We emphasise the importance of all skills, especially the speaking component, as well as a sound grammatical base. In teaching French, we also focus on its communicative and receptive importance. We use whole class tasks, pair-work, and autonomous learning on a regular basis and have integrated modern technology (iPads) into our teaching techniques.
Head of French
First to Third Forms – compulsory for all pupils
In the First Form, we consolidate the foundations laid by primary schools while fully accommodating those pupils who have not been taught French before. We use a topic-based approach so that pupils expand their vocabulary rapidly yet encounter grammatical features from an early stage. After one term we place pupils in sets (two upper sets and two lower sets).
In the Second and Third Forms, we develop pupils’ linguistic skills, knowledge and understanding further which enables them to engage in discussions, or write more extensively employing the past, present, and future tenses. We place pupils into sets in the Third Form.
Fourth and Fifth Forms – GCSE optional subject
All sets follow the Edexcel GCSE syllabus, which includes four distinct components (Foundation or Higher Tiers):
- Listening (25%) - 35 minutes
- Speaking (25%) - 7-9 minutes (F) or 10-12 minutes (H)
- Reading (25%) - 45 minutes
- Writing (25%) - 1 hour 10 minutes (F) or 1 hour 20 minutes (H)
Sixth Form – A Level optional subject
We follow the Edexcel French syllabus, which includes three examinations:
- Listening, Reading, and Translation (40%)
- Written response to works (literary texts and films) and translation (30%)
- Speaking (30%), involving a special topic researched by the candidate
Our teaching is skill-based, although we feature fortnightly topics (eg Education, Media, Leisure) to broaden students’ learning, involving both a personal response and factual insight.
In the Upper Sixth year, our students deepen their subject and topic knowledge, especially for the essay and speaking elements of the final examinations. Topics covered include: Family, Education and the World of Work; Music, Media, Festivals and Traditions; Immigration and Multicultural France; the Occupation and the Resistance.
Kimbolton 7th Period Super Curriculum: There will be the opportunity to be involved in joutes oratoires (debates in French) and working on podcasts and blogs. Various Apps, including FrancePress, will be used on a regular basis, as well as iTunesU courses. The emphases will be those of much autonomous work and research skills, with a strong cultural flavour coming to the fore. Topics include immigration, Francophone world, secular state, The Occupation, French Republic.
- View our Sixth Form Prospectus
We organise various activities, including making short films and producing plays in French, lectures to Sixth Form students, debates (Joutes oratoires) and French films.
- There is an annual First and Second Form immersion trip to Château de la Baudonnière, Normandy.
- The French Department (along with the Art and History Departments) runs a biennial trip to Paris in the February half-term. This is a Sixth Form cultural visit and includes visits to art galleries and museums, the Assemblée Nationale, Matignon (the Prime Minister’s residence), the Senate, and the Père Lachaise cemetery.