The department aims to give every child in the school experience of studying a foreign language. Through the study of French, the students experience another culture and are encouraged to develop a sympathetic and tolerant attitude towards others in the world. We believe than the study of languages offers a unique insight into and appreciation of the world in which we live. We endeavour to create and excite a lasting curiosity, interest and enjoyment in language study, create an atmosphere where students want to learn and are active participants in lessons, enable each student to achieve their potential in a variety of situations and contexts and encourage all students to foster effective communication. We ensure that students are thoroughly prepared for the challenge of external examinations.
Every child is given the opportunity to develop the many skills language learning offers, and in particular listening, reading speaking and writing, currently up to GCSE level.
Accommodation & resources
The Department is well resourced and learning in class is complemented by multimedia projectors and interactive boards. ICT is fully integrated into teaching and learning, enhanced by a strong tradition of academic guidance and instruction. Digital voice recorders are used for recording speaking tasks and presentations. Students are encouraged to use the school’s Learning Resource Centre to further their studies.
Students are encouraged to used additional materials to enhance their learning experiences; practice out of school by employing the school’s Frog materials which target specific learning experiences is advised. The Linguascope website provides very popular activities and motivating games for all year groups. Additional GCSE specific material is placed on the Key Stage 4 platforms, with students being encouraged to purchase through the school their own revision and workbooks at preferential costs. Students who may experience financial difficulty have these purchased for them.
Students in Key Stage 3 and 4 all have access to a variety of materials to enhance and encourage their learning experiences and chances by stimulating and engaging their interest.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 lessons, in Year 7 and Year 8, are taught in the college’s banded groups. Throughout Key Stage 3, students study topics to promote basic foreign language knowledge and understanding. Across the 2 years of the key stage, they undertake speaking and listening tasks, and reading and writing practice in the following areas; self, family, home, free time, food, school and holidays. Grammatical complexity is gradually built upon to ensure understanding.
Year 9, Key Stage 4
French at GCSE level follows the AQA examination board specification linear course. Students currently in Year 9 will follow the new Specification Code 8658, with all examinations taking place at the end of year 11, and the 4 skills of Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing having equal weighting.
In Year 9, to support students to prepare for GCSE studies, which start in Year 9, students are placed into one of 2 bands, each with 3 sets. Tasks are planned to reinforce and bring greater grammatical complexity to the topics of relationships, free time, new technologies, holidays and the world of work.
Year 10 Key Stage 4
Students currently in Years 10 and 11 follow Specification Code 4655, with the final GCSE grade being made up of 30% controlled assessments in Writing, 30% controlled assessments in Speaking, 20% Reading examination at the end of Year 11 and 20% Listening examination at the end of Year 11.
In Year 10, students currently prepare a Speaking Controlled Assessment which accounts for 15% of their final GCSE grade, and a Writing Controlled Assessment, also accounting for 15% of the final grade. Additional topics covered relate to a healthy lifestyle and the environment.
Year 11 Key Stage 4
In Year 11, the focus is currently on the completion of a second Writing and the second Speaking Controlled Assessments, with great emphasis further being placed on GCSE examination practice.
We offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities to engage and challenge students, as well as complementing classroom teaching and learning:
- Year 10 French Ambassadors working with local primary schools
- After school help sessions
- University visits
- University master-classes
- European Day of Languages participation
- Short visits abroad
- Extended visits abroad