Key Stage 3

In French at Key Stage 3 students develop skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening.

In Year 7 pupils study one language from French, Spanish and German in detail, and then study an additional language in Years 8 and 9.

Topics covered in each language include Personal Information, Family and Friends, School, Hobbies, Travel and Tourism, Healthy Lifestyles (including food and drink) and Shopping.

During the three years students will also build up a range of general linguistic skills, including how to tackle unfamiliar language in texts, how to give opinions and use connectives to create more complex sentences, and how to identify and use verbs in three different time frames. These skills are assessed through regular end-of-unit tests.

Students also learn about the culture of France, and have the chance to discuss similarities and differences to our own.

An annual visit to France and Belgium is offered jointly with the History Department to students in Year 8 and Year 9.

Year 7

Students start their course in Year 7 by studying either French or German for three lessons a week.  There is an opportunity to attend beginners Spanish as an extra-curricular club on a weekly basis.  During this term students are taught the basic grammar of the language through the topics of “talking about myself and my family” with a focus on descriptive language and forming opinions.

During the Spring Term, French students focus on discussing their school life and hobbies, including the French school system as well as giving and justifying opinions.

The final term of Year 7 in French concentrates on being able to describe your town and local area, including giving directions and discussing activities in your town.  Students also learn the language involved in inviting others to visit or to take part in an activity in your town.

Speaking is an essential skill which the students work on throughout the three years. We encourage students to work collaboratively in lessons to develop confidence in this area, and pair and group work activities are a regular part of our lessons.

Year 8

Students continue with their French from Year 7, covering the topics of TV, Cinema, Literature and social media, using a mixture of all three tenses and extended opinions.  During this term, students are given the opportunity to study the French film “Les Choristes” with accompanying work on a film review.

During the spring term French students focus in on Paris and use both cultural knowledge and descriptive speech and writing to discuss a recent visit to the capital as well as being able to talk about their identity (character, relationships with others, music and fashion).

Term three in French focuses on students being able to use their knowledge of French to describe their house, local area and life at home.  They draw comparisons to a French way of life and widen their cultural awareness by discussing Francophonie, the sciences and the French Revolution.

Students start Year 8 studying a novel where they further develop the skills established in Year 7 and working towards those needed for GCSE analysis. The second part of the Autumn term is focused on writing stories using the spy genre. We start the Spring term exploring poetry across cultures and then move on to writing different non-fiction texts so students have a clear understanding of how to write for different audiences and purposes.

The summer term focuses on developing skills needed for their Language and Literature GCSEs. Students study how characters in novels have evolved from the first novels right through to contemporary novels. They then move on to analysing how language has changed from the 19th to the 21st Century by exploring how letter writing has changed.

Year 9

Year 9 is very much focused on preparing students so that they are ready for their GCSE examinations.  Please note, that current Year 9 are following the Year 8 Scheme of Work, as it is new content for them also and these basics are very much required for the new GCSE course.