French

“To have another language is to possess a second soul.”‒ Charlemagne

French with over 220 million speakers, it ranks as the sixth most widely spoken language in the world. French is the native language of some 76 million people across 51 countries and the second most widely spoken in the European Union.

A recent CBI survey found that 67% of UK businesses require people with language skills.  Studying French can lead to careers in Business, Law, Computer Games Development, Travel and Tourism, Speech Therapy, Teaching, Journalism, Interpreting and Translating and is useful in careers such as Engineering and ICT.

It is also the language of our closest neighbour and one of our most popular holiday destinations. Being able to communicate in French allows you to get a more authentic experience of French culture and lifestyle. A language of international institutions. French is an official language of the United Nations (UN) and many UN bodies. It is a working language of the European Union and other regional organizations, such as the African Union. It is also one of the two official languages of the Olympic Games.

A language of culture and knowledge. French-language films and literature are the most widely distributed after English-language works.  With its wealth of cultural sites, particularly museums, France has become the world’s leading tourist destination. Its universities rank third in terms of their foreign student numbers. France also has the largest network of international schools.

A language of the international economy. The French economy is the fifth largest in the world. The French-speaking world accounts for 15% of global wealth and 12% of international trade.

All students study both French and German in Years 7-9 and can choose to continue with one or both of them to GCSE and A-Level. All our staff are subject specialists with a wealth of teaching experience.

As a department, we aim to provide each student with an enjoyable and rewarding experience of learning French and we use a range of engaging classroom materials and activities to help build their confidence. 

The topics studied are relevant to students’ lives and lessons aim to develop communicative competence based on a sound grasp of grammar though a variety of fun and challenging activities. Students also learn about daily life and culture in French speaking countries around the world.

We place great emphasis on trips to France to develop speaking skills and extend cultural and historical knowledge. In Year 8 we offer a day trip to Boulogne to visit a bakery and a sweet shop.  In Year 10 the entire cohort goes on a six day trip to the country of the language that they have chosen for GCSE. The French group goes to Tours (Loire Valley) and they stay with families on a homestay basis and attend lessons in the morning. There are also opportunities for Sixth Formers to go on a week’s work experience in France with Halsbury.

What is studied at KS3?

Year 7 

In Year 7, our system is such that two of the three forms will do German and the other will do French.  The next year two forms will do French and one will do German. For example in September 2019, one form will do French and the other forms will do German.

We use Studio 1 in our lessons. Students have access to the software from home.

Term 1: introduction to French

Term 2:  Module 1: Likes and dislikes, introducing yourself, regular –er verbs

Term 3: Module 3: Free time, sports, aimer + infinitive

Term 4: Module 2: School, subjects, partitive article

Term 5: Module 4: Town, activities, il y a, il n’y a pas, on peut + infinitive

Term 6: Module 5: Holidays, food and drinks, reflexive verbs, near future, je voudrais +infinitive

Year 8 

In Year 8, those taking French as a second modern foreign language in Year 8 have a slightly different programme. For their first year, they will follow a similar programme to Year 7 and then in the second year, they will follow a condensed, accelerated fom of the Year 8 and 9 topics. 

We use Studio 2 in our lessons.

Term 1: Module 1: Films, television, reading, -ir and –re verbs

Term 2: Module 2: Activities in Paris, perfect tense of irregular verbs

Term 3: Module 3: Personality, music, clothes, near future tense

Term 4: Module 4: House, food and drink, comparative adjectives, prepositions

Term 5: Module 5: Talent show, superlative adjectives, infinitives and the verb vouloir, pouvoir, devoir

Year 9 

Year 9: we use Studio 3 in our lessons. We introduce the GCSE course the last two terms to our students.

Term 1: Module 1: Social media, internet, meeting people, using three tenses

Term 2: Module 2: Body, healthy eating, il faut, future tense

Term 3: Module 3: Jobs, work, future careers, modal verbs, imperfect tense

Term 4: Module 4: Holidays, conditional tense

GCSE course: AQA GCSE Textbook

Term 5: Module 2: Technology, present tense irregular

Term 6: Module 8: Holidays 

What is studied at KS4?

Year 10 GCSE 

AQA GCSE Textbook: The AQA books provide a basis for our lessons.    

