Key Stage 2
Our aim is to make French learning a pleasant and successful experience, within the framework of the National Curriculum. We offer French to all students from Year 5 which provides a sound basis for foreign language learning at Key Stage 3. Students are taught in mixed ability classes and receive a one hour lesson per week.
In Year 5, students learn to introduce themselves and ask and give personal details e.g. name, age etc. They learn numbers up to 31, the French alphabet, the months, building on work already covered in Lower School. They also learn to describe themselves, other people and pets. The emphasis is on speaking and listening, but reading and writing are important too. Some simple classroom language is introduced.
Pupils learn to talk about school, tell the time in French, and to give opinions and reasons. They also learn to talk about hobbies and to give reasons for their opinions. Although the emphasis is still on speaking and listening, pupils start to write independently. In addition, their use of classroom language is developed.
Key Stage 3
We look to encourage a real interest in the French language and equally important, the culture of France itself.
In Year 7 students learn to talk about families in detail, describe a typical day and what they did last weekend and talk about food.
Learn about countries and the languages spoken. Talk about past, future and ideal holidays. Students will also talk about friends and use expand on the use of the 3 main tenses; past, present and future.
This year it is important that students consolidate grammar, become confident in speaking and practise basic role play skills in preparation for their GSCE exam.
Key Stage 4
Please find attached a copy of the current GCSE French specification
Exam board: Edexcel
Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries and enable them to communicate with people from other countries, whilst working in this country. The study of a modern foreign language at GCSE should also broaden students’ horizons and encourage them to step beyond familiar cultural boundaries and develop new ways of seeing the world.
Students are taught to understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources. They are encouraged to 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. As far as writing is concerned, by the end of Key Stage 4, students should write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt. Through their studies, students can also discover and develop an appreciation of the culture in countries were French is the official language.
The examination comprises 4 components, namely listening, speaking, reading and writing. All skills are equally-weighted and each contribute 25% towards a student’s final GCSE grade (9-1).
The topics covered are Self, Family and Relationships, School, House and Home, Local Area and Environment, Hobbies and Free Time, Media, Holidays, Health and Work and Future Plans.
Studying French for GCSE enables students to continue developing the language skills they have acquired at KS3 and to learn to use the language more independently as well as gaining a greater insight into the culture of the French-speaking world.
The specification provided by Pearson, (who provide the Active Learn resources for the EdExcel GCSE courses) in its original form is very thorough, the sequence of modules is logical and it generally looks appealing to students of this age.
In French, the curriculum is designed to ensure that all students are equipped with an effective bank of language learning tools and skills for current study and future life. We have an aspirational and exciting curriculum, which promotes a curiosity around languages and supports students in becoming successful language learners. Students have the opportunity to develop and refine their listening, reading, writing, speaking, translation and core grammar skills. Authentic target language resources are utilised to engage students and give students access to the Francophone world. Active learning strategies are an integral part of the quality-first teaching that takes place. Students are encouraged and supported in developing their spoken skills with a focus on the natural acquisition of language. Throughout years 9-11, students follow a progression model, which builds on the skills they have developed in KS2/3. Students will advance and perfect their skills through the medium of challenging and thought-provoking subject content.
Students in years 9, 10 and 11 receive 3 sessions of 50 minutes per week together with regular intervention sessions at after school to develop skills as necessary.
Students study modules 1-3 in year 9, Modules 4-6 in year 10 and modules 7 and 8 in year 11 with end of year testing in all skills in the June of each academic year. (Year 11 have mock GCSEs and PPE’s, together with mock speaking exams). The modules ensure that whilst some grammar is recycled, the more complex grammatical constructions together with more thought- provoking content is delivered in year 11. This ensures a ‘foundation year’ for year 9 students, building on their existing knowledge and deepening it to make it more relevant for GCSE exams.
- Develop their ability to communicate confidently and coherently with native speakers in speech and writing, conveying what they want to say with increasing accuracy
- Express and develop thoughts and ideas spontaneously and fluently
- Listen to and understand clearly articulated, standard speech at near normal speed
- Deepen their knowledge about how language works and enrich their vocabulary in order for them to increase their independent use and understanding of extended language in a wide range of contexts
- Acquire new knowledge, skills and ways of thinking through the ability to understand and respond to a rich range of authentic spoken and written material, adapted and abridged, as appropriate, including literary texts
- Develop awareness and understanding of the culture and identity of the countries and communities where the language is spoken
- Be encouraged to make appropriate links to other areas of the curriculum to enable bilingual and deeper learning, where the language may become a medium for constructing and applying knowledge
- Develop language learning skills both for immediate use and to prepare them for further language study and use in school, higher education or in employment
- Develop language strategies, including repair strategies.