposed to doing a language. During their time at primary school, they ought to be developing the skills and competencies to ‘speak, listen read and write in the target language’.

The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
  • speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
  • can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
  • discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied

Learning and using a foreign language allows pupils to explore the lifestyle and culture of other peoples through the medium of their languages. It can give the learner the experience of entering a foreign environment and existing within it. Coping for a while with a different linguistic medium is an enjoyable and intellectually challenging experience.

Learning a language promotes social interaction within and beyond the classroom. It helps pupils to appreciate the lives of others through appreciating their culture, understanding their concerns, respecting their opinions and accepting them as they are. Such attitudes help to promote goodwill and to counter insularity and prejudice.

Pupils improve their personal and social skills by learning to communicate, cooperating and contributing in class, considering the views of others and having to adjust to different social conventions.

To guarantee this happens, the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening need to be carefully planned for.

MfL SL Resource Pack September 2023

Subject Self-evaluation template

MfL Subject Leader Workbook September 2021

For an editable version of the subject leader workbook, please contact

June 2021: Ofsted Research Review Series: Languages

The Association for Language Learning (ALL)
(Membership: School £50 / annum – Individual £70 / annum)

The Association for Language Learning (ALL) is the UK’s major subject association for those involved in the teaching of foreign languages at all levels.

ALL offers information, guidance, peer-to-peer support and CPD events to primary and secondary language teachers through its networks around the country. There is a local hub run at the Grange Primary School, Ealing. (Attendance is open to all ALL members.)

ALL offers the following resources / services:

  • Carrying out a languages audit
    Use the languages audit tool (available to download here in Word format: Primary Languages Audit Form and in pdf format: Primary Languages Audit Form) to find out which languages are spoken amongst your staff and how confident they are.Use the results to inform your action plan. Once you have decided on the language to teach in your school, look at the resources on this website to help you begin. There may be providers in your local area (for example ALL Primary Hubs, teaching school alliances, your local authority) who can help you with training and development to plan your first lessons in languages.
  • Transition
    ALL has produced a useful free publication called the KS2 Co-ordinator's Handbook. This is an accessible read for head teachers and can be found here. For ideas, strategies and resources for the smooth transition between KS2 and KS3, read the free Transition Toolkit. For more fantastic resources including themed modules for self-directed learning for KS2 teachers of languages, please visit the ALL Connect blog.
  • Assessment
    The Expert Subject Advisory Group (ESAG) for Modern Foreign Languages has created an advice document on Assessment in Modern Foreign Languages in primary schools. ALL’s Primary Steering Group has now put together a discussion guide ‘Assessment for ALL‘ to allow individuals or groups of teachers to explore the issues raised. Language Progression and Assessment at Key Stage 2. Created by the Ensemble project, shared by Therese Comfort and edited by the ALL Primary Steering Group.
  • Teacher Briefings - Have you read?
    The Teacher Briefings collection explores current language learning and teaching topics. Available to members, each briefing provides evidence, good practice and resources to support teachers and schools improve their knowledge, policy and practice in the specific area. Recent briefings include:
    * Language Trends 2019
    * Ofsted Education Inspection Framework
    * School Exchanges and Study Visits
    For a taster, explore the Teacher Briefing on Transition.
  • Roadshows and webinars
    'Roadshows' are part of our support for local ALL groups - they are presentations to update local groups on news from ALL, events and projects of interest, along with sector news and resources of interest. Local ALL groups can access the presentations to share with their local group attendees. For summer 2019, we have also piloted a Roadshow webinar.
  • Languages Today Primary Blogs
    Primary language teacher and consultant Clare Seccombe writes our Primary Blog in the Languages Today magazine which is a member benefit of ALL. Explore Clare’s recent Primary Blog on writing at KS2.

Primary Languages Network (PLN)
(School Membership: Annual subscription £200 +VAT)

Transform the provision of primary languages in your school, cluster, MAT or TSA. PLN support the teaching of primary languages by providing:

  1. Staff training and CPD & help and advice
  2. Membership to an online Primary Languages SoW and VLE, which includes everything needed to coordinate and deliver languages across the whole school
  3. A language teacher service in UK schools

Take a look at our case studies to see how schools benefit from being members of our network.

Primary Languages Development Award (PLDA)

The Primary Languages Development Award enables primary schools to evaluate, strengthen and celebrate their MfL provision.