In conjunction with this course, we use our own materials and subscribe to the online Kerboodle resources.

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/gcse/french-8658

Term 1: Module 1: Identity and culture: reflexive verbs, direct object pronouns, the immediate future and the future tense

Term 2: Module 3: Weekend and leisure activities, perfect tense, future tense, pronouns en and y, using quand, lorsque, si

Term 3: Module 4: Festivals, reflexive verbs, perfect and imperfect tense

Term 4: Module 5: Home, town, region, conditional tense, demonstrative adjectives

Term 5: Module 9-10: School, subjects, life at school, perfect tense, conditional tense

Term 6: Module 11-12: University or work, choice of career, si clauses, quand + future tense

 Year 11 GCSE

Term 1: Module 6: Charities, health resolutions, il vaut/ vaudrait mieux, vouloir que+ subjunctive

Term 2: Module 7: Environment, poverty and homelessness, si+ present tense, pluperfect tense

Term 3: Revision of grammar, skills and vocabulary

Term 4: Revision of grammar, skills and vocabulary

Term 5: Speaking exams

Assessments

GCSE French has a Foundation Tier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9). Students must take all four-question papers at the same tier.

Paper 1 - Listening
 

What's assessed:

Understanding and responding to different types of spoken language

How it's assessed:

• Written exam: 35 minutes (Foundation Tier), 45 minutes (Higher Tier)

• 40 marks (Foundation Tier), 50 marks (Higher Tier)

• 25% of GCSE

(Each exam includes 5 minutes’ reading time of the question paper before the listening stimulus starts.)

Questions

Foundation Tier and Higher Tier

• Section A – questions in English, to be answered in English or non-verbally

• Section B – questions in French, to be answered in French or non-verbally

Paper 2 - Speaking
 

What's assessed:

Communicating and interacting effectively in speech for a variety of purposes

How it's assessed

• Non-exam assessment

• 7–9 minutes (Foundation Tier) + preparation time

• 10–12 minutes (Higher Tier) + preparation time

• 60 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher Tier)

• 25% of GCSE

Questions

Foundation Tier and Higher Tier

The format is the same at Foundation Tier and Higher Tier, but with different stimulus questions for the Photo card and different stimulus materials for the Role-play. The timings are different too:

  • Role-play – 15 marks (2 minutes at Foundation Tier; 2 minutes at Higher Tier)
  • Photo card – 15 marks (2 minutes at Foundation Tier; 3 minutes at Higher Tier)
  • General conversation – 30 marks (3–5 minutes at Foundation Tier; 5–7 minutes at Higher Tier)

Paper 3 - Reading
 

What's assessed:

Understanding and responding to different types of written language

How it's assessed:

• Written exam: 45 minutes (Foundation Tier), 1 hour (Higher Tier)

• 60 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher Tier)

• 25% of GCSE

Questions

Foundation Tier and Higher Tier

• Section A – questions in English, to be answered in English or non-verbally

• Section B – questions in French, to be answered in French or non-verbally

• Section C – translation from French into English (a minimum of 35 words at Foundation Tier and 50 words at Higher Tier) 

Paper 4 - Writing
 

What's assessed:

Communicating effectively in writing for a variety of purposes

How it's assessed:

• Written exam: 1 hour (Foundation Tier), 1 hour 15 minutes (Higher Tier)

• 50 marks at Foundation Tier and 60 marks at Higher Tier

• 25% of GCSE

Questions

Foundation Tier

• Question 1 – message (student produces four sentences in response to a photo) – 8 marks

• Question 2 – short passage (student writes a piece of continuous text in response to four brief bullet points, approximately 40 words in total) – 16 marks

• Question 3 – translation from English into French (minimum 35 words) – 10 marks

• Question 4 – structured writing task (student responds to four compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 90 words in total) – there is a choice from two questions – 16 marks

Higher Tier

• Question 1 – structured writing task (student responds to four compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 90 words in total) – there is a choice from two questions – 16 marks

• Question 2 – open-ended writing task (student responds to two compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 150 words in total) – there is a choice from two questions – 32 marks

• Question 3 – translation from English into French (minimum 50 words) – 12 marks

What is studied at KS5?
 

