Learning a foreign language gives children the opportunity to access and learn about other cultures, people and places. We aim to equip pupils with language learning skills which will allow them to develop their knowledge and use of French as well as prepare them for learning additional languages later on. We want children to enjoy learning foreign languages. Lessons are structured but include many games, songs, stories and rhymes and we encourage lots of speaking through role-play activities.
A popular and well-established biannual French trip to Paris is organised for Year 5 and 6 pupils. Children have the opportunity to put their French speaking skills into practice at the local market and buy food for their lunch. There are also educational and cultural trips out each day to visit and enjoy sights such as the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré Cœur, Notre Dame and the Musée d’Orsay.
As well as time-tabled French lessons, the school offers a Spanish club as part of its extra-curricular provision.
Senior School Links
We have close links with our Senior School which enables a smooth transfer from Year 6 to Year 7. Pupils in Year 5 enjoy a French language session up at the Senior School with the French exchange students each spring.
Pre-Prep and Year 3 to Year 6
Throughout the school, there is an emphasis on learning through a diversity of oral and practical activities, with the addition of reading and writing, as pupils progress. French is taught from Reception in two short sessions which progresses to two lessons per week in Year 1. Children follow topics and learn through songs, games, stories, finger rhymes and mini rôle-plays. The written word is introduced very gradually.
In Years 3 to 6, the emphasis is still very much on oral work but further reading and writing skills are developed through work in activity books; Year 5 pupils begin to use the textbook ‘Expo.’ Pupils learn in mixed ability classes but work is adapted or extended as appropriate, to suit the individual needs of children.
We subscribe to the ‘Linguascope’ website which provides fun and stimulating reinforcement of most of the topics covered from Year 3 to 6. Pupils are given the username and password to access this at home as well as in school; more recently ‘Linguascope’ is now available as a tablet app.