"Le talent provient de l'originalité, qui est une manière spéciale de penser, de voir, de comprendre et de juger."  Guy de Maupassant (Pierre et Jean)

Lower School

The Year 7 French course is based on the textbook “Allez I” which consists of nine modules. We complete the first three during the year. Each chapter introduces a new topic (alphabet, numbers and school objects, personal descriptions, family and friends, home and home town, animals) and presents new vocabulary and a systematic approach to grammatical structures.

The Year 8 French course is based on the textbook “Allez 1” (Modules 4 to 9) and we intend to complete four of them during the year. Each chapter introduces new topics (food and drink, places in town, clothes, social activities, holidays and sport) and expands on topics introduced in Year 7. More vocabulary and grammatical structures are learnt, including tenses of the verbs so that students can talk about the past and the future.

Upper School

The Year 9 French course is based mainly on the “Edexcel Foundation GCSE” textbook as well as on a selection of other resources to cover in detail the first two modules of the GCSE course. Our aim is to have covered the past, present and future tenses of the verbs and students should have reached a good GCSE Foundation level by the end of the year. This new course revises grammar systematically. Students’ progress is regularly assessed in all four skill areas: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. The emphasis on written work is increased in Year 9. By the end of Year 9, all students should be able to continue with one or two modern foreign languages.

In Year 10, we follow the new Edexcel GCSE French specifications which will lead to a final examination at the end of Year 11. There is no coursework element, and no bilingual dictionaries are allowed in any of the final examinations.  Each skill is worth 25% of the final examination.

The syllabus aims to: 

  • develop the ability to understand and use the target language effectively for practical communication, as well as creatively
  • develop an understanding of the grammar and of language learning
  • develop translation skills
  • offer insights into the culture and civilisation of countries and communities speaking the target language
  • encourage positive attitudes to foreign language learning and to speakers of foreign languages
  • develop students’ understanding of themselves and their own culture
  • provide enjoyment and intellectual stimulation
  • form a sound base of the skills, language and attitude required for further study, work and leisure.

Students will study a range of topics which will allow them to develop their ability to communicate with French native speakers in both speech and writing. They will also develop a greater awareness of culture of French-speaking communities and countries. The five themes studied are: Identity and culture, Local area, holiday and travel, School, Future aspirations, study and work, International and global dimension.

Students will develop and use their knowledge and understanding of French grammar progressively through their course of study.

Sixth Form

We offer a two year course of study in French through the Edexcel Examination Board.

A strong focus is placed on building students' confidence and fluency in spoken French using relevant and topical themes.

Students gain a wide range of language skills during the course through the following topics:

Year 1

Theme 1 : Changes in French society
- Changes in family structures, attitudes towards marriage, couples and family life.
- Education, the French educational system and student-life matters.

- Employment, the world of work, working rights, the right to strike, gender equality.

Theme 2: The political and artistic culture in French-speaking countries
- Music, changes and developments, the impact of music on popular culture.
- The media, freedom of speech, online and written press, the impact of the media on society and politics.

- Festivals and traditions in the French-speaking world.

They also have the opportunity to study the film ‘Intouchables’ in depth.

Year 2

Theme 3: immigration and the French multicultural society
- The positive impact of immigration on French society, migrants’ contributions to economy and culture.
- Tackle the challenges of immigration and integration in France: integration activities from the communities, marginalisation and antagonism.

- The extreme right : rise of the Front National and public opinion.

Theme 4: The Occupation and the Resistance
- Occupied France: collaboration and antisemitism in France during WW2.
- The Vichy regime: Maréchal Pétain and the Révolution Nationale.

- The Resistance: Jean Moulin, Charles de Gaulle, and women in the Resistance.

An opportunity to study literature (Un Sac de Billes, by Joseph Joffo) and film (Intouchables) will allow students to undertake a deeper analysis of language structures and increase their cultural awareness as part of an integrated approach to language learning. The requirement to research an area of personal interest related to the country/communities where French is spoken will enhance students' cultural appreciation and enable them to gain a greater awareness of intercultural differences.