From the start of Key Stage 3 until the end of Key Stage 5 the department aims to provide an enjoyable, stimulating and effective language learning experience.
At all levels we work at improving students’ skills in French and push them to be happy and confident language learners.
- Ability to speak and understand spoken French.
- Ability to read and understand written French.
- Ability to write accurately in French.
- Ability to organise time and work; to take an active part in learning; to work in a team; to follow instructions for a task.
Key Stage 3
Year 7 – School, Where I Live, My Free-Time and Hobbies
Year 8 – Family and Interests, Food and Drink, Holidays
Year 9 – The Media, Healthy Lifestyles, When I Was Younger
We also incorporate cultural projects into each year group.
There are two lessons each week for all groups in Years 7 and 8. In Year 9, students studying two foreign languages have three lessons of each language. Students studying only one foreign language have four lessons.
Students are assessed across all four core skills during the course of the year. Students sit three formal assessments during the year.
Home learning is set weekly and students may be asked to review vocabulary and structures covered in the lesson or to research and prepare work for an upcoming lesson.
Key Stage 4
We prepare students for the AQA GCSE French (8658) exam. Students continue to develop their knowledge of KS3 language and discover more tenses and structures to enable them to deal with the rigour of the new GCSE exam.
Students are assessed on all skills three times over the year and assessments cover all topics taught to date in order to keep previous vocabulary and structures fresh. Throughout the year we cover a mixture of skill sets and the Year 10 exam assesses all four skills. Students also sit a full mock exam in the November of Year 11.
Home learning is set weekly and students may be asked to review new vocabulary and structures covered in the lesson or to research and prepare work for an upcoming lesson. They may be asked to complete grammar exercises or prepare oral answers to review questions. There is an expectation that students will also independently review vocabulary and grammar on an ongoing basis.
Key Stage 5
The Key Stage 5 curriculum continues to develop students’ core skills with an increased level of complexity. We prepare students for the AQA A level French (7652) exam. Students are expected to be aware of current affairs in Francophone countries and to be able to discuss more complex ideas. We also study film and literature, which the students analyse and discuss in essays in the final exam. In Year 13, students prepare an individual, independent research project on a subject of their choice, which they present and discuss in their oral exam. The students also have weekly lessons with a foreign language assistant in order to hone and perfect their speaking skills.
Students will be set small assessments each half term, with a strong focus on the threshold exams in June of Year 12. A mock exam is usually held in January of Year 13. Assessment will cover all core skills, including translation in and out of French and a 15 minute speaking exam.
Home learning at KS5 is broad and varied. As well as the expectation that students are consistently working on grammar and vocabulary, students will be set work by each teacher as required. Home learning will vary from writing short paragraphs to completing essays, translations or preparing short presentations. KS5 staff regularly Tweet articles relevant to the topics studied and students must focus on increasing their awareness of French culture and society through wider-reading.
- Year 7 French club
- Year 7 residential trip to Normandy in Curriculum Enrichment Week
- Year 9 French Exchange trip
- Sixth Form Study trip to Paris (run every two years)
Stretch & Challenge
Year 7 MFL “Spelling Bee”
Where can French take you?
Careers with languages are varied; students are able to combine a language with other subjects (ranging from Accountancy to Zoology) at degree level. Previous students have gone on to study languages with Law, History, Politics and Maths and have found careers, not just in teaching but in retail and the transport sector.
How parents can support their child’s learning?
Parents can help by checking our weekly home learning and asking what the English words mean in French. Accurate spellings and use of websites are also beneficial. Students could extend their home learning by reading further online using sites recommended by their French teachers. Getting used to speaking out loud helps students and they can practise their pronunciation.
To see the frequently asked questions, please click here