French is taught to all students in Year 8 and 9. From September, Year 7 students will study 2 of the 3 languages: French, Spanish and Urdu.
Why study this subject?
More than 200 million people speak French on the five continents. An ability to speak French and English is an advantage on the international job market. In June 2014 two thirds of around 300 UK companies said that they preferred to hire staff with some foreign language skills. French was identified as one of the most useful languages.
French is also a good base for learning other languages, such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian.
What we do at KS3
At Key Stage 3, we follow the textbook Studio and students learn how to express their opinions on a range of topics and giving reasons. The following topics are covered at KS3:
Year 7: talking about yourself, school, hobbies, where you live and holidays
Year 8: reading/TV, a past trip to Paris, identity, food and talking about a talent show
Year 9: life as a teenager, being healthy, future plans, holidays and your rights
Homework is set once a week. It can involve the following tasks: a written piece, completing an assignment on the ActiveLearn website, learning vocabulary, translating a text into French or into English.
Assessments take place at the end of each module (usually towards the end of each half-term). Students have to sit a reading and a listening exam, as well as a speaking or a writing exam.
What we do at KS4
Students currently in Year 11: Students have to complete four pieces of controlled assessments over the two years (two speaking tasks and two writing tasks). Each controlled assessment is worth 15% of the GCSE. At the end of Year 11, students also sit a listening and a reading exam, each worth 20% of the GCSE. The listening and reading exams are tiered. Students are either entered for the Foundation or the Higher paper.
Students currently in Year 10 and below: Students will have four exams in Year 11: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Each exam will be worth 25% of the GCSE. Each exam is tiered and students must be entered in the same tier for all four exams.
Homework is set once a week: students will have a VocabExpress assignment to complete weekly, as well as another piece of homework. Assessments take place at the end of each module.
How will this help our pupils?
Our aim is to encourage enjoyment and confidence in the use of the language both inside and outside the classroom. The French curriculum is therefore enriched by extra-curricular activities. The most recent example of this was the trip to the North of France for Years 7 and 8 students which took place in May 2016. Part of the visit involved visiting a French school.
Pupils will study AQA specification. Commnecing from September 2017 this will be changed to EdExcel.