Primary Schools can take the award to ensure they are prepared for an Ofsted inspection and confirm languages are embedded in their primary curriculum.

Schools can achieve Establishing, Enhancing or Outstanding awards.

To achieve a Primary Languages Development Award, schools follow a simple process of self–assessment and evidence gathering supported by our primary languages mentor and submit this online to our Primary Languages Network VLE.

Assessment Criteria

  • School Improvement Planning (SIP)
  • Subject Coordination
  • Staff training and CPD
  • Teaching and learning of MfL
  • Tracking and assessment
  • Links abroad
  • Transition to KS3

Application requirements

  • Any school can apply for our Primary Languages Development Award
  • Purchase online or complete our online Order Form
  • Schools must complete a baseline primary languages questionnaire
  • The Primary Languages Development Award can be renewed bi-annually and costs:

Assessment criteria: Establishing

Schools will need to provide evidence that they can meet the requirements of all criteria for each level of award. The award levels are cumulative (therefore to apply for the Enhancing award, the criteria for the Establishing award must also be met).

School improvement planning

There is an agreed school vision for the development of PFL in school. PFL first steps are in this academic year’s SIP. Audit of staff skills is being used to inform future steps toward effective language teaching and learning in KS2. SLT and Subject coordinator have held a staff CPD session to brief teachers on roll out of PFL in KS2 (possibly KS1). Parents and wider community informed of developments in delivery of PFL across KS2 (KS1)

Subject Coordination

Subject coordinator appointed and receiving training and support from outside agencies. The subject coordinator has a developing understanding of the requirements of the KS2 PFL POS. The subject coordinator is using the staff audit and school vision to inform school’s first steps in language learning. Subject coordinator is informing his/herself of the development of language learning skills when leaning a foreign language. Long term planning is being developed by the subject coordinator for PFL across KS2 (possibly KS1).

Training and CPD

All staff aware of the learning objectives in the DFE KS2 MFL POS and school long term vision for PFL in school. All staff offered language up-skilling CPD opportunities both in house via VLE and by external network CPD provider. Subject coordinator is supporting staff in their own developing understanding of how to teach a PFL.

Teaching and learning of MFL

Teaching and learning is planned for on a regular weekly basis to all KS2 and an effective SOW is accessible with sound file and language support where necessary. PFL teaching and learning intends to address the 12 DfE KS2 MFL PoS Languages Attainment Targets including phonics, grammar and the use of bilingual dictionaries. Opportunities to share good work is planned for – display, class and whole school assembly input. Teachers are experimenting with the use of authentic rhymes, songs and story books/online stories as part of the teaching and learning of the target language. Children have access to target language spoken by a native speaker.

Tracking and Assessment.

Tracking and assessment tools are being considered and trialled. Some informal tracking is taking place. Some AfL and self-assessment is taking place.

Links Abroad

School celebrates European Day of Languages. Children explore the target language country and celebrate/compare home cultures and the culture of the target language country/countries. The subject coordinator is beginning to investigate the local wider community and the potential of native target language speakers as guest speakers, etc in school.

Transition to KS3

School is investigating local high school’s language choice and provision. The subject coordinator is attempting to establish contact with local KS3/4 MfL teachers.
A huge selection of story books in over 40+ different languages
A new resource called Zim Zam Zoum which teaches French through song. A number of schools in Lancashire have tried out the materials with excellent results. The children (and staff) find the songs really catchy and easy to remember and the support materials are really useful.
Develop skills in basic French/Spanish/German with this set of exciting tales. Four fully narrated stories covering topics such as members of the family; colours; foods; days of the week; and numbers are all supported by several lessons and entertaining games.
This is an online storytelling resource that inspires and motivates young language learners through a unique progressive approach and also includes an opportunity to assess children through online feedback and record-keeping. There are over 100 stories available and the site is free of charge.
The British Council connect people with learning opportunities and creative ideas from the UK to build lasting relationships around the world.

Languages resources for home and school.

Babelzone is packed with hundreds of stories, animated songs, games and printable activities organised in clear and practical units.

Primary Resources
Free lesson plans, activity ideas and resources for primary teachers.

Channel 4 Modern Languages
Learn French and German with Chez Mimi and Hennings Haus. Supports teaching and learning with resources and practical advice.

