In Mellor St Mary CE Primary School we follow the Statutory Framework for the Early Years and Foundation Stage issued by the DFE. We also use 'Development Matters' to support our planning, teaching, observing and learning outcomes in EYFS on a day to day basis.
There is no requirement to teach a modern language in EYFS, however, children will learn about other cultures through themed learning experiences.
Children in EYFS can enjoy hearing different languages, listening to the flow and alternative sounds to those they hear in English, and they can be fascinated by learning vocabulary for everyday items, including types of fruit and toys.
One area which we frequently explore is saying greetings in French, in addition to other languages, including Spanish, Russian, Dutch and even Japanese.
Practitioners use their own experience from visiting different countries and from hosting individuals and families from different parts of the world to inform their knowledge. They also access websites which provide games for children in EYFS to practise saying "hello" and "goodbye." Through this, the attendance register is frequently called using different languages and the children respond appropriately.
The children also enjoy learning about different customs which children in various countries experience, and they can compare them with our diverse customs in Britain. In this way, children can learn about Spanish or Dutch Christmas customs, and can compare them with our festivities.
Children in EYFS celebrate the language and customs of Chinese New Year. They learn Chinese words and phrases to pass on good wishes to their friends and they make decorations in the style of those frequently used in Chinese homes. They also explore and prepare Chinese dishes and enjoy sharing them with other classes and staff!