French as a foreign language is the second most frequently taught language in the world after English and is the only language, other than English, spoken on five continents. It therefore enables you to travel across the globe confident in your abilities to communicate. Moreover, it is among the principal languages of diplomacy and of important international organizations. French, along with English, is the official working language of the United Nations; UNESCO; NATO; the International Olympic Committee; the 31-member Council of Europe; the European Community; and the International Red Cross. According to CILT, 74% of employers now look for French language skills when recruiting new staff. So whether you intend to work in the World of Fashion, Finance, Food or Law, French is for you!

AIMS & OBJECTIVES

• Provide a fun, interesting and stimulating learning environment for all pupils
• Provide a thorough grounding in French through the combination of a lively, communicative approach to learning, with a clear structural and grammatical progression
• Develop the four skill areas through purposeful and stimulating activities
• Develop study skills by learning to work both individually and together in groups
• Develop confidence in understanding and using the language

CURRICULUM

Year 6

In the autumn term, pupils will cover the topic areas of our school and our world.  In the first half term, they will focus on the school environment and everyday school routines; break-time activities and telling the time. In the second half term, they will learn about continents, rivers and geographical features of the world; as well as studying a non-fiction text and making a weather forecast.  They will also be introduced to the perfect and immediate future tenses and will learn to use simple superlatives.

In the spring term, pupils will learn to talk about entertainment such as fun fairs, theme parks, films and sport; to ask for drinks, snacks and ice creams. They will continue to gain confidence in manipulating numbers; consolidate use of the euro with simple prices; and extend their knowledge of telling the time to the 24-hour clock. They will also learn to express opinions about activities and describe sporting heroes and film stars within the context of preparing newspaper and TV reports; and to express and justify opinions using car instead of parce que.

In the summer term, pupils will consolidate what they have learnt during key stage 2 and prepare for key stage 3 through the Accès Studio course book.  This leads on to the Studio course books used in key stage 3.

  • Unit 1: Introductions – cultural quiz, classroom protocols and key phrases for classroom interaction
  • Unit 2: Bonjour! – meeting and greeting and revision of the alphabet
  • Unit 3: Quel âge as‐tu? – introduction to numbers and stating your age
  • Unit 4: Joyeux Anniversaire!- days and months and saying when your birthday is
  • Unit 5: Dans mon sac – school bag items (gender and plurals)
  • Unit 6: Noël – Christmas traditions and activities
  • Unit 7: Ma salle de classe – describing the classroom
  • Unit 8: J’adore le judo – likes and dislikes and talking about hobbies
  • Unit 9: Les gouts et les couleurs – colours and adjective agreement
  • Unit 10: Tu as un animal? – talking about animals; dictionary skills
  • Unit 11: Ma grand‐mère est une hippie – describing the family
  • Unit 12: Quel look as‐tu? -physical description
  • Unit 13: J’habite dans un château – saying where you live
  • Unit 14: A Table ! – saying what you eat and drink and ordering in a café
  • Unit 15: Mon Pays – countries and nationalities
  • Unit 16: La Météo – talking about the weather

Key Stage 3

Teaching will build on the foundations of language learning laid at Key Stage 2 as well as providing preparation for study at Key Stage 4.  The focus will be on developing the breadth and depth of pupils’ competence in listening, speaking, reading and writing, based on a sound foundation of core grammar and vocabulary.

Pupils follow the course Studio throughout the key stage. The course has been chosen because it is a fully differentiated 11-14 French course in three stages.  Moreover, it reflects the world in which pupils live, using contexts familiar to them in their everyday lives and teaching them the vocabulary that they need to communicate with young French people of their own age on topics that interest and stimulate them. They are introduced to young French people and given insight into the everyday life and culture of France and other French-speaking countries, encouraging intercultural understanding.

At the same time, Studio ensures that pupils are taught the language learning skills and strategies that they need to become independent language learners. The four elements of the Key Stage 3 Programmes of Study (Key concepts, Key processes, Range and content and Curriculum opportunities) and the five strands of progression in the Key Stage 3 Framework for languages are fully integrated into the course. In addition, pupils have the chance to experience cross-curricular studies and are given regular opportunities to develop and practise the personal, learning and thinking skills required to operate as independent enquirers, creative thinkers, reflective learners, team workers, self-managers and effective participators.

At the beginning of Year 7, pupils are placed in to two sets, based on ability in this subject.  Setting is reviewed at the end of each academic year.

Year 7: Course followed: Studio 1

Topics covered in Year 7 are personal information, school, hobbies, my area, my holidays and discovering poetry and painting.  Pupils are introduced to the present tense of regular and irregular verbs; adjectives; asking questions; the partitive article; looking for patterns in language; modal verbs; reflexive verbs; the near future; the perfect tense (with avoir)

Year 8: Course followed: Studio 2

The main topics covered in Year 8 are new technology; discovering Paris; likes, dislikes and relationships; talking about where I live; France has talent; world geography, science and history.  Pupils will also revise the present tense of regular and irregular verbs; the negative; the imperative; the near future and the perfect tense.  They will be introduced to être verbs in the perfect tense; the comparative and superlative; prepositions; il faut and using 3 tenses.

Year 9: Course followed: Studio 3

The main topics covered in Year 9 are my social life; keeping fit and healthy; what the future holds; discussing holidays; my place in the world; human rights issues.  Pupils will consolidate use of 3 tenses together and the negative.  They will also be introduced to direct object pronouns; the pronoun y; the conditional; emphatic pronouns; and extend their use of different time frames.

Key Stage 4

French is an optional subject at Red House. In Years 10 & 11, pupils are taught in sets based on their ability. The course followed is Heinemann’s Expo for AQA GCSE French, which is published at Foundation and Higher level to allow for differentiation.

The GCSE course follows the new AQA syllabus: specification 4655. The main aims of the course are to:

• Develop understanding of French in a variety of contexts
• Develop knowledge of French and language learning skills
• Develop the ability to communicate effectively in French
• Develop awareness and understanding of countries and communities where French is spoken.

Four main skills are developed: understanding the written and spoken language and developing written and spoken communication. The listening and reading papers count for 20% each of the final marks. Speaking and writing play a more important role, with each unit counting for 30% of the final grade. In the new GCSE the oral test consists of 2 controlled assessment tasks, marked by the teacher and moderated by the exam board. Two written tasks will be completed under controlled conditions and will be marked externally.

The four contexts at GCSE level are:
• Lifestyle
• Leisure
• Work and education
• Home and environment

OUT OF THE CLASSROOM
Trips to France are organized on a bi-annual basis. GCSE pupils also have individual speaking practice on a regular basis.