Espresso Education
Espresso is an extensive library of high quality, video-rich broadband teaching resources and student activities that motivates pupils and supports teachers.
This site is aimed at Primary School teachers who are interested in introducing a multilingual dimension into their lessons.

QUIA: Activities
Here you will find a sampling of activities in more than 100 categories.

Learn Spanish
This page is interesting if you want to learn Spanish
French site for young learners.

Resources and Information. This site is aimed at Primary School teachers who are interested in introducing a multilingual dimension into their lessons.

Alphabet and Phonics
Phonetique’ website aimed at learners of French as a foreign language.

A whole series of German songs and ideas to make learning German fun.

Audio Lingua
An interactive platform of language games and activities to motivate young children to learn foreign languages. The new site promotes: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese and Arabic.

see also:

There is an increasing number of books being published which are intended for and suitable for use by primary teachers for storytelling activities or to start to build up a PML reading resource section in the school library. The following list in not exhaustive by any means but is a mixture of easy readers with limited vocabulary, dual French-English language books, some big books (with audio), some traditional stories and some talking big books (CDRoms).



Un Lion Jaune M. Van Fleet
Spot sait compter Eric Hill
Un pour l'escargot, dix pour le crabe AP Sayre-J. Sayer / R. Cecil
Quelle heure est-il Monsieur le Loup? Annie Kubler
Toutes les couleurs A. Sander
Petit Poisson blanc Guido van Genechten
Homme de couleur J. Ruillier
Parts of Body
Pourquoi? A Sander
Va-t-en grand monster vert Ed Emberley
Je m'habille et je te croque Benedicte Guettier
Le striptease d'Uki Claudia Bielinsky
Les saisons d'Uki Claudia Bielinksy
Cache cache a l'ecole Claudia Bielinksy
The Hungry Caterpiller - La chenille qui fait des trous Eric Carle
L'enorme crocodile (emormous crocodile) with CD Roald Dahl
Dual Langauge Books
Red Riding Hood / Le petit chaperon rouge
Goldilocks and Three Bears / Boucle d'or et les trois ours
Giant Turnip / Le navet geant
Rainbow Fish / Arc-en-ciel
3 Billy Goats Gruff / Les trois boucs bourru
Jill and the Beanstalk / Jill et le haricot magique
Dear Zoo / Cher Zoo
More Dual Language Books (can also be bought as CD Rom for use on IW with additional activities)
Goodnight everyone / Bonne nuit a tous
Happy Birthday / bon anniversaire
I want my banana / je veux ma banane
I'm too big / je suis trop gros
Space Postman / le facteur spatial
What's for supper? / Qu'est-ce qu'on mange ce soir?
Get dressed Robbie / habille-toi Robbie
George the Goldfish / Georges le poisson
Big Reading Books
Monsieur l'arbe et la petite fille
A la mer
Anniversaire a la ferme
Les amis de la ferme
Plic plic tombe la pluie

If you have used or know of any good resources to share with other subject leaders or teachers in Hounslow, please email them to Nikola Standing –

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Primary Subject Networks – "The content in the sessions covers all aspects of high quality practice in Maths and it makes me reflective on my practice in class and how I lead and help develop other teachers."

Primary Subject Networks – "Meeting other subject leaders and sharing, makes me feel better about what we are delivering and that we are on the right track."

Develop your A level Teaching – "It was really nice to be able to talk to other A level German teachers as there aren’t very many and we could share our experiences."

Contingent Talk with Books – "Such a worthwhile project for Early Years, which you can see working right in front of your eyes. Well-planned and organised project, fantastic expert who inspires us all."

Get Hounslow Reading – "The biggest impact has been on our teachers’ enthusiasm for reading/books and their knowledge of high quality texts, finding innovative ways to engage readers through displays, book talk and story time."

Secondary Subject Networks – "There are so many useful takeaways from the meeting to help improve teaching and learning and they are things which can easily be put into place after the meeting."

Get Hounslow Reading – “There can be no doubt of the enthusiasm of Hounslow teachers and impact of their hard work on growing a Reading for Pleasure practice in their schools over this academic year. Many teachers said that the time to talk and share practice was what they valued most highly.” Charlotte Raby – Programme Facilitator

Secondary Subject Networks – “I really enjoy the content and the supportive group of fellow geography leaders discussing ideas in a non-judgmental, relatively informal way. The group certainly helps each other and fundamentally discusses relevant topics which are benefiting me.”

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