The French department aims to provide students with the opportunity to become familiar with both the spoken and written language, as well as broaden their understanding of the culture of French-speaking countries. France is Britain’s closest neighbour and is, for many, the gateway to Europe. French is widely spoken in the world and has a rich heritage in literature, philosophy and the arts in general.
Curriculum and Assessment Maps
- Mrs T Richards (Head of Department)
- Mr McEwen
- Mrs Daniel (Assistant Head Teacher)
- Mrs J Wakelin
Key Stage 4 (GCSE)
Students who opt to take the GCSE course will have a good grounding in the subject from Key Stage 3, consolidating on some previously learnt material as well as developing their competencies in new topic areas. In each Year students will have either 5 periods of French per fortnight. We currently follow the AQA GCSE examination syllabus. The four components are: Listening (25%), Reading (25%), Speaking (25%) and Writing (25%). All elements are assessed by a final examination at the end of Year 11.
KS5 (A Level)
The A Level course (AQA) is divided into 6 Units (Units 1, 2 and 3 are studied in Year 12, and Units 4, 5 and 6 in Year 13).
During this course students will have 11 lessons per fortnight, including a dedicated speaking lesson where students will have the opportunity to focus on their oral skills. French is delivered collaboratively with Handsworth Grammar School for Boys and students will be taught by 2 subject specialists. Teachers will spend time with students consolidating on grammar, encouraging students to quickly become independent learners. Lessons are taught in small groups with an excellent student-teacher ratio. There is ample opportunity for classroom discussion, increasing levels of spontaneity and building self-efficacy.
In the first year, pupils study the topics of family, cyber society, charity work, heritage, music and cinema. In the second year they study the positive effects of multi culturalism, help for the marginalised, criminality, the political engagement of the young, strikes and immigration in politics. In addition, students will have the opportunity to study a French film and a literary text.
How can parents help?
Whenever possible, you could encourage your daughter to:
- Read the teacher comments and where relevant act on them
- Use the online text book to read ahead to be ready for new topics and review prior learning in the revise sections
- Make revision materials at the end of each topic
- Keep up-to-date with vocabulary learning
- Review your work frequently
- Attend French Support Club if required
- Improve reading skills by accessing French materials in the library
- This is not a full list, the techniques you use in other subjects will also work with French
Here are just a few areas in which the application of French would prove to be useful:
- Travel and Tourism
- Arts (especially Music) and Literature
- Translation and interpreting
- Any profession that requires confidence in communication, flexibility, the willingness to embrace a new challenge
Opportunities out of lessons
French Opportunities Out Of Lessons
- French Residential for Year 8 pupils (annually)
- French Study Trip to Paris (annually)
- Correspondants (penpals)
French Opportunities Parents Can Provide
- Trip/holiday to France, Switzerland or any other French-speaking country
- Work Experience/Contacts with international/French-based companies
Useful French Websites
VJC (vocabulary and games)
Languages Online (grammar,vocabulary and games)
French Institute (cultural institute)
AQA French (GCSE and A level examination board)
Quizlet (vocabulary and key phrases, flashcards, games)
Kahoot (vocabulary and key phrases, games)