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French


The French department believes that every boy should have access to a wide and varied  experience of as many cultures as possible.  Our aim is to develop in our pupils a positive attitude towards language learning, so that every  student enjoys and profits from the experience, and wants to achieve their best. 


Staff:

  • Mrs L Quigley-Brown, Head of Department 
  • Mr J Claughton 
  • Mrs V Ologunde 

Year 7

Summary of curriculum:

This is an important year in which are laid the foundations of grammar and vocabulary. Students also begin to learn about the cultural aspects of France and Francophone countries.

Main topics:

Term 1: myself and my school 

  • likes and dislikes 
  • personal items 
  • personality 
  • appearance 
  • opinions on school subjects 
  • time 
  • school day 
  • food 

Term 2: my hobbies and where I live 

  • computers and mobiles 
  • sports 
  • leisure activities 
  • opinions on hobbies 
  • description of local area 
  • directions 
  • plans for the weekend 
  • activities in town 

Term 3: my holidays 

  • destinations 
  • getting ready 
  • buying food and drink 
  • future plans
Assessment throughout the year:

There will be three common assessment tasks (CATs) during the year. These will take place in autumn, spring and summer and will reflect the most recent module studied in class. ln addition, students will complete one half term assessment (HTA) per half term. There are therefore six HTAs per year. 

How parents can support their son’s learning:

In addition to formal assessments, students will be continually assessed on vocabulary and  grammar, where they will not only learn the words and verbs but also will be required to use each  word/verb in a sentence. You can help your son to learn these words and encourage him to  write a sentence for each one before the vocabulary test. 

Able and inspired opportunities:  
Useful websites:

 

Year 8

Summary of curriculum:

During this year, students consolidate and develop the grammar and vocabulary base established in year 7. We focus in particular on the three main tenses: present, past and future. Students are exposed to a full range of activities across all four skills: speaking, listening reading and writing.

Main topics:

Term 1: media and tourism 

  • television programmes 
  • films 
  • reading 
  • the internet 
  • a visit to Paris 
  • saying what you did 
  • opinions on tourist attractions 
  • transport 

Term 2: identity and home life 

  • personality & relationships 
  • music 
  • fashion 
  • talking about a passion 
  • local area 
  • home 
  • meals 
  • a local event 

Term 3: talent and ambition 

  • competitions 
  • encouraging and persuading 
  • instructions and advice 
  • giving feedback
Assessment throughout the year:

There will be three common assessment tasks (CATs) during the year. These will take place in autumn, spring and summer and will reflect the most recent module studied in class. ln addition, students will complete one half term assessment (HTA) per half term. There are therefore six HTAs per year. 

How parents can support their son’s learning:

In addition to formal assessment, students will be continually assessed on vocabulary and  grammar, where they will not only learn the words and verbs but will also be required to use each  word/verb in a sentence. You can help your son to learn these words and encourage him to  write a sentence for each one before the vocabulary test. 

Able and inspired opportunities:  
Useful websites:

 

Year 9

Summary of curriculum:

During this year, we start to work on the detailed preparation of students for the GCSE exam. A good deal of emphasis is put on the speaking exam and students prepare written answers to speaking questions. The development of grammar skills and the acquisition of even more vocabulary are also key to our year 9 curriculum. In terms of the GCSE specification, the first three major topic areas are covered during this year.

Main topics:

Term 1 :   Who am I? 

  • Talking about friends 
  • Talking about family 
  • Making arrangements to go out 
  • Describing a night out (past tense) 
  • Talking about your life when you were younger 
  • Discussing role models 

Term 2 : free time 

  • Talking about sport 
  • Talking about your life online 
  • Talking about books and reading 
  • Talking about television programmes 
  • Talking about actors and films 

Term 3 : daily routine and celebrations 

  • Describing your daily routine 
  • Talking about food for special occasions 
  • Using polite language 
  • Describing family celebrations 
  • Describing festivals and traditions
Assessment throughout the year:

There will be three common assessment tasks (CATs) during the year. These will take place in autumn, spring and summer and will reflect the most recent module studied in class. ln addition, students will complete one half term assessment (HTA) per half term. There are therefore six HTAs per year. 

How parents can support their son’s learning:

In addition to formal assessment, students will be continually assessed on vocabulary and  grammar, where they will not only learn the words and verbs but also will be required to use each  word/verb in a sentence. You can help your son to learn these words and encourage him to  write a sentence for each one before the vocabulary test. 

Able and inspired opportunities:  
Useful websites:

 

Year 10

Summary of curriculum:

Students complete work on the next three major topic areas in the GCSE specification. Students continue to work hard on their speaking exam preparation. More complex grammar is introduced and students are tested regularly on their grasp of the vocabulary. Activities in class continue to be based around the four skills ; speaking, listening reading and writing.

