French Information

Following the new installation of a fully equipped Language Lab, we have recently switched schemes of work to follow the fresh and innovative STUDIO course. This is started in year 5 and has a strong interactive element both with ‘Active Teach’ which is teacher led and ‘Active Learn’ which provides assessment opportunity in all skills at the pace of each individual learner and it also provides clear tracking of progress. Following STUDIO ensures that there is comprehensive coverage of all five strands of the Framework for teaching MFL:
  • Words – teaching pupils to practise the meaning, spelling and sound of French words together.
  • Sentences – teaching pupils how to write simple grammatically correct sentences.
  • Texts: reading and writing – teaching pupils how to understand and write more complex texts using connectives, pronouns and tenses.
  • Listening and speaking – linking listening and speaking to help pupils speak more accurately and authentically.
  • Cultural knowledge and contact – giving pupils the opportunity to learn about France and other French speaking countries.

Learning is also supported by subscriptions to leading Language Learning websites which enables the pupils to revise vocabulary wherever they are.

Year 4

In Year 4 the pupils will follow a mainly topic based scheme. They have two thirty minute lessons per week.  All four skills are taught, however the emphasis is on speaking and listening. 

Reading and copy-writing are practised more frequently than in Pre-Prep, and some simple written work, from memory or using pre-prepared vocabulary / phrase sheets which accompany each topic for reference, is introduced. 

The aim in Year 4 is to continue to expand the children's vocabulary and awareness of the rules of the French language, to encourage them to be uninhibited about using it, and to encourage them to use it more and more in the classroom for everyday purposes - asking for help, books, paper, pens, pencils, saying they need things, etc. 

The work in Year 4 introduces new areas as well as revising vocabulary, phrases, language patterns and grammar already learned in Pre-Prep. There is a careful development of grammar and learning strategies are introduced within suitable contexts. 

Year 5 

In Year 5 the pupils have three thirty minute lessons and one twenty-five minute prep. per week. This year the pupils will work from the structured Accès Studio course.

There are 13 units and Units 1 and 2 are taught together. The pupils cover four units a term which gives them a very solid grounding as the progress through the school. 

Year 6 

In Year 6 the pupils have four thirty minute lessons and one twenty-five minute prep. per week. The pupils continue the structured STUDIO course. The Year 6 pupils will complete Module 1, Module 2, Module 3 and Module 4 by the end of the academic year. All four skills continue to be taught with equal emphasis. 

The careful development of grammar continues and learning strategies continue to be introduced within suitable contexts. 

Year 7 

In Year 7 the pupils have five thirty minute lessons and one twenty-five minute prep. per week. They will continue the structured STUDIO course, starting with the final module in Studio 1 before moving on to Studio 2. There are 5 topic-based Modules in Level 2, each divided into 5 relevant units, plus an optional consolidation/extension unit, and it is anticipated that pupils will complete Module 3 by the end of Year 7 in the academic year. All four skills continue to be taught with equal emphasis. The careful development of grammar continues and learning strategies continue to be introduced within suitable contexts.

Year 8

In Year 8 the pupils have six thirty-minute lessons and one thirty minute prep. per week. They will complete the STUDIO Level 2 plus selected topics from other sources (e.g. Feeling Ill) by the end of the first half term in the Trinity Term in the academic year. 

The pupils in Year 8 are also taught how to put into practice all the skills that they have learned, and they complete examination type tasks, while continuing to expand their vocabulary, grammar and syntax using a variety of materials prepared by me appropriate to the tasks set. 

Approximately three weeks after the Easter holiday the pupils sit the Common Entrance Speaking examination and the Common Entrance Listening examination. During these three weeks, the pupils prepare their Common Entrance Oral presentation topics as per C.E. Syllabus, practise Role Play situations and will do more intensive listening practice than usual during lessons in preparation for these examinations. 

The third term is short, with the actual Common Entrance Speaking and Listening examinations taking place within three weeks of the return to school after the Easter holidays. The focus during the remaining three weeks after the Speaking and Listening examinations have taken place is very much on exam technique. The pupils attempt past Common Entrance papers, sometimes as a class, with much discussion on how best to tackle certain questions, continuing to expand grammar, vocabulary and syntax, and at other times they will tackle the papers under examination-like conditions; feedback will be given to individuals on his/her performance, with personal targets set for subsequent tasks.