Year 12
 

We follow the AQA specification and we use the AS AQA textbook

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/as-and-a-level/french-7651

Teacher 1 Teacher 2

Term 1: Module 1: Family, imperfect tense, perfect tense

Term 1: Module 4: Heritage, adjective agreements, comparatives, superlatives, subjunctive

Term 2: Module 2: Technology, social media, present tense

Term 2:  Module 5:  Music, subjunctive, conditional

Term 3: Module 3: Voluntary work, conditional tense, si clauses, future tense

Term 3: Module 6: Cinema, si clauses, connectives followed by the subjunctive
Term 4: Revision modules 1-3 Term 4:  Book: Un sac de billes
Term 5: Revision modules 4-6 Term 5: Book: Un sac de billes

Term 6: Module 1: Society: present, future, conditional tenses

Term 6: Module 6: Immigration, imperfect tense, perfect tense

Year 13 

Year 13: We use the AQA A-Level textbook:  

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/as-and-a-level/french-7652

Teacher 1 Teacher 2
Term 1: Book: Kiffe Kiffe demain

Term 1: Module 6: Immigration, imperfect tense, perfect tense

Term 2: Module 2: Social problems, imperfect, perfect, pluperfect tenses

Term 2: Module 5: Strikes, relative pronouns

Term 3: Module 3: Crime: past historic tense, si clauses

Term 3: Module 4: Politics, passive voice

Term 4: revision Term 4: revision
Term 5: revision Term 5: revision 

Paper 1 - Listening, reading and writing
 

 What's assessed:

• Aspects of French-speaking society

• Artistic culture in the French-speaking world

• Multiculturalism in French-speaking society

• Aspects of political life in French-speaking society

• Grammar

How it's assessed:

• Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

• 100 marks

• 50 % of A-level

Questions

• Listening and responding to spoken passages from a range of contexts and sources covering different registers and adapted as necessary. Material will include complex factual and abstract content and questions will target main points, gist and detail. Studio recordings will be used and students will have individual control of the recording. All questions are in French, to be answered with non-verbal responses or in French (30 marks)

• Reading and responding to a variety of texts written for different purposes, drawn from a range of authentic sources and adapted as necessary. Material will include complex factual and abstract content and questions will target main points, gist and detail. All questions are in French, to be answered with non-verbal responses or in French (50 marks)

• Translation into English; a passage of minimum 100 words (10 marks).

• Translation into French; a passage of minimum 100 words (10 marks).

No access to a dictionary during the assessment.

Paper 2 - Writing
 

What's assessed:

• One text and one film or two texts from the list set in the specification

• Grammar

How it's assessed

• Written exam: 2 hours

• 80 marks in total

• 20 % of A-level

Questions

• Either one question in French on a set text from a choice of two questions and one question in French on a set film from a choice of two questions or two questions in French on set texts from a choice of two questions on each text.

• All questions will require a critical appreciation of the concepts and issues covered in the work and a critical and analytical response to features such as the form and the technique of presentation, as appropriate to the work studied (eg the effect of narrative voice in a prose text or camera work in a film).

No access to texts or films during the assessment.

No access to a dictionary during the assessment.

Students are advised to write approximately 300 words per essay.  

Paper 3 - Speaking 

 What's assessed:

• Individual research project

• One of four sub-themes ie Aspects of French -speaking society or Artistic culture in the French -speaking world or

Multiculturalism in French -speaking society or Aspects of political life in French speaking society

How it's assessed:

• Oral exam: 21 – 23 minutes (including 5 minutes preparation time)

• 60 marks in total

• 30 % of A-level

Questions

• Discussion of a sub-theme with the discussion based on a stimulus card (5 – 6 minutes). The student studies the card for 5 minutes at the start of the test (25 marks).

• Presentation (2 minutes) and discussion (9 – 10 minutes) of individual research project (35 marks).

No access to a dictionary during the assessment (including 5 minutes preparation).

Students may take the assessment only once before certification.

Assessments will be conducted by a visiting examiner and marked by an AQA examiner. 

Staff

Mme Estefania Cervera - Subject Leader

Mme Sylvie Hulley - Head of Year 7 and Teacher of French