Main topics:
  • My town 
  • My community 
  • Holidays 
  • Current and future study
Assessment throughout the year:

Assessments require thorough and dedicated revision and memorisation. In the run up to the examination date (these will be published on the school website), it would be helpful if you could remind and encourage your son to work on this solidly. It can be quite a dull and arduous tasks but once the boys have developed their best strategy for memorisation, it becomes a lot easier. Alongside the official end of topic assessments, boys will be expected to complete homework every week. They will also be continually assessed on vocabulary and grammar, as well as the other four skills, during class time. Vocabulary tests are a particularly crucial part of language learning and you can help your son to learn the spelling, pronunciation and gender of his vocabulary list and also encourage him to use those words in a sentence. Furthermore, in years 10 and 11, the boys will be using three tenses, modal verbs and the conditional mood as well as a wide range of structures. As such it is vital that your son works on this regularly to develop his understanding of grammar.

How parents can support their son’s learning:
  • By encouraging him to meet all deadlines for homework and revision 
  • Regularly testing his knowledge of vocabulary on a weekly basis. You can do this by reading aloud the English word and asking your son to say and write the French. 
  • Purchasing a French GCSE revision guide (from year 10) to practise grammar and structures. 
  • Referring to the French AQA GCSE website to remind your son of the assessment requirements and mark schemes. 
  • Encourage him to extend his learning by using the wide range of online activities provided via the recommended websites.
Able and inspired opportunities:  
Useful websites:

 

Year 11

Summary of curriculum:

The final two topic areas are completed (usually by March) and the completion of past papers and exam technique skills becomes more important. Revision of topic areas covered in year 9 is also a priority.

Main topics:
  • Current and future employment 
  • Social issues (charity/voluntary work/homelessness) 
  • Global issues (the environment/poverty) 
Assessment throughout the year: Assessments require thorough and dedicated revision and memorisation. In the run up to the examination date (these will be published on the school website), it would be helpful if you could remind and encourage your son to work on this solidly. It can be quite a dull and arduous tasks but once the boys have developed their best strategy for memorisation, it becomes a lot easier. Alongside the official end of topic assessments, boys will be expected to complete homework every week. They will also be continually assessed on vocabulary and grammar, as well as the other four skills, during class time. Vocabulary tests are a particularly crucial part of language learning and you can help your son to learn the spelling, pronunciation and gender of his vocabulary list and also encourage him to use those words in a sentence. Furthermore, in years 10 and 11, the boys will be using three tenses, modal verbs and the conditional mood as well as a wide range of structures. As such it is vital that your son works on this regularly to develop his understanding of grammar. 
How parents can support their son’s learning:
  • Encouraging him to meet all deadlines for homework and revision. 
  • Regularly testing his knowledge of vocabulary on a weekly basis. You can do this by reading aloud the English word and asking your son to say and write the French. 
  • Purchasing a French GCSE revision guide (from year 10) to practise grammar and structures. 
  • Referring to the French AQA GCSE website to remind your son of the assessment requirements and mark schemes. 
  • Encourage him to extend his learning by using the wide range of online activities provided via the recommended websites.
Able and inspired opportunities:  
Useful websites:

 

Year 12

Summary of curriculum:

We follow the AQA GCE French specification for A Level.

Main topics:

Aspects of French society: current trends

  1. The changing nature of family
  2. The cyber society
  3. The place of volunteer work

Aspect of French society: current issues

  1. Positive feature of a diverse society
  2. Life of the marginalised
  3. How criminals are treated
Assessment throughout the year:

There is no exam until the end of year 13. Your son will, however, be continually assessed across all key skills (reading, listening, writing, speaking, translation, grammar) throughout the year. This will take the form of class work, homework, grammar, end of topic essays, verbal presentations in French, past-paper examinations and in the one-to-one sessions with our language assistant.

How parents can support their son’s learning:

All students have online access to Kerboodle which provides an online version of their textbook as well as additional resources such as vocabulary sheets, listening and reading materials, exam-type questions, grammar exercises and video clips. This is an excellent way for boys to extend their French at the click of a button, so please encourage its use. Students may also purchase Authentik  French-language magazines which come with an audio CD. These magazines are cheap and are fantastic for keeping up to date with French current affairs through articles and reports as well as advice and tips for the A Level exams. The boys may also access the French department’s VLE for further resources. As the boys are studying French at a high level, they should all follow the French department’s Twitter page for fun news stories and language tips!

Able and inspired opportunities:  
Useful websites:  

 

Year 13

Summary of curriculum: We follow the AQA GCE French specification for A Level.
Main topics:

Artistic culture in the French-speaking world:

  1. A culture proud of its heritage
  2. Contemporary francophone music
  3. Cinema: the 7th art form

Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world:

  1. Teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment
  2. Demonstrations, strikes – who holds the power?
  3. Politics and immigration
Assessment throughout the year:

External assessment:

  • Paper 1: listening, reading & writing (40%)
  • Paper 2: writing (30%)
  • Paper 3: speaking (30%)
How parents can support their son’s learning:

All students have online access to Kerboodle which provides an online version of their textbook as well as additional resources such as vocabulary sheets, listening and reading materials, exam-type questions, grammar exercises and video clips. This is an excellent way for boys to extend their French at the click of a button, so please encourage its use. Students may also purchase Authentik  French-language magazines which come with an audio CD. These magazines are cheap and are fantastic for keeping up to date with French current affairs through articles and reports as well as advice and tips for the A Level exams. The boys may also access the French department’s VLE for further resources. As the boys are studying French at a high level, they should all follow the French department’s Twitter page for fun news stories and language tips!

Able and inspired opportunities:  
Useful websites: