Curriculum Intent

In the 21st century, competence in a different language and intercultural understanding are not optional extras, they are an essential part of being an active citizen. Learning a language opens a world of new possibilities and opportunities. Through language learning, we promote pupils’ curiosity, problem solving skills and broaden their understanding, not only of their own identity and culture, but also that of other countries. Furthermore, by gaining a qualification in a Modern Foreign Language, we are building pupils’ communication and literacy skills and preparing them for a globalised world of work.

Within the French Department we have recently adopted the Dr Gianfranco Conti approach based upon his Extensive Processing Instruction (EPI) method. We have reviewed our Programme of Study and created teaching resources to implement these EPI methods into our lessons across Year 7, 8 and 9, allowing students to gain confidence and fluency and prepare them for the demands of the GCSE course from the start of Key Stage 3.

Our EPI approach includes sentence builders central to all lessons and a large emphasis on listening to the target language to help model target constructions. Our approach is separated into 4 key areas.

– Modelling / Awareness Raising

Students are presented with target language chunks, where extensive drilling of these chunks of language is experienced through games and speaking activities.

– Receptive Processing

Students experience an extensive range of listening and reading tasks where there is lots of comprehensible input, thorough processing and input flooding. This phase develops students decoding skills and fluency .

– Structured Production

Students focus on the chunks in more detail and are provided with consolidation practice. They are given the opportunity to produce the target language in a structured and safe context.

– Expansion and Spontaneity

Students experience planned communicative tasks, under a less controlled environment to allow them to work on their fluency and spontaneity through a range of skills, with a strong emphasis on speaking and writing in the target language. They also get the opportunity to unpick the main grammar introduced with the unit.

The programme of study that has been created is designed so that every activity, text and topic that the students experience allows them to process and produce each item of vocabulary, structure or grammar point many times over in order for it to become embedded in their knowledge.

The topics that are covered during Year 9 are specially selected from the GCSE syllabus to act as a bridging point between KS3 and KS4 allowing a smooth and less daunting transition between Key Stages

Year 7

AUTUMN TERM – Basics, Self and Family

Communicative functions –

Describing and identifying people, including oneself

Creating questions

  • Bonjour! – Introducing myself
  • Quel âge as-tu? Quelle est la date de ton anniversaire? – saying how old I am and when my birthday is
  • Décris ta famille – describing who is in your family, their names, ages and birthdays
  • Tu est comment? – describing appearance and personality of self and others
  • Joyeux Noel! Exploring Christmas traditions in the French speaking world

SPRING TERM – School

Communicative functions –

Describing and identifying people including oneself

Describing routine behaviour

Comparing and contrasting

Describing places

Expressing opinions

  • Tu aimes quelles matières? – talking about school subjects, giving opinions
  • Qu’est ce que tu as le lundi? – talking about school timetable, telling the time
  • Décris ta routine quotidienne – talking about daily routine, present tense
  • Décris ton college – describing school and comparing it with primary school (past tense)
  • Tu aimes tes professeurs? Giving opinions on teachers
  • Mon uniforme scolaire – describing school uniform, giving opinions and comparing it with primary school uniform

SUMMER TERM – Où j’habite

Communicative functions –

Describing places

Expressing opinions

Comparing and contrasting

Creating questions

Describing routine behaviour in the present

Describing routine behaviour in the past

  • Oú j’habite – describing where I live
  • Qu’est ce que tu fais le week-end? – talking about what you do at the weekend, present tense
  • Tu aimes ta ville? – giving opinions on your town and region
  • Oú est le centre sportif – asking for and giving directions, transactional language
  • Qu’est ce que tu as fait le week-end dernier en ville? – describing what you did last weekend in town, past tense

Year 8

AUTUMN TERM – Free time and Hobbies

Communicative functions –

Expressing opinions

Describing and identifying people

Comparing and contrasting

Describing routine behaviour in the present tense

Creating questions

Making plans for the future

  • Mes passetemps – talking about hobbies, likes and dislikes
  • Qu’est ce que tu fais le weekend? Talking about what you do at the weekend, present tense
  • Mes amis – describing your relationships with friends
  • Qu’est ce que tu vas faire le weekend prochain – what are you going to do next weekend? Future tense

SPRING TERM – Sport and Healthy Lifestyle

Communicative functions –

Expressing opinions

Comparing and contrasting

Describing routine behaviour in the present tense

Describing events in the past

  • Tu aimes le sport? – Giving opinions on sport, present tense
  • Qu’est ce que tu aimes manger? – Giving opinions on food and drink, making comparisons, present tense
  • Qu’est ce qu’on doit faire pour ameliorer la santé – describing what you have to do or should do to have a healthier lifestyle, future and conditional tense
  • Qu’est ce que tu as fait le week-end dernier? – talking about last weekend, past tense

SUMMER TERM – Media and Technology

Communicative functions –

Expressing opinions

Comparing and contrasting

Describing routine behaviour in the present tense

Describing and identifying people

Describing events in the past

  • Tu préfères Snapchat ou Facebook? Giving more complex opinions, present tense
  • Tu aimes la musique? Giving opinions and comparing different genres of music
  • Mon artiste préféré – my favourite band/singer, describing appearance, personality, opinions
  • Qu’est ce que tu aimes regarder? – giving opinions and describing TV shows, characters and genres.
  • Film 2022 – using more than one tense to create a film review

Year 9

AUTUMN TERM – Friends, Family and Relationships

Communicative functions –

Describing and identifying people

Expressing opinions

Describing past events

Making plans for the future

  • Tu t’entends bien avec ta famille? – describing relationships with family members, using reflexive verbs
  • Qu’est ce que tu fais le weekend? – describing a typical weekend, present tense
  • Qu’est ce que tu vas faire le week-end prochain? – describing plans for next weekend, future tense
  • Le Samedi soir dernier – last Saturday night, past tense

SPRING TERM – School, future plans and career

Communicative functions –

Expressing opinions

Describing routine behaviour in the present

Making plans for the future

Solving problems

Indicating agreement and disagreement

  • Tu aimes le français? – giving more complex opinions on school subjects.
  • Pourquoi devrait-on apprendre les langues? – exploring the importance of studying languages and the opportunities they present
  • Le reglement scolaire – talking about school rules, expressing agreement and disagreement
  • Mon avenir – plans for the future, future and conditional tenses
  • Qu’est ce que tu voudrais faire comme travail? – talking about careers and ambitions, future tense, conditional tense

SUMMER TERM – Holidays

Communicative functions –

Describing places

Expressing opinions

Comparing and contrasting

Creating questions

Describing routine behaviour in the present

Describing events in the past

Making plans for the future

  • Oú vas tu en vacances normalement? – present tense, using infinitive structures to enhance my work
  • Tu est allé oú en vacances l’année dernière? – describing last year’s holiday, using perfect and imperfect tenses.
  • Comment on célèbre le quatorze juillet? – Exploring Bastille Day traditions in France and comparing them to British festivals
  • Les vacances l’année prochaine – discussing next year’s holiday, future and conditional tenses
  • En vacances – transactional language, booking a hotel room, making a complaint, shopping

AQA GCSE French  

(Themes, Topics) 

Theme 1 -Identity and culture

Me, my family and friends

  • Relationships with family and friends

Free-time activities

  • Music
  • Cinema and TV
  • Food and eating out
  • Sport

Customs and festivals in French-speaking countries/ communities

Me, my family and friends

  • Marriage/ partnership

Technology in everyday life

  • Social media
  • Mobile technology

Theme 2 -Local, national, international and global areas of interest

Home, town, neighbourhood and region Social issues

  • Healthy/ unhealthy living

Travel and tourism

Global issues

  • The environment

Social issues

Charity/ voluntary work

Poverty/ homelessness

Theme 3 -Current and future study and employment

My studies

Life at school/ college

Education post-16

Career choices and ambitions

Key Stage Three

Students will receive regular vocabulary homework which will be assessed in class. Students will be assessed formally as part of the school assessment windows:

Assessment 1 – Writing

Assessment 2 – Reading and Listening

Assessment 3 – Speaking

Assessments at KS3 will follow the same format and mark schemes as GCSE assessments as much as possible to enable students to familiarise with the assessment demands at KS4 and allow a smooth transition between key stages.

Key Stage Four

Regular vocabulary learning is encouraged, and all vocabulary lists are available online and from school. Vocabulary testing will involve translation of phrases from and to the target language.

Pupils will be assessed formally as part of the school’s timetabled assessment windows. Assessments will be set following the AQA exam style questions or past papers.

To enhance students’ experience of language learning and foster a life love love of languages, within the French department we seek to offer various enrichment opportunities to students. Such opportunities include homework clubs, a whole school European Day of Languages event and Spanish Club in addition to other trips and activities.

A variety of jobs require you to be able to communicate in one or more languages. The obvious examples are the jobs of translator and interpreter, but there are many more. Some jobs need you to be completely fluent while, for others, it’s enough to be able to hold a basic conversation. Entry requirements vary from GCSEs to postgraduate qualifications.

Some of the main career opportunities that require language skills are described below:

  • Linguists
  • Interpreters and translators
  • Teachers

Using Languages

As tourists, and even in business, we often rely on people from other countries communicating with us in English. However, developing our foreign language skills can benefit us as individuals, as well as helping the UK conduct trade with the rest of the world.

Here are some ideas of jobs offering opportunities for using languages. They certainly aren’t the only ones.

  • Public sector
  • Librarianship and information science
  • Travel and tourism
  • Hospitality and catering
  • Media
  • Law, insurance, accountancy etc
  • Industry and commerce

Working hard at studying a language you develop your communication skills in general, and, if you have spent time studying abroad, you will also have gained independence, flexibility and organisational skills – all qualities that employers value.

With good language skills, you can widen your search for work across Europe. As a UK citizen you have the right to work in any of the member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) and many qualifications gained in the UK are recognised by European employers. For example, qualifications in accountancy, engineering, teaching, nursing, construction trades and so on, are likely to be recognised.

Many UK companies have commercial links with Europe and beyond, and many multinational firms have bases in Britain. So, as the workplace becomes more global, more people can expect to travel abroad as part of their job and the ability to speak another language would be most advantageous.

People who can communicate in languages such as Russian, Japanese, Mandarin and Arabic are needed as well as European languages.

Languages skills often enhance other skills such as secretarial, administrative or customer services, or professional and technical skills such as marketing, journalism or engineering. There are many areas of work in which languages can be a real asset.