Key Stage 3
In KS3, pupils are taught the foundations of the French language in a fun, creative way, with an emphasis on communication and speaking activities. Up to date resources are used in line with the National Curriculum, to cover topics including talking about themselves, home and family, directions in town, hobbies, food and holidays.
Pupils are informally and continually assessed throughout the year, through their class and homework. Appropriate individual feedback is given, in order to help students monitor their progress, and pupils are encouraged to reflect and act on this. In addition, there are more formal assessments twice a year, in November and May.
Homework is set regularly, and will take a variety of forms from more traditional vocabulary learning, writing tasks and grammar, to research about aspects of French culture, or even producing a short video.
How can parents help?
Even with no knowledge of French, it is really beneficial if you can support your child at home, by testing their vocabulary, or encouraging them to practise skills learnt on online language sites, such as Zut.org.uk or apps. e.g Babbel, Duolingo or memrise to name but a few.
Key Stage 4
Students can choose to study French as part of their GCSE options. We follow the WJEC specification. The qualification is examination based and students will sit 4 examinations at the end of year 11 (speaking, listening, reading and writing). The topics covered are identity and culture, Wales and the world and studies and employment. In our lessons, emphasis is given to increasing students’ confidence in oral communication whilst also enhancing their grammatical knowledge and translation skills within the topics we cover.
Key Stage 5
French is taught to both AS and A2 level. Students who have at least a B grade from sitting the higher papers at GCSE will be considered for these courses. A strong focus is placed on building our students’ confidence and fluency in spoken French using relevant and topical themes. There are 2 areas of interest which we will study over the 2 years of the course: ‘Social issues and trends’ and ‘Political, intellectual and artistic culture’. These are broken down to 2 sub themes for each year of study. In year 12 students will study ‘Being a young person in French-speaking society’ and ‘Understanding the French-speaking world’ and in year 13 students will study Diversity and Difference’ and ‘France 1940-1950 and The Occupation and the post-war years’
The French department is fortunate to be able to offer the teaching of French in the medium of Welsh by a specialist teacher to Key Stage 3. Students may also opt to sit the GCSE examination in the medium of Welsh.
The French department has a tradition of excellence and high achievement at all levels. The results at GCSE and A level are consistently above the national average.
The French department celebrates the European Day of Languages, which involves whole school activities. GCSE and KS3 students are offered a study visit if viable. We constantly communicate with French pupils and students via various links and offer a lunchtime speaking club for any pupils or students who wish to practise their French skills.
French is taught in two large Modern Languages ground floor rooms. All are equipped with a data projector, a CD and DVD player, stereo speakers and some iPads, which are used for independent learning and recording.